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 By definition, they are populous areas—in between officially urban and rural India— where farming has been replaced by other professions or businesses as the main source of livelihood.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.”