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No city govt 'controls' all 18 functions as per 74th Constitutional amendment

By Our Representative
A senior expert has revealed that despite more than a quarter of a century of the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act, which mandated setting up and devolution of powers to Urban local bodies (ULBs) or city governments are not abiding by its provisions. The Act, said Dr Soumyadip Chattopadhyay, senior fellow, Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI) and associate professor, Viswa Bharti University, mandates 18 principles be followed by the city government. “But not a single city government has control over all 18 functions”, he regretted.
According to Dr Chattopadhyay, who was participating in a webinar on re-thinking city governance amidst Covid-19 organised by the Centre for Habitat, Urban and Regional Studies (CHURS) and IMPRI, in association with the Department of Social Work, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli, urban local bodies are trapped in a vicious circle where paucity of resources leads to poor service delivery and thus, poor revenue generation.
According to the expert, it is important to identify functions of municipalities and weak financial health of city governments. Empowering city government is not a choice but a necessity in the current situation of pandemic, he said, even as proposing 3-Fs-Functions, Forms and Functionaries for effective administration of city governments.
Those who participated included Shipra Maitra, Delhi chair professor, Institute of Human Development; Bharathy Jayaprakash, chief financial controller, Esyasoft Technologies; Raj Cherubal, CEO, Chennai Smart City Ltd; Irudaya Rajan, professor, Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram; and Dr Simi Mehta, CEO and editorial director, IMRI.

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