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  • Urban Local government implies the governance of an urban area by the people through their elected representatives. 74th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992 provided constitutional status to local urban bodies.

74th Amendment Act, 1992

  • This Amendment Act has inserted a new Part IX an into the Constitution which deals with the administration of the Municipalities and Nagar Palikas. It Consists of Articles 243P to 243ZG. In addition the act also added a new twelfth Schedule to the Constitution. The act gave Constitutional Status to the municipalities.

Compulsory provisions ( binding on all States are) | URBAN GOVERNMENT | POLITY 

  • Constitution of Nagar panchayats, municipal councils and municipal corporations in transitional areas (areas in transition from a rural area to urban area), smaller urban areas and larger urban areas respectively;
  • Reservation of seats in urban local bodies for Scheduled Castes / Scheduled Tribes roughly in proportion to their population;
  • Reservation of seats for women up to one-third seats;
  • The State Election Commission, constituted in order to conduct elections in the panchayati raj bodies (see 73rd Amendment) will also conduct elections to the urban local self- governing bodies;
  • The State Finance Commission, constituted to deal with financial affairs of the Panchayati Raj bodies will also look into the financial affairs of the local urban self governing bodies;
  • Tenure of urban local self-governing bodies is fixed at five years and in case of earlier dissolution fresh elections are to be held within six months;

Voluntary provisions ( not binding, but are expected to be observed by the States) | URBAN GOVERNMENT | POLITY 

  • Giving representation to members of the Union and State Legislatures in these bodies;
  • Providing reservation for backward classes;
  • Giving financial powers in relation to taxes, duties, tolls and fees etc;
  • Making the municipal bodies autonomous and devolution of powers to these bodies to perform some or all of the functions enumerated in the Twelfth Schedule added to the Constitution through this Act and/or to prepare plans for economic development.

Constitution of Municipalities (243K and 243Q)

  • Clause 243K Provides that in every State, institutions of Self-Government, Called by a general name “Municipalities” will be Constituted. Such institutions will be of three types:
    • Nagar Panchayat, for a transitional area, i.e., an area which is being transformed from a rural area to an urban area.
    • Municipal Council for a Smaller Urban area.
    • Municipal Corporation for a larger urban area.
  • Article 243Q makes it obligatory for every State to Constitute Such Units. But if there is an Urban area or part of it where municipal Services are being provided or proposed to be provided by an industrial establishment in that area then considering also the Size of the area it is not mandatory to Constitute a Municipality.

Composition of Municipalities (243R)

  • The members of a Municipality would generally be elected by direct election from territorial Constituencies. The Chairperson Shall is elected in the manner provided by the Legislature. The Legislature of a State may by law provide for representation in a municipality, without right to vote in the meetings of the Municipality, of following people.
    • Persons having Special Knowledge or experience in municipal administration,
    • Members of Lok Sabha, State Assembly, Rajya Sabha and ‘Legislative Council and
    • The Chairpersons of Committees Constituted under CI. (5) of Art 243S.

Wards Committee (243S) | URBAN GOVERNMENT | POLITY 

  • It Provides for formation of Ward Committees, Consisting of One or more wards, in a Municipality having 3 lakh or more of Population. The State Legislature Shall make provision with respect to its Composition, territorial area and the manner in which the seats in a ward Committee Shall be filled, it is open for the State Legislature to Constitute Committees in addition to the Wards Committees.

Reservations of Seats for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Women (243T)

  • SCs and STs: As in part IX reservations of Seats are to be made in favour Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in every Municipality. All reservation in favour of Scheduled Castes and Tribes Shall come to an end with the expiry of the period Specified in Art. 334.
  • Women: Out of the total number of seats to be filled by direct elections at least 1/3rd would be reserved for women. This includes the quota for Women belonging to Scheduled Castes and Tribes. The 112th Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2009 Seeks to increase the percentage reservation for Women, for the posts of members and Chairpersons, from 33% to 50%.
  • Chairpersons: It has been left to the State legislature to prescribe by law the manner of reservation of the offices of the Chairpersons of Municipalities.
  • Backward Classes: It is permissible for a State Legislatures to make provisions for reservation of Seats or offices of Chairpersons of Municipalities.

Duration of Municipalities (243Q)

  • Every Municipality has a term of five years and every municipality is given a reasonable opportunity to be heard before its dissolution. An election to Constitute a Municipality Should be Completed Well before the expiry of the duration of five years and in case of dissolution before years term, within six months of date of dissolution.

Qualification for membership (243V)

  • The Qualification is the same as is required for being Chosen as a member of State Legislature. The Only difference is that Where as the minimum age for Contesting election here is 21 years [years in case of State Legislature (Article 173)].

