“Pakistan’s first-ever digital census extended for complete coverage”

"Pakistan's first-ever digital census extended for complete coverage"
"Pakistan's first-ever digital census extended for complete coverage"
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The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) has announced an extension for the ongoing first-ever digital population and housing census until April 10, 2023. The deadline was extended to ensure complete coverage of the population and leftover houses in the country. The 7th population and housing census, which began on February 20, was initially set to be officially concluded on April 4.

According to the PBS, the deadline was extended on the recommendation of the provincial census commissioners and the chief census commissioner. The body has approved the extension of the census fieldwork for six days to ensure a smooth completion of the census field operations. The notification stated that instructions regarding the extension in the field operations of the population and housing census would be conveyed to the census field staff and other concerned for the census field operations’ smooth completion.

The PBS has also requested security-related institutions to convey security arrangements of census field staff until the extended time of April 10, 2023. The population count in the leftover blocks will continue in Pakistan, including Karachi, according to an announcement made earlier.

Many blocks of Central, East, and South districts in Karachi are yet to be enumerated, and residents of the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) have been complaining that their houses have not been listed yet, let alone the enumeration of their families. As of Monday, 2.94 million households had been listed in the PBS database, while the enumerated households were 2.42 million, and the enumerated population was 12.33 million.

An officer of the PBS informed The News that more than 82% of Karachi had been enumerated by Monday 3 pm. The figure is increasing by the minute as the data keeps syncing into their system. Zubair Ahmed, an official of the PBS in Karachi, told The News that the entire city’s household enumeration would be completed in a span of two to three days.

To complete the population and housing census, the process of self-enumeration started on February 20 and was supposed to last until March 3. The date was extended until March 10 at the request of the Sindh government. The PBS began door-to-door enumeration of buildings throughout the country from March 1. There was a break on March 11 and March 12, and then the population count kicked off, which was to end on April 4. The homeless population was to be counted on the night of April 4.

The PBS has successfully collected data of 95 percent listed households within the stipulated timeframe through tablets across the country. The remaining 5 percent census field work is either in big-blocks, where work started with some delay due to logistic arrangements, or was withheld for a couple of days due to technical glitches. In case enumerators have not visited, all citizens of Pakistan are being requested to inform the bureau using the toll-free number 0800-57574, which will be functional 24/7.

The citizen can also send their complete address through SMS on 9727 for lodging complaints of non-coverage. They can also visit or contact PBS Regional Offices or the 495 Census Support Center established at the tehsil level for registering their complaints regarding non-coverage. During the listing phase, all the residential and economic units have been geo-tagged along with the categorization/classification of economic activities as per international standards. As per the data received, the total number of listed households to date is over 39.62 million in the country.

In conclusion, the extension of the population and housing census deadline until April 10, 2023, has been approved by the PBS to ensure the complete coverage of the population and leftover houses in Pakistan. The PBS has requested citizens to inform them in case enumerators have not visited using the toll-free number, SMS, or PBS

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