Municipal bodies not empowered enough, says Naidu

Thursday, Jul 31, 2014,16:59 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Most of the states have not met the requirements of the Constitution (74th Amendment) Act 1992 in respect of devolution of powers and responsibilities to municipal bodies, Rajya Sabha was informed today. Most municipal bodies in the country are financially constrained and lack capacity to discharge functions as per the 74th Constitution, Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu said in a written reply. The implementation of the 74th Amendment to the Constitution empowers municipal bodies with transfer of funds, functions and functionaries for effective local governance.

Naidu said that only ten of the 29 states have transferred functions under 12th Schedule to the urban local bodies. The states include-Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Punjab. The Minister further said, under Article 243ZE of the Constitution, 14 states were required to constitute Metropolitan Planning Committees for all metropolitan areas but only six states have done so. These include  Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.

The states which are still to constitute such committees are Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, MP, Uttar Pradesh and the newly formed state of Telangana. Inadequate devolution of functions and finances to urban local bodies has been identified as one of the major hurdles in improving urban governance which in turn has adversely impacted implementation of various urban development initiatives.