Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) has procured eight digital scanners for the purpose of automatic compilation and publication of population data from the next census.
“We have procured 8 scanners and are in process of acquiring four more for standby purposes to ensure timely reading and compilation of the census data,” said a Bureau official.
The PBS has already published a tender to get four more scanners. According to the official, PBS is following Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules for the procurement of this equipment.
The official said that census forms have been designed in such a way that they can be read through computer-based scanners. Each of these new scanners will be capable of scanning 100 forms per minute with utmost accuracy resulting in a speedier and more accurate count.
According to the PBS official, 55 million census forms will be used in the upcoming population census. The bureau has already finalised all arrangements to conduct the 6th census in Pakistan’s history.
Estimates put the total cost of this census to be about Rs. 30 billion including all measures to make the process smooth and secure. Rs. 7.5 billion have been released to provinces to make arrangement for the census 2017.
The process will be completed in two phases. The first phase will include most regions of Punjab, KPK, Sindh and Balochistan while FATA and Azad & Jammu Kashmir will go through the process in the second phase.
PBS has recruited enumerators to count the population in 168,120 census blocks across the country. A single enumerator would be responsible for two counting blocks with each block consisting of about 200 houses.
Pakistan army will be ensuring the security of the census staff. As many as 200,000 army personnel have reserved for the safe completion of the population count. It is said that each enumerator will be accompanied by one army soldier during the duty hours. Additional army personnel will be deployed in sensitive areas as well.