Hyderabad: The State government expedited efforts to bring a comprehensive Municipal Act for getting all existing Municipal Acts under one umbrella.
The latest move will help the State government streamline administration and budget allocations to all Urban Local Bodies (ULBs).
It also proposed to increase the number of ULBs by 40 from the existing 73, including Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC). After considering financial and administrative feasibility, the officials are confident of creating at least 25 new ULBs soon after the existing tenure of gram panchayats ends.
Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation Act, Telangana State Municipal Corporations Act, Telangana State Municipalities Act, Telangana Municipal Laws and Urban Development Authorities’ (Amendments) Act and other legislations are currently under implementation in the State. While GHMC is governed by Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation Act, other ULBs, including municipal corporations, municipalities and nagara panchayats, are governed by different legislations.
After the formation of the State, Telangana witnessed rapid urbanisation in both Hyderabad and tier-2 cities. With different legislations, rules differ in ULBs to issue permissions for building construction, layout or building regularisation, administration, fund allocations and others. “This has been hampering implementation of the government decisions and schemes. We are unable to implement uniform norms in all ULBs and are forced to issue separate government orders for every decision taken by the State government,” a senior officer in the Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MA&UD) Department told Telangana Today.
Following instructions from Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, the officials are currently studying the existing Acts and will submit a report for clubbing them to bring out a unified Municipal Act. The officials said that focus was on strengthening the ULBs and simplify norms to remove obstacles for expansion of cities.
Last year, the State government made amendments to the existing Acts to streamline transfers between GHMC and other municipal bodies, they pointed out. Reforms have been implemented in five municipal corporations and other municipalities which resulted in the effective implementation of building norms and property tax collection.
New municipalities likely
Meanwhile, the State government has set in motion the process for the formation of new ULBs and gram panchayats. The government is examining proposals for the creation of 40 new municipalities and also expansion of existing municipal bodies. The officials co19nfirmed that at least 25 new ULBs would be created, including upgradation of existing municipalities and nagara panchayats to municipal corporations and municipalities, respectively.
“We have received necessary proposals from the district administrations. Currently, the proposals are being scrutinised and a report would be submitted to the government shortly,” the MA&UD officials said. They said upgradation and expansion of ULBs would not only ensure effective administration and accelerate urbanisation, but would also ensure planned development.
The government deputed a team of officials to identify areas which were in the close vicinity of municipalities that could be merged with the respective urban bodies. These officials would hold discussions with the Collectors and other senior officials concerned to consider finance, administrative and other aspects. The Collectors have been directed to send hard and soft copies of their proposals along with the maps of the proposed ULBs.
Consequently, the government sought from district administrations the list of nagara panchayats that qualify for the upgradation to municipalities. After the new Panchayat Raj and Municipal Acts come into force, the government will denotify all such gram panchayats to facilitate upgradation as municipalities.
Easing The System
Existing number of Urban Local Bodies (ULB) – 73
Proposal to create 40 new ULBs
Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation Act, Telangana State Municipal Corporations Act, Telangana State Municipalities Act, Telangana Municipal Laws and Urban Development Authorities’ (Amendments) Act in vogue now
Implementation of govt decisions, schemes hampered by different rules in ULBs
Officials studying existing Acts and will submit report to Cabinet Sub-Committee to bring in a unified Municipal Act