Other topics of interest
Deliberative Wing - City Government
- The Brihanmumbai Mahanagarpalika covers an area of over 437.71 Kms., catering to the civic needs of over 1,19,14,398 Citizens. There are approximately 1,23,167 employees in different categories. The Corporation operates an annual budgetory outlay of Rs. 7,577 Crores.
- Two different offices which hold the balance of prestige and powers in the City Government are those of the Mayor of Mumbai and the Commissioner. The office of Mayor combine a functional role of Chairing the Corporation meetings as well as ceremonial role associated with being the first Citizens in the premier City of India. Thus the Mayor being the ceremonial head symbolizes their Corporation sprit. As per amended Act besides, the Mayor and a Dy. Mayor is appointed by the elected councillors. The tenure of the Mayor & the Dy. Mayor shall be of two and half years provided.
- The Commissioner, a key figure in the local self government, is the executive head and is virtually under constant watch by the Citizens, Councillors, and the State Administration. Each section looks upon him expectantly for results in the administration. The Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act 1888, envisages separation of powers between the deliberative and executive functions making the Municipal Commissioner theoretically an all powerful executive head.
- The important issue, therefore, that characterises the city government is the relationship between the legislative and policy making bodies on the one side and the executive and administrative agencies on the other. This involves a healthy adjustment between the principle of democracy and the need for an efficient civic administration devoid of groupism. It rests on three principles:
- In the first place, it recognizes the distinction between policy making and policy executions,
Secondly, it entrusts the policy making function to the corporate body and the policy execution to a single individual the Commissioner, and
Thirdly, it makes the Commissioner more or less independent of the Corporation although the two always work in close co-operation.
The Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act of 1888, within the framework of which the Corporation and the Commissioner function, has specified nine statutory collateral authorities charged with the distinct responsibilities of City Government. Each operates within the limitations set for it. Though the executive authority vests in the Municipal Commissioner, the 227 elected representatives, the Municipal Councillors do exercise general authority over the civic affairs through budgetory and financial controls by determining taxes and allocating expenditure approving contracts and other financial proposals and approving appointments to senior posts.
Out of total 227 seats in the Coporation 5 seats of the Councillors are reserved for women candidate belonging to Scheduled Caste and 50 seats are reserved for women from open category.
Of the nine statutory authorities, six are deliberative namely
- (a) The Corporation;
- (b) The Standing Committee;
- (c) The Improvements Committee;
- (d) The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Committee;
- (e) The Education Committee and
- (f) The Wards Committees; all of whom, excepting the Improvements Committee, have powers to sanction funds, the remaining three are executive viz.
- (g) The Mayor,
- (h) The Municipal Commissioner; and
- (i) The General Manager, Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking.
Besides, Tree Authority, appointed by the Corporation consists of 14 Councillor Members (including the Commissioner who is the Chairperson of the Tree Authority) and the Chairman of the Markets and Gardens Committee, as an Ex-Officio Member and 10 Co-opted Members
Apart from the five Statutory Committees, the Corporation also has appointed six Special Committees, viz.
(1) The Works Committee (City);
(2) The Works Committee (Suburbs);
(3) The Public Health Committee;
(4) The Markets and Gardens Committee;
(5) The Law, Revenue and General Purposes Committee, and
(6) The Women and Child Welfare Committee, which deal with specified subjects covered by the designations of these Committees. In addition, a Consultative Committee viz. Grants-in-Aid Committee has also been constituted for submitting proposals to the Corporation for awarding grants to certain institutions.
There are Four Additional Municipal Commissioners and Dy. Municipal Commissioner/ Jt. Municipal Commissioner/-Director (Engineering Services and Projects) who assist the Commissioner in the overall management and supervision of the Administration in this Corporation.
The centralized administrative system came in for reorganisation in the year 1964, when for the first time the decentralized pattern was introduced. The object was to speed up disposal, improve efficiency and effect economy. In pursuance of this policy decision, the entire city is divided into six administrative zones with 24 wards. The six zones are supervised by the Deputy Municipal Commissioner/Jt. Municipal Commissioners with a certain number of Asstt. Municipal Commissioner working under them. In all there are fourteen Deputy Municipal Commissioners which include one post of Director (Engineering Services & Projects) and out of these fourteen posts , three are designated as Joint Municipal Commissioner. Out of these, six are territorial and eight functional. While the territorial D.M.Cs. are in charge of certain wards, and the remaining are in charge of certain important departments, there is no rigid water-tight compartment in their functions and sometimes the functional Deputy Municipal Commissioners are also asked to supervise some of the Wards depending upon the exigencies of work in the Corporation.
So far, laws regarding Municipalities were passed mainly by the State Legislature. The recent 74th Amendment to the Constitution passed in 1992 has brought about radical changes and for the first time Municipalities have found a place in the country's constitution. By virtue of this amendment, the responsibility regarding economic planning and social justice has devolved on Municipalities, by special enactment of the State Legislature. The Constitution Amendment Act, also provides for establishment of Planning Committees for Districts and Metropolitan areas, as also at the Ward level. In accordance with this amendment, the Urban Local bodies are required to prepare co-ordinated plans for comprehensive development of areas within their jurisdiction and ensure social justice to the people. The plan for development of Brihanmumbai Mahanagarpalika to be so formulated could cover the activities not only of the Municipal Corporation but also of the State and Central Government, their statutory and non-statutory agencies, corporate and private sectors. The Indian Constitution has been amended with the purpose of making administration of Local Self Government more public oriented and decentralise powers. Accordingly, M.M.C. Act 1888, has been amended adding therein Section 50 TT which relates to the formation of the Wards Committees in the Jurisdiction of the Brihanmumbai Mahanagarpalika. The Corporation has, therefore, vide C. R. No. 1224 of 20-11-1997 form 16 Wards Committees and same are started functioning from January 2000.
- The functions of Wards Committees, as laid down in the M. M. C. Act, are as under
To dispose off expeditiously matters of citizens relating to water supply, drainage, cleanliness and storm water drains and other basic amenities and local civic amenities.
To consider proposals of expenditure on different Heads of Budget provisions relating to the said Wards, recommend the same and forward to M. C.
To give administrative approval to the plans & estimates upto Rs. 5 lacks for civic works in the area of Wards Committee for which certain budget provisions are sanctioned by the Corporation.