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Guidelines for House listing Blocks and House numbering during Census 2021

House Listing Block

Guidelines of House Listing and House Numbering is a very important part in Census of Any Country. It has a special and very unique rule that to be followed in Census Operation.

A complete guideline for formation of House Listing Blocks and House Numbering during The 16th Indian Census or 7th Indian Economic Census has published on 26th December’ 2019. The Office of the Register General, India under Ministry of Home Affairs, Circular no. 8 Memo no. 9/55/2019 -CD(Gen) Dated 26.12.2019

The House listing Operation (HLO) along with updating of National Population Register (NPR) is scheduled. Conducted in a period of 45 days during April – September, 2020 in different States and UTs (except Assam wherein only).

H.L.O to be conducted in 30 days during the said period. Government of India send notification to All States and Union Territories (UTs) to freeze the boundaries of all administrative units before 31.12.2019. Also notified do not make any jurisdictional changes from 1st January, 2020 to 31st March, 2021.

The word “block” means a well-defined area in a village or in a ward of the town. Block can be clearly demarcated on the ground and therefore a notional map is drawn. It is very important for the Census Operations. The created blocks are called “House listing Block” and The Population Enumeration (PE) are Called “Enumeration Blocks”. The HLBS/EBs treated as the smallest administrative unit for conducting Census. These is the basic of Data processing after Field Operations.

The normal workload of an enumerator for Census 2021 in both rural and urban areas will be fixed at 650- 800 population or 150-180 Census houses whichever is higher.

HLB formed as Either present population Maximum 800 or Census houses maximum 180 NO.s Some others principles at time of Creating the enumeration blocks for House listing & Housing Census are below:

Creating HLB at rural area.

The Revenue Village is the basic unit in Census operations. Special care should be taken to ensure that all the constituent Habitations of the Revenue Village are fully covered while forming a House listing Blocks (HLB).

At least one HLB is to be formed in a village irrespective of its population. There may be cases where the population of the Revenue Village is very small or even zero (uninhabited). Each of such villages must be constituted into separate HLB.

Under no circumstance, one HLB is to be formed taking parts of two villages. In such cases, more than one HLB can be assigned to an enumerator so as to give her/him a workload of 650 -800 populations or 150-180 Census houses whichever is more. It should however be ensured that separate account is maintained for each of the HLBs assigned to the enumerator.

If a village has a large population, exceeding the normal workload of an enumerator, it may be split into multiple HLBs. The present estimated population of the village and number of enumerators to be engaged as per their normal workload. In such cases, natural boundaries in the village like road, canal etc. to be taken as the boundaries of the HLBs for clear-cut identification by the respective enumerators.

Each such block should be assigned to a separate enumerator. Once the HLB has been constituted, the enumerator should have a clear idea of the geographical boundaries of the block (or blocks) assigned to him/her for House listing operations.

In some cases, it has been noticed that parts of a village are spread over two or more Village Panchayats. While carving out the HLBs in such villages, it may be kept in mind that boundary of the Panchayat and Electoral Roll Part (Polling Booth boundary) are kept intact to the extent possible.

The assistance of Booth Level Officers (BLO) at the Village may be utilized for this purpose.

It should however be ensured that the BLO is not appointed as an enumerator. In case the Electoral Roll Part spills over into another Village, that portion of the Village should be carved out as a separate HLB.

Since the Charge Officer is also the Assistant Electoral Registration Officer, all the details of Electoral Booth would be available at the Charge Office.

The details of Panchayat boundaries can be obtained from the Block Development Officers (BDO) concerned.

Likewise, it is to be ensured by the Charge Officer that no HLB is formed cutting across the Sub-District boundary. If any village is spreading over more than one sub-district, then separate HLB(s) is to be formed for the part of the village falling in one sub-district and separate HLB(s) in other sub-district. 

In forest areas, there may be habitations, which may not fall within the area of any Revenue village. In such cases, an HLB should be constituted on the basis of the settlement pattern and the smallest forest administrative unit.

Details of such areas will have to be obtained from the District Forest Officer or her/his subordinate officer.

