Friday, January 7, 2011

Local Governing Bodies in Maharashtra

The Indian Administrative System is a three-tier-administrative system where control flows from upward to downward. Policies are formulated at upward level but their implementation flows towards downwards. The government in the centre is the major administrative body which administers the administration in every state.

Any administrative reform before implementation is present by the central government to get its approval from the Lok Sabha after approval from the Lok Sabha all the state governments are asked to implement the reforms in their respective states. This is the second tier of administrative system. The state government then forwards this responsibility to the local governance in each district to implement these reforms.
The local governance is third tier of the administrative set up. This local governance is divided into two tiers urban local government and rural local government.

Unlike several other states of India, the administrative system in Maharashtra is also divided into Urban Local Government and Rural Local Government. The urban government is managed by the Municipal Corporations and Rural Local Government is controlled by the Panchayati Raj System. The Panchayati Raj System is divided at three levels viz.,  Zila Parishad at the district level, Blocks at the middle level and Village Council at the lowest level.

In Maharashtra there are around 23 Municipal corporations which maintain the administration at local level. These Municipal Corporations are namely:

1.    Mumbai
2.    Navi Mumbai
3.    Thane
4.    Mira-Bhayandar
5.    Vasai-Virar
6.    Kalyan-Dombivli
7.    Ulhasnagar
8.    Bhiwandi-Nizampur
9.    Pune
10.    Pimpri-Chinchwad
11.    Kolhapur
12.    Sangli-Miraj-Kupwad
13.    Solapur
14.    Ahmednagar
15.    Nashik
16.    Malegaon
17.    Jalgaon
18.    Dhule
19.    Aurangabad
20.    Nanded-Waghala
21.    Akola
22.    Amravati
23.    Nagpur

The administration in rural areas lies in hands of Panchayati Raj (PR), from PR to Zilla Parishad at the district level, Blocks at the middle level and Village Council at the lowest level.

In Maharashtara there are 33 Zilla Parishads, 355 Panchayat Samiti’s and 28813 Gram Panchyats.

Rural Local Governance

Rural governance in India is based on the Panchayati Raj system. It is a three tier system, with the Zila Parishad at the district level, Blocks at the middle level and Village Council at the lowest level.

Zilla parishad

Zilla Parishad (commonly known as ZP)is a local government body at the district level in India. It looks after the administration of the rural area of the district and its office is located at the district headquarters.
There are 33 Zilla parishad in Maharashtra, one each in every district.

Panchayat samiti

Panchayat samiti is a local government body at the Tehsil or Taluka level in India. It works for the villages of the Tehsil or Taluka that together are called a Development Block. The Panchayat Samiti is the link between the Gram Panchayat and Zilla Parishad.
There are 355 panchayat samitis or block panchayat in Maharashtra.

Gram panchayat

Gram panchayats are local government bodies at the village level.

The Gram Panchayat is the foundation of the Panchayat System. A Gram Panchayat can be set up in villages with a population of more than five hundred. There is a common Gram Panchayat for two or more villages if the population of these villages is less than five hundred. It is called Group-Gram Panchayat.
There are 28813 gram panchayat in Maharashtra.

Evolution of Panchayat Raj IN MAHARASHTRA

Maharashtra has had a tradition of strong Panchayats even before enactment of the Seventy
Third Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992. It was the Bombay Village Panchayat Act of
1920 which for the first time provided for the functioning of statutory village Panchayats as
wholly elected bodies.
Anew law, The Bombay Panchayats Act, 1933 was enacted based on
the recommendation of Hatch Committee (1925). After the reorganization of states in 1956 a
comprehensive legislation of village Panchayats called the Bombay Village Panchayat Act
1958 was passed. This Act defines the duties, responsibilities and powers of the Village
Panchayats. After the setting up of the State of Maharashtra on 1st May 1960, the new
Government of Maharashtra set up a Committee directly under the Chairmanship of the then
Chief Minister, Shri V.P. Naik, on 27th June, 1960 for the strengthening of the Panchayats.
Based on the recommendations of the Committee, the State enacted the Maharashtra Zilla
Parishads and Panchayat Samitis Act 1961. The objective of the Act was “to provide for
establishment in rural areas, Zilla Parishad and Panchayat Samitis, to assign to them local
Government functions and to entrust the execution of certain works and development
schemes of the State Five Year Plan to such bodies, and to provide for the decentralization of
powers and functions under certain enactment to these local bodies for the purpose of
promoting the development of democratic institutions and securing a greater measure of
participation by the people in the State Plan and in local Government affairs. (Ministry of
Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, GoM, 2007,)

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