Powers, Authority And Responsibilities Of Municipalities (243W)

  • Legislatures of States have been Conferred the Power to Confer on the Municipalities all Such Powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to function as institutions of self-government. It has specifically been mentioned that they may be given the responsibility of:-
    • Preparation of plans for economic development and Social Justice.
    • Implementation of Schemes as may be entrusted to them, and
    • In regard to matters listed in the 12th Schedule. This Schedule Contains 18 items, e.g., Urban Planning, Regulation of Land Use, Roads and Bridges, Water Supply, Public Health, Fire Services Urban Forestry, Slums etc.
  • Powers To Impose Taxes And Financial Resources
    • A State Legislature may by law authorize a Municipality to levy, Collect and appropriate taxes, duties, tolls etc.
    • The law may lay down the limits and prescribe the procedure to be followed. It Can also assign to a Municipality Various taxes, duties etc.
    • Collected by the State Government. Grants-in-aid may be given to the Municipalities, from the Consolidated Fund of the State.

State Finance Commission (243Y)

  • The Finance Commission Constituted under Article 243-I shall also review the financial position of the Municipalities and make recommendations as to:-
    • The distribution between the State and the Municipalities of the net proceeds of taxes, duties, tolls and fees leviable by the State Which may be divided between them and how allocation of Shares amongst Various levels of Municipalities.
    • The taxes, duties, tolls and fees may be assigned to the Municipalities.
    • Grant-in-aid to the Municipalities
    • The measures needed to improve the financial position of the Municipalities
    • Any other matter that may be referred to it by the Governor.
      Article 243Z provides for the audit of accounts of Municipalities.

Elections of Municipalities (243ZA) | URBAN GOVERNMENT | POLITY 

  • The State Election Commission appointed under Art 243K shall have the power of Superintendence, direction and Control of (i) the preparation of electoral rolls for, and (ii) the Conduct of all elections to the Municipalities. State Legislatures have been vested with necessary power to regulate by law all matters relating to elections to Municipalities.
  • Bar to interference by Courts in electrical matters : The Courts shall have no jurisdiction to examine the Validity of a law, relating to delimitation of Constituencies or the allotment of Seats made under Art. 243ZA. an election to a Municipality Can be Called in Question only by an election petition which Should be presented to Such authority and in Such manner as may be prescribed by or under any law made by the State Legislature.

District Planning Committees (243ZD) and Metropolitan Planning Committees (243E)

  • Apart from giving Constitutional recognition to Municipalities the 74th Amendment lays down that in every State two Committees Shall be Constituted.
    • At the district level a District Planning Committee [Art. 243D]
    • In every metropolitan area a Metropolitan Planning Committee [Art. 243ZB].
  • The Composition of the Committees and the manner in which the Seats are to be filled are to be provided by a law to be made by the State Legislature. But it has been laid down that,
    • In Case of the District Planning Committee at least 4/5th of the members Shall be elected by the elected members of the District level Panchayat and of the Municipalities in the district from amongst themselves. Their proportion would be in accordance with the ration of urban and rural population of the district.
    • In Case of Metropolitan Planning Committee at least 2/3rd of the members of the Committee Shall be elected by the Members of the Municipalities and Chairpersons of the Panchayats in the Metropolitan area from amongst themselves. The proportion of seats to be shared by them would be based on the ratio of the population of the Municipalities and the Panchayats in the area.
  • While the District Planning Committee is to prepare a development plan for the whole district, the Metropolitan Planning Committee Will prepares a development plan for the whole Metropolitan area.
  • The State Legislature Would by law makes provision with respect to:-
    • The functions relating to district planning/metropolitan planning that may be assigned to the district Committees, and
    • The manner in which the Chairperson of a district Committee may be Chosen.
    • The representation of the Central and State Governments and of  such organization and institutions in the Metropolitan Planning Committee as may be deemed necessary.

Key Urban Development Missions in India | URBAN GOVERNMENT | POLITY 

  • Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) was the recently concluded long running Urban Development Mission of Government of India. When it came to its closing stages, the Government of India launched 6 new missions.
  • The 6 new missions launched by Government of India are
    • Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT)
    • Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) – Housing for all (Urban)
    • Smart Cities Mission (SCM)
    • Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM)
    • Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY)
    • Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Urban Livelihood Mission (DAY-NULM)
  • Other Urban Development Projects
    • Industrial Corridors
    • Country Specific Tie-ups

Country Specific tie-ups for Urban planning and Development

  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Japan to convert Varanasi into Smart City with the help of the city of Kyoto.
  • The USA has expressed interest in turning 3 cities into smart cities – Allahabad, Ajmer, and Visakhapatnam.
  • India and China have also signed 3 Gujarat specific pacts.

Main Challenges in Urban Planning and Development

  • The HPEC (High Powered Expert Committee), the World Bank, and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) have provided analysis on the challenges affecting urban development in India.
  • Planning for land use and zoning
  • Creating a favourable environment for starting, operating and growing a business.
  • Functioning of the property market and property governance
  • Access to mass transit systems and road networks
  • Access to serviced land and affordable housing

Recommendations for Urban Planning in India

  • Create institutions to stimulate capacity building and attract talent to grow businesses.
  • Integrate Spatial Planning at all Government levels: National, State and City
  • Create a stable policy framework for private investment in urban infrastructure.




Indian Polity

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