LOCAL BODIES – RURAL AND URBAN
* To know about the structure and functions of rural and urban local bodies.
* To know about the Grama Sabha and the purpose of Grama Sabha meeting.
* To understand the special features of Panchayatraj.
* To know about the participation of women in local bodies.
* To know about the election of local body and will observe the forthcoming election.
Nandhini is in standard VI. It was her custom to read the headlines in the newspaper loudly to her parents Mr. Namburajan and Mrs. Manimegalai. They would clear her doubts. Sometimes, children from their neighbourhood would also join her and each one will read an article loudly. As it was a Saturday, Johnson, Maran and Anwar were also in Nandhini’s house. Nandhini started to read an article from the newspaper.
“Nagercoil Municipality to become corporation soon”
She was about to read the next heading, but she had a doubt and asked her father.
“Father, what is a corporation?”
“The Government of Tamil Nadu will declare certain municipalities based on population and high revenue. That’s how Nagercoil has to be declared as a corporation too”, said her father Namburajan.
“Oh, if that is so, are there other corporations that exist already?”
“Yes, there are twelve corporations in Tamil Nadu”, said Namburajan.
The List of corporations in Tamil Nadu
The Chennai Corporation which was founded in 1688 is the oldest local body in India.
“Father, what about the place we live in” enquired Maran.
“We live in a Panchayat, Maran”.
“What is a Panchayat?”
“There are villages as well as cities in Tamil Nadu, aren’t there?”
“Won’t the needs of villages and cities differ? Our constitution has provided certain structures to fulfill the needs of the people.
Accordingly, the urban local bodies are categorized into City Minicipal Corporations, Municipalities and Town Panchayats, while the rural local bodies are categorised into Village Panchayats, Panchayat Unions and District Panchyats. These are together known as local bodies.”
“Oh, are there so many divisions?”
“Yes, I’ll tell you about them. Didn’t I tell you about the City Municipal Corporations?”
“Those areas which have a population of more than one lakh and a high amount of revenue and is found in the level below the City Municipal Corporation is called a Municipality.
• Walajahpet Municipality (Vellore District) is the first Municipality in Tamil Nadu.
• Kanchipuram District has the most number of municipalities.
“You mentioned something about towns”.
“A Town Panchayat has about 10,000 population. A Town Panchayat is between a village and a city.
There is something special about the Town Panchayat. Can anyone tell me what is it?”, asked Namburajan. Everyone was gazing at him. But none answered.
“Well, I’ll tell the answer myself.
Tamil Nadu was the first state to introduce a town Panchayat in the whole of India”.
All were amazed on hearing it.
A City Municipal Corporation has a Commissioner, who is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer. Government officials are deputed as Commissioners for the municipalities. The administrative officer of a Municipality is an Executive Officer (EO).
“You mentioned about Panchayats and Panchayat Unions”.
The Village Panchayats are the local bodies of villages. They act as a link between the people and the government. Villages are divided into wards based on their population. The representatives are elected by the people.
The Elected Representatives
1. Panchayat President
2. Ward members
4. District Panchayat Ward Councillor
Many village Panchayats join to form a Panchayat Union. A Councillor is elected from each Panchayat, isn’t it? Those councillors will elect a Panchayat Union Chairperson among themselves. A Vice Chairperson is also elected. A Block Development Officer (BDO) is the administrative head, of a Panchayat Union.
The services are provided on the Panchayat Union level.
Villupuram District has the highest number of Panchayat Unions (22), while The Nilgiris and Perambalur Districts have the lowest number (4).
A District Panchayat is formed in every district. A district is divided into wards on the basis of 50,000 population. The ward members are elected by the Village Panchayats. The members of the District Panchayat elect the District Panchayat Committee Chairperson. They provide essential services and facilities to the rural population and the planning and execution of development programmes for the district.
The local bodies are governed by the representatives elected by the people. The constituencies are called wards. People elect their ward members.
The Mayor of the City Municipal Corporation and the Municipal Chairperson are the elected representatives of the people. The people elect them. The Corporation Deputy Mayor and the Municipal Vice Chairperson are elected by the ward councillors” finished Namburajan.
“What are the benefits of local bodies, uncle?”
“There are many benefits. The services provided can be divided as obligatory functions and discretionary functions. These are provided by the local bodies.
Functions of the village Panchayat
* Water supply
* Street lighting
* Cleaning roads
* Drainage & sewage pipes system
* Laying down roads
* Activation of Central and State Government schemes
* Playgrounds, etc.
Functions of the City Municipal Corporation
* Drinking water supply
* Street Lighting
* Maintenance of Clean Environment
* Primary Health Facilities
* Laying of Roads
* Building flyovers
* Space for markets
* Drainage System
* Solid waste management
* Corporation schools
* Play grounds
* Birth and Death registration, etc. “So, who does all these works?”