Six or more contiguous HLBs, which are to be allotted to six enumerators, will constitute a Supervisory Circle for which a Supervisor is to be appointed.

These HLBS can be part of one village or multiple villages but these villages must be contiguous. Each HLB should have clear-cut boundaries.

There may be isolated habitations in Agricultural land of a village which are not included in any HLBs in the main village.

These isolated habitations are to be covered by the respective enumerators of the adjoining HLBs as illustrated in Annexure-1.

The Supervisory Circle into which contiguous blocks fall should also be demarcated clearly and number of supervisors be worked out for each charge. Each Charge Officer is expected to make the necessary entries for each house listing block and supervisory circle in the rural charge register provided to him/her.

The map of every village will be uploaded in Census Monitoring & Management System (CMMS) Portal by the ORGI (Map division).

The Supervisor can refer the respective village map(s) from the CMMS portal and ensure that there is no left-out area between the House listing Blocks allotted to the enumerators under his disposal and also entire areas in the village(s) are duly being covered.

Creating HLB at urban area.

The basic unit of Census in Towns is the Ward. The same criteria of 650-800 population or 150-180 Census houses whichever is more should be followed in Towns also. Care should be taken that Houselisting blocks in urban areas should not cut across natural regions such as major roads, rivers, railway lines, municipal divisions or wards.

Further, it may be kept in mind that boundary of the Electoral Roll  Part (Polling Booth boundary) are kept intact to the extent possible. The assistance of Booth Level Officers (BLO) may be utilized for this purpose also. It should however be ensured that the BLO is not appointed as an enumerator. Since the Charge Officer is also involved in the electoral process, all the details of Electoral Booth would be available at the Charge Office.

The delineation of blocks in a natural region, division or ward may be made so as to cover the entire area within the latter. Like rural areas, no HLB in the ward of a town should cut across the sub-district boundary.

As in rural areas, six or more contiguous HLBs in urban areas will also constitute a Supervisory Circle for which a Supervisor is to be nominated.

The Supervisory Circle into which contiguous blocks fall should be demarcated clearly and number of Supervisors worked out for each charge.

Each Charge Officer is expected to make the necessary entries for each house listing block and supervisory circle in the urban charge register provided to him/her.

The map of every ward will be uploaded in CMMS Portal by the Directorate of Census Operations (DCOs) with the help of respective Urban Charge Officer (Town Authority).

The Supervisor can refer the respective ward map(s) from the CMMS portal and ensure that there is no left-out area between the House listing Blocks allotted to the enumerators under his disposal in the Ward.

Both in rural and urban areas the SRS blocks should be adopted as separate HLB without any change (in such cases the norm of 650-800 population may be violated as an exception).

Similarly, while forming the HLBs in statutory towns, the identity of the slum areas is to be kept intact as has been explained in great detail in the specific Circular on the subject (Circular no. 7). In case of Census Towns, there would not be any wards. In such case, the entire Census Town can be treated as having one Ward.

Having discussed the basic principles for carving of House listing Blocks (HLBs), it is important to mention that since the NPR database is to be updated along with HLO of the Census 2021, the same enumerator will be engaged for both the activities in the HLB(s) allotted to her/him.

It is appropriate to mention that NPR data, which were collected during the HLO of Census 2011 and updated in 2015, are available for each HLB of the Census 2011. Some of the HLBs of Census 2011, having more than the normal workload of the enumerators, were divided into sub-blocks and some other HLBs remained intact during the PE of Census 2011. As such, each EB of Census 2011 was formed either covering full HLB area or part of the HLB area of Census 2011 and thereby both are inter-linked.

In order to provide NPR records to each enumerator for up-dation, there is a necessity to create HLBs for Census 2021 having linkage with EBs of Census 2011. As such, the most important principle, other than the basic principles elaborated in above paragraphs, while carving HLB for Census 2021 is that it should never cut across EB boundary of Census 2011 in both rural and urban areas.

