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Indian Polity / Local Self Governments

Urban Local Self Government in India

74th Amendment accorded Constitutional status to Nagar Palikas under PART IX A, Articles 243(P) to 243(ZG). 12th Schedule deals with functions of Nagar Palikas. 18 functions are given to Nagar Palikas.

Local Government at Urban Level

  • The 74th Amendment Act talks about three types of Nagar Palikas

    • Nagar Panchayat or Notified Area Council for a transitional area transforming from rural to urban.

    • Municipal Council for a relatively smaller urban area.

    • Municipal Corporation for a relatively larger urban area.

    • Governor of a State defines the criteria for dividing an area into transitional area or smaller urban area or larger urban area.

  • The members of all three categories of Urban Local Bodies are elected directly for the term of 5 years from territorial constituencies in the urban area known as Wards.

    These members are called Ward members in case of Nagar Panchayats and Municipal Councils and Corporators in case of Municipal Corporations.

    The Chairman for Nagar Panchayat and Municipal Council is elected indirectly from amongst the Ward members. The Mayor for Municipal Corporation can be elected directly or indirectly.

  • MLAs, MLCs and MPs, who are registered voters in that urban area, will be ex-officio members in urban local bodies.

    Government can nominate some members, who are having experience or special knowledge in municipal administration. The Nominated Members will not be having the right to vote.

  • Some seats are reserved for the SCs and STs in proportion of their population. One third seats are set aside for women. Some states also provide reservation to Backward Castes also.

  • Functions of Nagar Panchayats - The functions include water supply, health, street lighting, drainage, primary education, sanitation, slum improvement, urban poverty alleviation programmes, etc.

  • The finances for Nagar Panchayat come from taxes on houses, vehicles, profession, trades, vacant lands, License fee charged for commercial establishments, Receipts from water supply, Grant from Central and State Governments, etc.

  • Functions of Municipal Councils - The functions include drainage, sweeping and scavenging, water supply, street lightning, registration of births and deaths, providing primary education, maintenance of streets and roads, public health, etc.

  • The revenues to Municipal Councils include taxes levied on property, trade, vehicles, octroi, etc. Other revenues include Grants-in-aid received from Central and State Governments, tax share from state revenues, fines and penalties that are imposed, etc.

  • Functions of Municipal Corporations - The functions include public health, sanitation, water supply for the industrial and domestic purpose, slum improvement, maintaining streets, roads and parks, urban poverty alleviation programmes, registration of births and deaths, regulating the slaughterhouses and tanneries, etc.

  • The finances for Municipal Corporations include taxes on houses, properties, trade and professions, octroi duty, entertainment tax, tax on vehicles, rents on properties, fees collected on advertisements, proceeds from sale of its properties, etc.

Extra Information

  • Ward Committee - 74th Amendment Act provides for establishing Ward Committees consisting of one or more wards in Municipalities having population 3 lakhs and above. These Committees consist of ward members and other members as defined by respective State law.

  • District Planning Committee - The Act also provides for establishing a District Planning Committee to coordinate the plans prepared by Panchayats and Municipalities in the district and for preparing or developing the draft development plan for the whole district.

    Not less than 4/5th members from Municipalities and Panchayats will have representation in this Committee. The Committee members are elected amongst the elected members of these local bodies in accordance with their population ratio.

  • Metropolitan Planning Committee - A Metropolitan Planning Committee must be established for every Metropolitan area in order to coordinate the plans of the Municipalities and Pachayats that come under the Metropolitan area.

    Not less than 2/3rd members of the Committee shall be elected among elected members of the Municipalities and chairpersons of the Panchayats in the Metropolitan region in proportion of the population ratio of Municipalities and Panchayats in that area.