MIRPUR (AJK)/SIALKOT-The much-awaited Housing and Population Census has begun in five districts of Azad Jammu & Kashmir from Wednesday simultaneously with 53 districts of the country at the first leg of the phased process.

The Azad Jammu & Kashmir government has made adequate arrangements throughout the liberated territory, official sources said.

AJK Census Commissioner Raja Tariq Mehmood told this Correspondent here that all necessary arrangements have been made for holding the first phase of census in five AJK districts including Kotli and Bhimbher districts of Mirpur division, Sudhanhoti and Bagh districts of Poonch division and Muzaffarabad district.

First phase of the census will complete on March 29, the commissioner said adding that the second phase of the census will commence after the pause of 10 days in rest of five districts of AJK.

A total of 2,800 mobile staff members have been deputed for holding the scheduled census across AJK.

In first phase of the census, 1,900 mobile staff members comprising officials of AJK education and revenue department as well as Pakistan army would visit door to door in 2022 blocks in five AJK districts, the Census Commissioner said.

The Census Commissioner categorically declared that the people will have to provide absolutely correct information about the persons living under the concerned roof. In case of fake information, the concerned person or family head would have to face the penalty of the six months rigorous imprisonment and fine of Rs50 thousand, he warned.

He said that the concerned family head or other responsible person will also have to provide info about the expatriates belonging to the family or any registered Afghan refugee living under any local roof. However, the number of the expatriates and Afghan refugees will not be included in the number of the census, he pointed out. The expatriates and registered / lawful Afghan refugees would continue stand as expatriate and Afghan refugee, he declared.

Likewise, Gujranwala Commissioner Muhammad Asif reviewed in details the process of national census during his visit to Daska. The month-long national census began in Sialkot district. In Sialkot, Deputy Commissioner Dr Asif Tufail launched this national census by marking a number on the DC House Sialkot.

He added that a Central Control Room has been established at the DC Office Sialkot for ensuring the mutual coordination between the different departments, besides, monitoring the national census in Sialkot district.