Chapter 37: URBAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Introduction

74th amendment of the constitution added the 12th schedule on urban local government. This schedule being justifiable makes it obligatory for state governments to have these. 18 functional items have been placed in the purview of municipalities.

Types of municipality:

1.      Nagar panchayats [ for transitional areas]

2.      municipal council: for small urban area

3.      Municipal corporation: for large urban areas.

All members of municipality shall be directly elected by the people. Municipal area shall be divided into wards.  State government can make provision for manner of election for head of municipality. It may provide representation in the municipality for people of special knowledge, MP / MLA of Lok Sabha Rajya Sabha or state legislative assembly and council.

Chairperson of committees other than ward committee.  A ward committee shall be formed of two or more wards having population of 3 lakh or more. State govt can specify how these ward committees shall be filled. State govt can also make other committees.

Reservation for SC/ST [in proportion to their population] and women [1/3rd] must be made at all municipalities and also in post of chairpersons. Reservation for backward caste [in municipality and also in post of chairpersons] may be made.

Duration: All municipalities shall have 5 year term. But it can be dissolved earlier too. elections must be held within 6 months of dissolution but new municipality shall be in power only for remainder of term of original municipality had it not been dissolved. Also re-elections not needed if the period of power is less than 6 months

Qualifications: he should be above 21 yrs. he shouldn’t be disqualified from participating in elections by any law of centre or state.

State election commission shall be created with an election commissioner appointed by the governor. However he can be removed by following procedure for removal of state high court judge. SEC shall handle preparation of electoral rolls and conduction of elections.

State legislature can endow the municipality system with powers and duties as may be necessary to enable them to function as institutions of self government.

State finance commission shall be appointed by the governor every 5 years to decide

a.       Principle for distribution of net proceeds of taxes between state and municipality.

b.      grants in aid to municipality from state consolidated fund

c.       determination of taxes that can be assigned to municipality

d.      measures needed to improve their financial position

e.       any other matter referred by governor in matter of sound finance of municipality

State legislature decides composition, qualification and method of selection of personnel. Governor places the report and action taken report to the house.

Audits and accounting principles shall be laid by the state legislatures.

President may direct application of this amendment to UT’s with modification or exceptions.

Act doesn’t apply to hill areas of Darjeeling; scheduled areas and tribal areas of state.

Courts are barred from interference in electoral matters.


District planning committees:

At district level in every state there shall be a district planning committee for consolidating development plans of panchayats and municipalities. It also prepares draft development plan. The state legislature can decide composition of committee, functions, manner of election of members and chairperson.

4/5th members shall be elected by elected representatives of panchayats and municipalities from amongst themselves. Their ratio shall be the ratio of rural and urban population of the district.

Metropolitan planning committee:

At metropolitan area in every state there shall be a metropolitan planning committee for preparing draft development plan. The state legislature can decide composition of committee, functions, manner of election of members and chairperson and representation of centre, state govt and other organisations in it.

2/3rd members shall be elected by elected representatives of municipalities and chairpersons of panchayats in the area of the metropolitan region from amongst themselves. Their ratio shall be the ratio of rural and urban population of the district.

Types of urban governments:

The transitional area, small urban area or large urban area is specified by the governor by a public notification.

 A. Municipal Corporation: these are established in states by acts of state legislatures and in UT’s but acts of Parliament. There can be one act for all corporations or separate acts for individual. Each corporation has three organs: council, standing committees and commissioner. Council is a legislative body elected by the people. It also includes nominated people of special knowledge or experience. It’s headed by the mayor who is assisted by deputy mayor. Compositions of council and reservation matters are mentioned in the constitution. standing committees are created to facilitate working of council and take decisions in own sphere viz. health, education etc. commissioner is the chief executive officer of the corporation and is responsible for implementation of decisions of council and standing committees.

B.   Municipality: these are established in states by acts of state legislatures and in UT’s by acts of Parliament. There can be one act for all Municipality or separate acts for individual. Each Municipality has three organs: council, standing committees and chief executive officer. Council is a legislative body elected by the people. It also includes nominated people of special knowledge or experience. It’s headed by the president/chairman who is assisted by vice president or vice chairman. Unlike the mayor a president has executive powers too. Compositions of council and reservation matters are mentioned in the constitution. standing committees are created to facilitate working of council and take decisions in own sphere viz. health, education etc. chief executive officer of the Municipality is responsible for implementation of decisions of council and standing committees.

C.   Notified area committee: Fast developing town or a town that doesn’t have all conditions necessary for a municipality. It is notified by government gazette. Provisions of state municipality act which apply to it are mentioned in the gazette. All members [including chairman] are nominated. It’s neither statutory nor elected.

D.    Town area committee: It is created by separate act of parliament. It can be elected or nominated.

E.   Cantonment board: for administration of a civilian population in a cantonment area [an area where military troops are permanently situated]. Established by a central legislation. It has partly elected and partly nominated members.

F.   Township: These are established by large enterprises. They are administered by people appointed by that enterprise from its own staff. Fully nominated body.

G.    Port trust: created by central act to manage and protect ports and provide basic civic amenities there. It has elected and nominated members but chairman is official.

H.    Special purpose agency: These are created by act of state legislature or executive order of department. They are function specific and carry out the function in the specified area independent of civic bodies.

Quiz

Score more than 80% marks and move ahead else stay back and read again!