“As per the decisions taken in the city Hall meetings, the commissioner or officers assign these works to their subordinate officers or other servants. Thus, they all work in various levels to get these public works done”.
“Will the Government provide funds for these services, father?”
“The Government directly allots funds for these works. The local bodies also collect revenue”.
Revenue of the Village Panchayat
* House tax
* Professional tax
* Tax on shops
* Water charges
* Specific fees for property tax
* Specific fees for transfer of immovable property
* Funds from Central and State Governments, etc.
Revenue of the City Municipal Corporation
* House Tax
* Water Tax
* Tax on shopping complexes
* Professional Tax
* Entertainment Tax
* Vehicle Charges
* Funds by Central and State Government, etc.
• Distinguish between rural and urban revenue and functions.
• Find out from your home: The taxes paid by your family.
“How are the Grama Sabha meetings held, uncle?” asked Maran.
“Grama Sabha meetings? In movies, I have seen elders sitting under trees and discussing important matters and take decisions,” said Johnson.
“No, no, both are different. A Grama Sabha is formed in every Village Panchayat. It is the only permanent unit in the Panchayat Raj System. Grama Sabha meetings are held even in smaller villages. The Grama Sabha is the grass root level democratic institution in a Village Panchayat”.
Those who have attained the age of 18 years and whose names are found in the electoral roll of the same Panchayat can take part in a Grama Sabha meeting. The Grama Sabha meetings are conducted four times a year. Officers like the District Collector, the Block Development Officer, teachers etc., also participate in this meeting. The people can freely express their needs and grievances”.
When are these meetings convened?
January 26, May 1, August 15 and October 2.
Apart from these days, the meetings can be convened as per need or during emergency.
These are called Special Grama Sabha meetings.
The teacher guides the student to visit the Grama Sabha meeting.
“Mahatma Gandhi advocated Panchayat Raj as the foundation of India’s political system, as a form of government, where each village would be responsible for its own affairs. The Panchayat Raj Act was enacted on April 24, 1992”.
April 24 is National Panchayat Raj Day.
Special features of Panchayat Raj
* Grama Sabha
* Three tier local body governance
* Panchayat Elections
* Finance Commission
* Account and Audit, etc
“Thank you very much, uncle. We really learnt a lot about local bodies”, said the children gratefully.
“I’m very happy that I could share so much with you today. That’s enough of reading newspapers. Go out and play now”, said Namburajan.
The children ran out to play joyously.
The Central Government gives awards to the best performing Village Panchayats. Find out if your village has received such awards.
Role of women in the Local Self Government
All local bodies have a reservation of 33% for women. In the 2011 Local Bodies election, 38% seats were won by women. As per the Tamil Nadu Panchayats(Amendment) Act, 2016, 50% reservation for women is being fixed in Panchayat Raj institutions.
Find out about the ward members of your area. Talk to the women members and discuss about their participation and experiences.
Local Body Election
The tenure for the representatives of local self Government is 5 years. The election to the Local Bodies is held once in five years by the State Election Commission. Every state has a State Election Commission. The Tamil Nadu State Election Commission is situated in Koyambedu, Chennai.
Village Panchayats - 12,524
Panchayat Unions - 385
District Panchayats - 31
Town Panchayats - 561
Municipalities - 125
City Municipal Corporations – 12
Think it over
Do you think the above numbers are stable? Find out about the recent changes.
What is the number of votes cast by rural and urban voters in a local body election?
Why are there only 31 district panchayats, but 32 districts?
Works carried out by local bodies durings natural disasters and out break of diseases.
1. Corporation - மாநகராட்சி
2. Municipality - நகராட்சி
3. Town Panchayat - பேரூராட்சி
4. Village Panchayat - கிராம ஊராட்சி
5. Panchayat Union - ஊராட்சி ஒன்றியம்
* Local bodies are structures to fulfill the needs of people.
* Panchayat, Panchayat Union and District Panchayat are rural local bodies.
* Town Panchayat, Municipality and Corporation are urban local bodies.
* Grama Sabha is the only permanent unit in a village Panchayat.
* Panchayat Raj System strengthened the local bodies.
* The election of local bodies take place in every five years.
Civics - Local body
Through this activity you will k aboutthe local body structure of India.
Step 1: Use the URL or scan the QR code to open the activity page.
Step 2: Click the “panchayat Raj” to know about panchayat rules and acts.
Step 3: Click the “Scheme” to know about state and central schemes of panchayat raj.
Step 4: Click the “map” option to know how many panchayat raj in tamilnadu.
*Pictures are indicatives only.
Browse in the link
Web: https://www.tnrd.gov.in/index.html (or) scan the QR Code