Municipal governance in India has started with the formation of Madras Municipal Corporation in 1687.As per the Constitution of India, 74th Amendment Act of 1992, following is the Administrative structure of India:-

  • Mahanagar Nigam (municipal corporation)
  • Nagar Palika (municipality)
  • Nagar Panchayat(notified area council, city council)

Municipal Governance

Suggested Municipal Functions

The suggested functions to municipal corporations, municipalities and nagar panchayats are listed in the table below.

Essentially Municipal Functions Municipal Corporation Municipal Council Nagar Panchayat
Urban planning including town planning Yes Yes Yes
Regulation of land-use and construction of buildings Yes Yes Yes
Planning for economic and social development Yes Yes Yes
Roads and bridges Yes Yes Yes
Water supply domestic, Industrial and commercial purposes Yes Yes Yes
Public health, sanitation, conservancy and solid waste management Yes Yes Yes
Fire services Yes Yes No
Urban forestry Yes Yes Yes
Preventive Health Care Yes Yes Yes
Provision of urban amenities and facilities such as parks, gardens, playgrounds Yes Yes Yes
Burials and burial grounds, cremations, cremation ghats/grounds and electric crematoria Yes Yes Yes
Cattle pounds, prevention of cruelty to animals Yes Yes Yes
Vital statistics including registration of births and deaths Yes Yes Yes
Street lighting Yes No Yes
Parking lots, bus stops and public conveniences Yes Yes Yes
Regulation of slaughter houses and tanneries Yes Yes Yes
Slum improvement and up gradation Yes Yes Yes
Agency Functions
Protection of the environment and promotion of ecological aspects Yes Yes Yes
Safeguarding the interests of weaker sections of society, including the handicapped and the mentally retarded Yes Yes Yes
Urban poverty alleviation Yes Yes Yes
Promotion of cultural, education and aesthetic aspects Yes Yes Yes
Primary Education Yes Yes Yes
Primary Health Care Yes Yes Yes

Municipal Corporation (Nagar Nigam/Mahanagar Palika)

Municipal Corporation or Nagar Nigam or Mahanagar Palika or by some other names in different states  in India are state government formed departments that works for the development of a metropolitian city, which has a population of more than 1 million. The growing population and urbanisation in various cities of India were in need of a local governing body that can work for providing necessary community services like health centres, educational institutes and housing and property tax. The largest corporations are in the eight metropolitan cities of India, namely Delhi,Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Pune.

Municipality (Nagar Palika) (Nagaratchi)

In India, a Nagar Palika or Municipality or is an urban local body that administers a city of population 100,000 but less than 1,000,000. However, there are exceptions to that, as previously nagar palikas were constituted in urban centers with population over 20,000 so all the urban bodies which were previously classified as Nagar palika were reclassified as Nagar palika even if their population was under 100,000. Under the Panchayati Raj system, it interacts directly with the state government, though it is administratively part of the district it is located in. Generally smaller district cities and bigger towns have a Nagar palika.

The members of the Nagar palika are elected representatives for a term of five years. The town is divided into wards according to its population, and representatives are elected from each ward. The members elect a president among themselves to preside over and conduct meetings. A chief officer, along with officers like an engineer, sanitary inspector, health officer and education officer who come from the state public service are appointed by the state government to control the administrative affairs of the Nagar Palika.

Notified Area (Nagar Panchayat) (Perooratchi)

A Nagar Panchayat or Notified Area Council or City Council is a form of an urban political unit in India comparable to a municipality. An urban centre with more than 11,000 and less than 25,000 inhabitants is classified as a “Nagar Panchayat”.

Each Nagar Panchayat has a committee consisting of a chairman with ward members. Membership consists of a minimum of ten elected ward members and three nominated members. The N.A.C. members of the Nagar Panchayat are elected from the several wards of the Nagar Panchayat on the basis of adult franchise for a term of five years. There are seats reserved for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, backward classes and women. The Councillors or Ward Members are chosen by direct election from electoral wards in the Nagar Panchayat.