More Municipal Corporations Announced in Gujarat: Nadiad and Porbandar-Chhaya Municipalities Elevated, State Total Reaches 17

In Gujarat, announcements have been made for more municipal corporations in the legislative assembly. The municipalities of Porbandar-Shayya and Nadiad will be elevated to the status of municipal corporations. Pankaj Desai’s request was also mentioned in the announcement made by the government minister Kanu Desai. Pankajbhai Desai expressed gratitude to the government in the assembly.

Currently, there are 8 municipal corporations in the state. Gujarat’s Finance Minister Kanu Desai presented the state’s financial budget for the year 2024-25, which included announcements to elevate more than 7 municipalities to municipal corporations. This includes Navsari, Gandhidham, Morbi, Vapi, Anand, Mehsana, and Surendranagar-Vadhvan. Today, the inclusion of two more municipalities has been announced.

Here is the list of active municipal corporations currently:

  1. Ahmedabad
  2. Surat
  3. Vadodara
  4. Rajkot
  5. Jamnagar
  6. Junagadh
  7. Gandhinagar
  8. Bhavnagar

The list of municipal corporations announced in the budget is as follows:

  1. Navsari
  2. Gandhidham
  3. Morbi
  4. Vapi
  5. Anand
  6. Mehsana
  7. Surendranagar-Vadwana

The list of municipal corporations announced today is:

  1. Porbandar-Chhaya
  2. Nadiad

The announcement made today states that the pace of urban development will accelerate, leading to increased well-being for citizens. According to Finance Minister Kanu Desai’s previous budget announcement, urbanization in the state is progressing rapidly. Currently, about 50% of the population resides in cities, a figure that is expected to increase to 75% by the year 2047. The focus is not only on housing urban populations but also on economic development. The government is committed to robust urban planning for enhancing the quality of living. The conversion of Navsari, Gandhidham, Morbi, Vapi, Anand, Mahesana, and Surendranagar-Vadhvan municipalities into municipal corporations will pave the way for well-organized urban management. This decision is expected to expedite urban development and improve citizens’ quality of life. With today’s decision, two more municipalities are set to be upgraded to municipal corporations, which will significantly contribute to the development of these cities.

Minister Kanubhai Desai emphasized that for urban development, it is essential to ensure environmental conservation alongside infrastructural developments such as water supply, roads, and sewage systems. Our government is committed to advancing sustainable development by tackling pollution control and natural disaster management in cities. Cultural heritage plays a vital role in cities, and preserving cultural legacies will be integral to undertaking new initiatives. From good governance to technological innovations in urban management, our government is dedicated to building capable cities for the future.

According to the provisions of the law, if an area has a population exceeding 3 lakhs, the government can issue a notification to establish a municipal corporation, and in some cases, nearby villages can also be included to form a municipal corporation. Currently, entities operating under the Gujarat Municipalities Act of 1963 are managed by municipalities. Panchayats operate under the provisions of the Panchayat Act of 1963 for villages falling below the jurisdiction of municipalities. The Gujarat Provincial Municipal Corporation (GPMC) Act governs the administration. Instead of a Mayor, there is a Commissioner, and the positions of Mayor and deputy Mayor, along with other officials, have been introduced. While the Chief Officer’s class does not have technical functions, technical functions fall under the Commissioner’s authority, allowing for efficient operations. Corporations facilitate planned development, and urban growth, and ensure proper amenities such as drainage, water supply, and roads.

Tax collection by municipalities in corporations is higher. Major sources of revenue include property taxes, water charges, and sanitation fees. Additionally, corporations generate income by selling plots under town planning schemes and developing TP (Town Planning) schemes. They also receive grants from the state and central governments. However, municipalities must contribute 30% of the grant received. Despite this, 100% of the budget is spent on projects. Some projects receive 100% funding from the government. Changes in categories and benefits from the central and state governments can lead to increased expenditure. With larger corporations, budgets also increase. With expanded coverage, revenue streams increase. If an IAS officer is appointed, there is direct reporting to the government. If the Mayor and Standing Committee Chairman are in place, they can directly request approval for their projects from the government. However, there can be higher losses to cover, as criteria for both entities differ. The advantage is that better services are provided, and diverse reservations lead to improved facilities. Corporations make efforts to provide quality services in terms of infrastructure, roads, and amenities in urban and rural areas alike.

The establishment of a corporation does not incur additional expenses. The government approves, declares the area, and issues a notification under the GPMC (Gujarat Provincial Municipal Corporation) Act. Similarly, all other benefits that a metropolitan area receives, such as opening regional offices and appointing senior officials, are also provided. Moreover, the formation of a corporation results in increased amenities for citizens. There is no rule mandating liberation from taxes, but the corporation may choose not to raise them. This decision may offer some relief, such as the possibility of increasing industrial and commercial activity while keeping taxes and rental rates low. Policy-making power lies with the corporation. Since corporations have more power, decisions can be made swiftly.

Municipal corporations and municipalities hold authority, and if there is no power, the administration becomes ineffective. Initially, a demand notice is issued, which may not include additional charges. If the dues are not settled after the notice, interest starts accruing. If defaults persist, properties may be sealed. Furthermore, if the dues remain unpaid, revenue recovery action, including property seizure, may be initiated, which demonstrates the power vested in the corporation. Additionally, red corner notices may be issued. Each municipality or corporation calculates dues based on predefined criteria. Both corporations and municipalities have legal provisions, but corporations generally have slightly more authority.

Niyati Rao

Niyati Rao is a seasoned writer and avid consumer who specializes in crafting informative and engaging articles and product reviews. With a passion for research and a knack for finding the best deals, Niyati enjoys helping readers make informed decisions about their purchases.