In this connection, the following guidelines are to be kept in mind by the concerned Charge Officers at the time of carving of HLBs for Census 2021:

 (a) The villages or wards of the towns if had the population of 650-700 or less in the Census 2011, there might be one HLB and one EB in the Census 2011 for each of such villages or wards. The present estimated population, considering the normal growth of population (if there is no large number of new constructions & new settlement after Census 2011), for each such village/ ward may be around 800 or less. Then, one HLB to be created for the Census, 2021 covering the entire village/ ward like one HLB & one EB in the Census, 2011.

(b) In case the present estimated population of any village or ward in the town exceeds 800 (normal workload of an enumerator), then more than one HLB to be as or created for the Census, 2021 even if there was one EB for the entire village or ward in the Census, 2011.

 (C) In case there were two or more EBs in a village or ward of a town for the Census 2011, the present estimated population of each EB shall be taken into consideration by the Charge officer to decide whether the same EB of Census 2011 can be one HLB for Census 2021 or more than one HLB to be created within the EB. However, the creation of multiple HLBs for Census 2021 within one EB of Census 2011 should be in a judicious manner, i.e. taking the natural features (like road, canal, natural hamlets etc.) as the boundary of each HLB to the extent possible for distinct identification and the judicious distribution of work load among enumerators for optimal use of their services.

Example: If population of one EB of the Census 2011 was 800 and its present estimated population is about 1000, then two HLBs to be created, i.e. one with 700-800 population (required workload for one enumerator) and another smaller HLB for the remaining part taking the natural feature as the boundary of each HLB.

One enumerator shall be engaged for the bigger HLB while another enumerator can be engaged for the smaller HLB along with other nearby HLB(s) fulfilling the reasonable workload for an enumerator.

It is essential to remember that since the Census results are to be brought out separately for each village/ward, the smaller parts of two or more villages/wards (equivalent to the workload of one enumerator) should not be combined to form one HLB.

It is also essential to ensure that the enumerator, engaged for multiple HLBs, prepares/maintains census records separately for each HLB.

(d) For carving of HLBs for the Census 2021, the Charge Officer is to first locate the boundaries of various EBs of Census 2011 and make an assessment of the present estimated population in the said EBs with the help of the following inputs:

  • EB Layout map of Census 2011
  • Supervisory Circle map for PE 2011
  • Abridged House list (AHL) of Census 2011
  • Charge Register (PE) of Census, 2011 showing the boundaries of various EBs and the EB wise population in Census, 2011
  • List of head of households with address as per NPR records 2015/2010
  • Household-wise NPR Population available in Census Monitoring & Management System (CMMS) Portal
  • Assistance of officials in the charge having knowledge on local area for easy identification of boundaries of 2011 EBS
  • Magnitude of new constructions & habitations in the EB after Census 2011

(e) While carving HLBs in the villages/wards in a town by the respective Charge Officer, she/he is to ensure that there is no left-out area in any village/ward, not being covered in any HLB. It is to be further ensured that any development of residential/non-residential buildings in vacant lands/cultivable lands etc. after the Census 2011, which were not covered in any of the EBs of Census 2011, is duly included in the adjoining HLB(s) or new HLB(s) has been created for Census 2021.

(f) Allocating & dividing the 2011 EBs following the guidelines for formation of house listing blocks mentioned above is to be done through CMMS portal & will be explained in User’s Manual for Census 2021 Management and Monitoring System.

House listing Block Numbering

Each village and town will comprise one or more House listing Block (HLB). The HLBs created for the Census 2021 in a Charge, even if will cover the entire area of respective EBs of the Census 2011 in many cases, cannot carry the same EB number of the Census 2011 due to

(i) EB number was 6 digit while HLB number will be 4 digit;

(ii) multiple HLBs may be created in some of the EBs of 2011 for increased workload; and

(iii) addition/deletion of area in an administrative unit after the Census, 2011. As such, all such HLBs within a charge, whether rural or urban, will bear a continuous serial number (four digit), like 0001, 0002, 0003……..0099 and so on.

If a City or Town contains more than one Charge, the HLBs are to be numbered continuously within each Charge. In case of the Rural Charge, HLBs are to numbered continuously as per the ascending order of the Village Location Code numbers.

