Municipalities (Part IX – Art 243)

Municipal governance in India has existed since the year 1666, with the formation of Madras Municipal Corporation, and then Calcutta and Bombay Municipal Corporation in 1726. In the early part of the nineteenth century almost all towns in India had experienced some form of municipal governance.

According to the 1991 Census of India, there were 3255 urban local bodies (ULBs) in the country; classified into the four major categories of:

1. Municipal corporation (Nagar Nigam)
2. Municipality (municipal council, municipal board, municipal committee) (Nagar Parishad)
3. Town area committee
4. Notified area committee

The municipal corporations and municipalities are fully representative bodies, while the notified area committees and town area committees are either fully or partially nominated bodies.

As per the Constitution of India, 74th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1992, the latter two categories of towns are to be designated as municipalities or nagar panchayats with elected bodies.[2] Until the amendments in state municipal legislations, which were mostly made in 1994, municipal authorities were organised on an ultra vires (beyond the authority) basis and the state governments were free to extend or control the functional sphere through executive decisions without an amendment to the legislative provisions.

After the 74th Amendment was enacted there are only three categories of urban local bodies:

1. Mahanagar nigam (municipal corporation)
2. Nagar palika (municipality)

3. Nagar panchayat (notified area council, city council)

administrative structure of India
Image source: wikipedia

Also Read: Panchayat and Panchyat Raj Institutions

Scope of Municipalities

  1. Industrial townships, SEZs, NIMZ etc. or other factors criteria by the governor are excluded.

Composition of Municipalities 

  1. Apart from direct election, states can by law provide for representation of people having special knowledge of municipal administration, MPs, MLAs, chairman of planning committee in the municipal committees. 
  2. A municipality having a population of > 3 lacs will have wards committees as well. Delimitation of such wards and composition of such committees shall be as provided by state laws.
  3. Reservation pattern, qualifications, dispute resolutions similar to panchayats.

Dissolution of Municipalities 

  1. It can be dissolved only according to law and before dissolution a reasonable opportunity of being heard must be given to the municipality.  No law can be amended to force a dissolution of a municipality.


  1. As mandated in state laws. It can be planning, implementation of schemes, 12th schedule (recommendatory in nature and has 18 items).

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