By Kalpana Sharma in infochange (full article here)
The 74th constitutional amendment has on paper devolved power to urban local bodies. But even a cursory look at small towns reveals that elected representatives have little knowledge of their powers or responsibilities, cannot read or frame budgets and fail to generate local resources for planned development. Many of these towns are still transitioning between large village and town, with even basic public services absent, particularly for the poor.
Lack of decentralization means municipalities lack power, resources to meet rising aspirations of ‘middle’ India.
An article of Live Mint, Tue, Apr 30 2013, by Elizabeth Roche | Liz Mathew | Shamsheer Yousaf.
“A corporation is difficult to deal with,” Hamid says. “There is a long procedure to get projects sanctioned. And then, you have to give bribes for projects that you want to undertake to various officials in the hierarchy. It’s only 35 paise out of every rupee that gets spent for the people and development, 65 paise goes as bribes. It is just a whole lot of trouble to be a part of the corporation.”
In contrast, a panchayat president is better empowered to do things for his people, says Hamid. “There is also a direct interface with the people, this is a very important position.”
Both Othakadai and Silaiman are listed as so-called census towns by the Tamil Nadu census commission website. By definition, they are populous areas—in between officially urban and rural India— where farming has been replaced by other professions or businesses as the main source of livelihood.
And Tamil Nadu is one among six states that have seen a proliferation of census towns, putting pressure on infrastructure and civic amenities. Other states where census towns have proliferated include West Bengal, Kerala, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.
“Tamil Nadu is most urbanized state in India, according to the 2011 census,” says Karen Coelho, assistant professor for urban governance and reforms at the Madras Institute for Development Studies. “With 44% urbanization, Tamil Nadu has beaten Maharashtra which was at the top in 2001.”
By KC Sivaramakrishnan (CPR)
The Indian Express, Wed May 01 2013
Why we need to revisit the 74th Amendment
The National Panchayati Raj Day to mark the enactment of the 73rd Constitutional Amendment was observed on April 24 with due ceremony but little hype. Whatever the reasons for the celebration, even those are not available for the 74th Amendment dealing with municipalities.
By Anil Kumar Vaddiraju:
Urban governance under the 74th Amendment Act has been ignored in Karnataka. A study of Dharwad district shows that the Act is not implemented in letter and spirit and governance and planning is done through a small section in the deputy commissioner’s/collector’s office and has no links with the chief planning office in the zilla panchayat.
Economic & Political Weekly, Vol – XLVIII No. 02, January 12, 2013