Likewise, in case of Urban Charge, HLBs are to be numbered continuously as per the ascending order of the ward numbers.

The detailed guidelines for numbering of HLBs would be communicated separately in the form of Census Circular on “Assignment of Location Code numbers at various Administrative levels”

As discussed in the first paragraph, the NPR will be used in the time of up-dation house listing operation (HLO), for which NPR data, collected in the 2011 census and updated in 2015, will be sent to the respective enumerators. Will be given..

For this purpose, there is a need to maintain a concordance between the EBs of the Census 2011 and the HLBs of the Census 2021. All the Charge Officers are therefore, required to prepare a Concordance Statement in the prescribed proforma (Annexure-2) showing the details of administrative units up to EB number of the Census 2011 and the corresponding  administrative units up to HLB number of the Census 2021. 

House Numbering at the time of Census operation

In areas where the proper house numbering system has been implemented by the local government, the same may be conveniently adopted in constituting blocks for Houselisting. In cases where no house numbering exists, fresh house numbering for the Census purpose may have to be carried out. This is absolutely essential for systematic allocation and distribution of work among the different enumerators in villages and towns and to avoid any omission or duplication.

It would be essential that the house numbering for all the buildings in the village or town should be done in advance.

The house numbering can be got done either through the Village or Town authorities. A letter has been addressed to the Chief Secretary of your State in this regard. The house numbers should be clearly painted in red colour with an alphabetical  prefix such as C/CEN or any equivalent in the vernacular language.

The size of the number should be such that it can be easily seen from a distance of two meters and be put up in a prominent place such as the door way or adjacent to it. The house numbers so given should be long lasting and of a permanent nature.

Chalk or any other material which will easily wither away or can be obliterated quickly should not be used.

Like rural areas in urban areas also, where the permanent house numbering system has been implemented, the same may be conveniently adopted in constituting the block for house listing.

Depending on the population criterion one or more such areas will constitute a block for the purpose of house listing. In metropolitan cities and other towns and cities with large population, there are areas where either house numbering is not in vogue or exists in a very unsystematic manner which cannot be adopted for the purpose of house listing operations. In such cases, the municipal/local authorities are required to provide house numbers in advance so that proper delineation of house listing blocks could be done without any omission or duplication.

It should be noted that house numbering is required in all areas. It is often found that the local bodies are reluctant to give numbers to slums, illegal colonies etc. In such cases, the supervisor and the enumerator should undertake the work of house numbering.

In both rural and urban areas, it should be made absolutely clear that the numbers given during Census does not confer any right of regularization. It is only for facilitating the Census and nothing more. A copy of the instructions on house numbering as per the House listing Instruction Manual for Enumerators is given at Annexure-3.

The highlights of the guidelines for formation of house listing blocks are recapitulated below:

(i) House listing Block for Census 2021 should never cut across Enumeration Blocks of Census 2011.

(ii) The ideal size of the house listing block is 650-800 population or 150 180 Census Houses whichever is higher.

(iii) Each village, irrespective of its population, including uninhabited village will have at least one house listing block.

(iv) The boundaries of each block should be clearly demarcated and identified.

(v) House listing blocks should not cut across village or village panchayat boundaries. To the extent possible the Electoral Roll Part (Polling Booth boundary) should also be kept intact in rural areas. 

(vi) In urban areas House listing block boundaries should not cut across natural divisions, wards or city boundaries. To the extent possible the Electoral Roll Part (Polling Booth boundary) should also be kept intact in urban areas.

vii) The identity of SRS blocks of 2011 Census should remain undisturbed, during the Census of India 2021.

(viii) In all statutory towns irrespective of their population size, slum blocks must be demarcated. The HLB should not be created taking portions of slum and non-slum areas.

(ix) One enumerator can be given work of more than one HLBs in case of small size but contiguous HLBs.

(x)  Six or more contiguous HLBs assigned to six Enumerators will form one Supervisory Circle.

(xi) The boundaries of each HLB should be clearly written by the Charge Officer in the Charge Register. (xii) Concordance statement to be prepared in the Charge Office showing linkage between EBs of Census 2011 & HLBs of Census 2021.

