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Urban Administration Facts

Civics | 7-14 yrs | Interactive

What is urban?

An urban area is a human settlement with high population density and infrastructure. They are categorised as cities and towns.

For the Census of India 2011, the definition of urban area is as follows:

1. All places with a municipality, corporation, cantonment board or notified town area committee, etc.
2. All other places which satisfied the following criteria:

a) A minimum population of 5,000
b) At least 75% of the male, main working population is engaged in non-agricultural pursuits
c) A density of population of at least 400 persons per sq. km

What is urban administration in India?

Municipal governance in India has been in existence since 1687, first with the formation of the Madras Municipal Corporation and then Calcutta and Bombay Municipal Corporation in 1726.

By the early 19th century, almost all towns had municipal governance of some type or the other.

With rapid urbanisation, and cities and town contributing to 60% GDP, it becomes very important to develop an efficient urban or municipal governance.

What are the main features of municipal governance?

The main features of municipal governance are :
To create an effective, responsive, democratic, transparent, accountable local governance.
To provide a responsive policy guidance and assistance to sub-national entities.
To strengthen the legal, fiscal, economic and service delivery functions of municipalities.
To foster greater citizen participation in the governance of local bodies.

What is the Nagar Palika Act or the Municipal Act?

The Nagar Palika Act or the Municipalities Act, 1992 set up through the 74th Amendment Act, also provides for a three-tier municipal system in the urban centres. It is similar to the Panchayati Raj system in rural areas.

The Twelfth Schedule of Constitution (Article 243 w) provides an illustrative list of eighteen functions, that may be entrusted to the municipalities. Reservation of seats for ST, SC, OBC & women are similarly provided as in the Panchayati Raj system.

The Nagar Palikas/Municipals are to work as instruments of development and planning and also to handle funds for local activities.

What is the structure of municipal governance of a metropolis?

The structure of municipal governance of a metropolis is as follows :

1. Municipal Corporation

It is the topmost urban local body with a population more than 3,00,000. It is set up under the special statute passed by the respective state’s legislature. Except Delhi, which is the National Capital, the power to set up a Municipal Corporation, lies with the Union Parliament.

2. Councillors

Members of the Municipal Corporation are elected on the basis of universal adult suffrage for a period of five years and they are called Councillors.
These Councillors, collectively called the Municipal Council, exercise deliberative functions and the executive functions are performed by the Municipal Commissioner.

3. Municipal Commissioner and Mayor

The Municipal Commissioner is an Indian Administrative Services(IAS) official appointed by the state government and has executive powers of the government of Municipal Corporations.The other executives known as the Mayor and Deputy Mayor are political executives elected for a period of one year by the members of the Corporation. The Mayor is an honorary head of the corporation and presides over the meetings of the corporation.

What are the functions of municipal corporations?

  1. The Municipal Corporations of cities are involved in providing amenities to the citizens of the city.
  2. Obligatory Basic Amenities
  3. Clean water and construction, and maintenance of water works
  4. Supply of electricity
  5. Road transport services
  6. Construction
  7. City maintenance
  8. Health and life services like crematorium, burial facilities, birth and death registrations
  9. Law and order
  10. Waste and sewage management

Discretionary

  1. Construction of garden, parks, libraries, museums, theatres, and stadiums
  2. Providing affordable, public housing
  3. Planting roadside trees and plants
  4. Providing relief shelters to destitutes and disabled persons
  5. Civil reception VIPS
  6. Registration of marriages, organisation and management of fairs and exhibitions
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