Nagpur: The Presidents of Nagar Parishads (Municipal Councils) in the State, elected directly by people in the four-phased civic polls that concluded on Sunday (January 8), will have more powers in administration and financial matters to implement welfare and development projects.
The decision to empower Municipal Council Presidents was necessary in view of councilors of different political parties and organizations being elected in the polls. For example, if a BJP candidate is elected directly by people as President of a Nagar Parishad and the councillors of rival parties get elected, it could lead to curtailing development and welfare plans of the elected President. Keeping in mind the problematic situation, Maharashtra Government decided to revive the process of direct elections for Municipal Council presidentship and empowering the elected Presidents in administration and financial matters.
A Bill to this effect was tabled in Legislative Assembly during the Winter Session of State Legislature. The Bill was passed unanimously after a threadbare discussion. The State Government had implemented this process during 2002-06 before discarding it and reverting to the election process which existed before 2002 where the Municipal Council President was elected by the councillors.
The directly elected presidents of Municipal Councils are now have given more administrative and financial powers to implement welfare and infrastructure projects and the local councillor and the president works at the grassroots level and has understanding of the need of civic infrastructure in an area be it construction of roads, reservation on plots.
The decision necessitated amendment to Section 51 of the Maharashtra Municipal Councils, Nagar Panchayats and Industrial Townships Act, 1965. The Act earlier provided for the elected councillors to elect the president from among themselves.
The four-phased elections to the 223 Municipal Councils in the state were conducted recently with the last phase concluding on Sunday (January 8). The 223 Municipal Councils are categorized in A, B and C category depending upon the population. The A class councils with a population ranging between 8,000 to one lakh, have minimum 38 councilors and not more than 65 councilors. The B class councils having population ranging between 5,000 to 40,000, have a minimum of 23 councilors and not more than 37 councilors. Whereas the C class councils having a population ranging between 3,000 to 25,000, have a minimum of 17 councilors and note more than 23 councilors.