Guidelines for House Numbering

For the purpose of Census, House Numbering means ensuring that each and every Building and the Census House located in the House listing Block bears a systematically assigned number. The Building number and number of Census Houses in the Building is shown on the Layout Map.

(A) Assigning number to Buildings

While allotting numbers to Buildings in the House listing Block, one may come across the following three situations:

i) Where Buildings are numbered systematically by the municipal or local authorities;

ii) where numbers to open sites are given on property basis but there are number of sites where the Buildings have not so far been constructed or where Building numbers are existing but incomplete and not systematic, and

iii) no numbering to Buildings exists.

In the first case, numbering of Buildings given by the municipal or local authorities is to be adopted. However, in respect of new Buildings which have come up after the Buildings were numbered, they should be given a sub-number/new number.

For Example, if a Building is found un-numbered or a new Building has come up between Buildings numbered 10 and 11, the same should be numbered as 10/1 meaning thereby that a separate Building has come up after Building number 10.

If the new building is at the end of the HLB, and if the numbering given by the local authorities ends with No. 120 then a new number ‘121’. In situations (ii) and (iii) above, it is advised to give Census numbers to all Buildings in the HLB like 001, 002,…so on.

Some specific cases:

(i) House listing Block consists of a number of streets: The Buildings in various streets should be numbered continuously. Streets should be taken in uniform order from North-West to South-East.

The best way of numbering Buildings is to nue with one consecutive serial on one side of the street and complete numbering on that side before crossing over to the end of the other side of the street and continuing with the same series, stopping finally opposite to where the first number was allotted.

(ii) If in a House listing Block or part of a House listing Block, the Buildings are scattered or located in clusters or located in isolated parts like fields, boundaries of Village/House listing Block, along the side of a railway track or a canal/river/nala, then to the extent possible,

Building numbers should be assigned by following the method described at (i) above. However, if it is not possible to follow the procedure laid down at (i) above, it should be ensured that all the Buildings are numbered and the direction in which the Building numbers are assigned should be indicated by arrow marks on the Layout Map wherever the number jumps.

(iii) In an Urban House listing Block, the numbering will generally run along the axis of street and not in any arbitrary geographical direction.

(iv) A Building under construction, the roof of which has been completed, a number should be given in the serial.

(v) In a vegetable market/ mandis, there are shops, which have common roof but no walls on 4 sides. In some places, only poles are erected with tarpaulin/ plastic on top or with concrete roof. The floors are about 3 feet high and some of shopkeepers sleep there at night.

Such places may also be identified as Buildings and numbered accordingly.

(B) Assigning number to Census Houses:

Each Census House should be numbered serially starting from ‘0001′ in the first building of the HLB and to run continuously in the order of the Building Numbers in the HLB. The Census House number may be difference from Building numbers

Examples of assigning Census House numbers:

Building numbers as assigned by the Municipality/Local body etc.Number of Census housesCensus house Numbers
A-10120001, 0002
A-10230003, 0004, 0005
A-10320006, 0007
The Census House number may be difference from Building numbers

After completed the house numbering, a new building found or in the middle a Buildings already numbered, it should be given sub number.

The Census Houses thus found will be given the numbers next to the last Census House number in the HLB.

For example, if 0153 is the number given to last Census House. If a Building is found UN-numbered or a new Building has come up between Building number 10 and 11. treated as 2 Census Houses. The Building should number as 10/1 and the Census Houses will be given numbers 0154 and 0155 respectively as below table. 10/1 would mean here that a separate Building that has come up after Building number 10.

Building NumberCensus House NumberNumber of Census Houses
10/120154
  0155
Example: Building, Census House Numbering

Census house numbers are to be written separately at the entrance of individual Census houses. The example showing below:

Building number and the range of Census house numbers is to be written at the main gate/entrance of the building. The example showing below:

The Building and Census House numbers are written with long lasting material. Try to select the prominent places on the Buildings and Census Houses.

For example, if Building number A-102 has three

House Listing Block_example.jpg
Building number along with the range of Census house numbers is to be written at the main gate/entrance of the building as shown in the box given

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