Urban Local Government Bodies Class 6 Civics Notes Maharashtra State Board
In the previous chapter, we have studied the nature of the local government bodies in the rural areas. In this chapter, we will learn something about the local government institutions in the urban areas. These include the Nagar Panchayat, the Municipal Council, and the Municipal Corporation. Our country has a large number of towns and cities and they are growing rapidly. Villages are growing into towns, towns into cities, and cities into metropolises. The rural areas neighboring cities are also being transformed.
Facilities in Cities:
- Opportunities for industry and business.
- Expanding service sector.
- Large-scale opportunities for jobs.
- Availability of facilities for entertainment, art, culture, etc.
Problems in Cities:
- Shortage of housing.
- Insufficient space.
- Traffic congestion.
- The problem of disposal of waste.
- Increasing crime.
- A large proportion of the population in slums.
The villages that are in the process of becoming towns have a Nagar Panchayat. We see some areas which are neither fully rural nor fully urban. In such areas, the local government body is the Nagar Panchayat. As with other local bodies, elections to a Nagar Panchayat are held every five years. The elected members choose a President and a Vice-President from among themselves.
The Municipal Council
The Municipal Council is the local government body for small cities. Elections to the Council are held every five years. The elected representatives function as Councillors. As per the recent changes in the Act relating to Municipal Councils, the President is elected directly by the people. There is a provision to hold the election of the President simultaneously with the general election of the Council.
The President of the Municipal Council is the chairman of all its meetings. He controls the workings of the Council and keeps a watch on the financial administration of the Council. In the absence of the President, the Vice-President looks after the work of the Council. There are some functions that are binding on the Council. These are known as obligatory functions, for example, lighting public streets, providing drinking water, public hygiene, sewage disposal, registration of birth/death/marriage, etc.
The Municipal Council also tries to provide additional facilities to the people and these functions are known as ‘discretionary functions’. Planning new public roads and acquiring the necessary land, improving the condition of slums, creating public gardens and parks, and providing secure shelters for cattle are some of the ‘discretionary’ functions of the Municipal Council. For every Municipal Council, there is a Chief Officer. He implements the decisions taken by the Municipal Council. There are several officers who assist him.
Appeal from the Municipal Council Calling all citizens to take the following measures to stop the breeding of mosquitoes and curb the spread of dengue:
- Do not stack old tires, coconut shells, empty cans, or boxes on your terrace or around your house.
- In case of persistent fever go to a doctor without delay.
- Keep your surroundings clean.
The local body that provides different services to the people in big cities is called a ‘Municipal Corporation’. The first Municipal Corporation in Maharashtra was established in Mumbai. The total number of members of a Municipal Corporation is determined so as to be in proportion to the population of the city. The elections to the Corporation are held every five years. The elected members are known as Corporators. They elect a Mayor and a Deputy Mayor from among themselves. The Mayor is considered to be the first citizen of the city. He presides over all the meetings of the Corporation. Many important issues regarding the city are discussed, and decisions regarding the development of the city are made in the General Body meeting of the Corporation.
According to the changes introduced in the election process of the Municipal Corporation, multi-member wards are created. From each ward, not less than three and not more than five members are elected. The voter can cast as many votes as the number of members to be elected from the ward. Thus, a voter can cast four votes if four members are to be elected from the ward
The Committees of the Corporation:
The Corporation carries out its work through different committees. Some of the important committees are the Education Committee, Health Committee, Transport Committee, etc.
Administration of the Corporation:
The Municipal Commissioner is the head of the administration of the Corporation. He is responsible for implementing the decisions taken by the Corporation. For example, if a Corporation takes the decision of putting a ban on the use of plastic bags, then the actual implementation of this policy is done by the Commissioner. He also prepares the annual budget of the Corporation and remains present for the general body meetings.
The proportion of women in the total population is nearly half. Yet, very few women are seen to take part in the working of the government. Women handle issues like food, energy, and water every day as part of their daily routine but they have no say in the decisions regarding these issues. A woman takes care of the water in the house but she does not participate in dealing with water issues. With fifty percent reservation for women in the local bodies, they now have got an opportunity to resolve important issues.
Sources of Revenue of the Corporation
- House Tax
- Property Tax
- Water Tax
- Profession Tax
- Entertainment Tax
- Raising Loans
- State Government Grants
What is meant by Reservation? Why is it Necessary?
Out of the total number of seats to which people elect their representatives in a Gram Panchayat, Panchayat Samiti and Zilla Parishad, Municipal Council, and Municipal Corporation, some seats are reserved for members of the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and the Backward Class of Citizens. Only members from that specific category can be elected to the reserved seat. This is known as the reservation of seats. Also, out of the total number of seats, half of the seats are reserved for women. Reservation is necessary as it allows the deprived sections of society and women to take part in the working of villages and cities and to participate in the decision-making process. In a democracy, it is important that all the people get an opportunity to participate in all the processes.
Detailed Maharashtra State Board Class 6 Civics Notes Urban Local Government Bodies are particularly useful for answering essay questions.