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Municipal Corporation in India

The urban local government which works for the development of any Metropolitan City with a population of more than one million is known as the Municipal Corporation in India. The members of the Municipal Corporation are directly elected by the people and are called Councillors.



About Municipal Corporation in India

Municipal Corporations are local level governments in India. It’s also called as Mahanagar Palika, Nagar Palika, Nagar Nigam, City Corporation, etc. A city is administered by a Municipal Corporation if the population of that city exceeds one billion. Municipal Corporations are largely dependent on the property tax collected for their revenue. The other sources of revenue include water tax, professional tax, drainage tax, etc and some fixed aid from the state government. Mumbai Municipal Corporation or Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is the richest Municipal Corporation in India. Its budget exceeds than that of some of the smaller states of India.


Composition of the Municipal Corporation

Based on the population of that particular city, the city or Municipal Area is divided into certain wards. A representative is chosen for each ward by the people in that ward. A chosen representative of a particular ward is called as councilor or corporator. Corporators are elected for a period of five years.


Administration

Any party winning more than half the total seats of Municipal Corporation wins the election. The winning party gets to have its mayor in the Municipal Corporation. A mayor is the ceremonial head while the administrative head is the Municipal Commissioner. Municipal Commissioner is appointed by the state government who is an IAS office. The job of the Municipal commissioner is to implement the policies of the Municipal corporation and preparation of the budget. Whereas, the mayor assumed a political role.


Functions of the Municipal Corporation

  • Urban planning including town planning.
  • Regulation of land-use and construction of buildings.
  • Planning for economic and social development
  • Water supply for domestic, industrial and commercial purposes.
  • Public health, sanitation conservancy, and solid waste management.
  • Fire services.
  • Urban forestry, protection of the environment and promotion of ecological aspects.
  • Safeguarding the interests of weaker sections of society, including the handicapped and mentally retarded.
  • Slum improvement and up-gradation.
  • Urban poverty alleviation.

Who are the members of a Municipal Corporation

The Municipal Corporation consists of a committee which includes a Mayor with Councillors. The Corporations provide necessary community services to the Metropolitan Cities and are formed under the Corporation Act of 1835 of Panchayati Raj system. The Mayor heads the Municipal Corporation. The corporation remains under the charge of Municipal Commissioner. The Executive Officers along with the Mayor and Councillors monitor and implement the programs related to planning the development of the corporation. The number of Councillors also depends upon the area and population of the city. In India, the four metropolitan cities; Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, have the largest corporations.

Who conducts Municipal Corporation Elections

The elections to the Municipal Corporations are conducted under the guidance, direction, superintendence and control of the State Election Commission. The corporations fall under the State government jurisdiction, therefore there are no uniform provisions for the election of the municipal bodies. In some States, the elections are organised by the state governments, while in some states, the Executive Officers arrange the same.

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How are Municipal Corporation Elections conducted?

The members of the Municipal Corporation are elected by the people through direct elections. The elections are held for a particular ward in the city. The electoral roll of a particular ward elects the representative or Councillor for their ward. The electoral roll for each ward is divided in to one or several parts depending upon the area within the ward where the voters of each part reside. This means that the voters included in each part belong to a street or a road or a named area within that ward. The voters from all the parts together form the electoral roll of a particular ward.

Qualification for contesting Municipal Corporation elections

A person can contest elections for Municipal Corporation if he/she fulfills the following criteria:
  • She/he must be a citizen of India
  • She/he must have attained the age of 21 years
  • His/her name is registered in the Electoral Roll of a ward
  • She/he is not earlier disqualified for contesting Municipal Corporation elections.
  • She/he must not be an employee of any Municipal Corporation in India




There are few seats which are reserved for scheduled tribes, scheduled castes, backward classes and women. Every candidate's nomination form should have a declaration stating the class, caste, or tribe that she/he belongs to. There should be a declaration that the candidate is a woman, in case the seat is reserved for a women candidate.

The Term of a Municipal Corporation

The office of Municipal Corporation runs for a period of five years since the beginning of its first meeting. It is subject to dissolution under various circumstances:
  • If the State finds the Corporation lagging in its duties
  • If the State finds the corporation exceeding or abusing its power
  • Declaration of the Municipal elections in the State as void, or withdrawal of the entire area of the ward from the municipal operations.



Roles and Duties of a Councillor

The Councillors under the Municipal Corporations perform the following duties:
  • To work towards the welfare and interests of the municipality as a whole.
  • To participate in the council meetings, council committee meetings and meetings of other related bodies.
  • To participate in developing and evaluating the programs and policies of the municipality
  • To keep the privately discussed matters in council meetings in confidence.
  • To get all the information from the chief administrative officer about the operation and administration of the municipality.
  • To perform any other similar or necessary duties.

Last Updated on April 28, 2020