Managing Urbanization

Most of our metros and cities are under severe stress with inadequate social and physical infrastructure coupled with worsening pollution. Migration pressures are likely to increase. How do we make our cities more liveable? What can we do today to ensure that smaller cities and towns are not similarly overwhelmed tomorrow?

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What governance reforms are required to make ULBs economically viable? What have been the best practices in this regard outside the country and within the country and can they be replicated?

Postby chanana.ak@nic.in » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:16 am

What governance reforms are required to make ULBs economically viable? What have been the best practices in this regard outside the country and within the country and can they be replicated?
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Re: What governance reforms are required to make ULBs economically viable? What have been the best practices in this regard outside the country and within the country and can they be replicated?

Postby jitendrap@cdac.in » Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:15 pm

e-Governance could be best solution to make our Urban Body economically viable. Because of, if we able to computerize entire Municipal Area i.e. Land, House Holds, Hospitals, Educational Institutions, Business Entities then we can track the activities of these institutions and also collect taxes from them. Like in every city most the House Owner are giving their houses on rent but hardly they are paying Income Tax for that and also government unable to control the rent. Second important thing is our city is growing day by day but in same way Municipalities are not developing infrastructure for that and this demand and supply gap is increasing. Here, problem with Municipal Authority is that they don't have actual data on any activity i.e. How many new houses constructed every month/ year in the city or How many child have born in the city? If we able to computerize the Municipal Area then we will able to plan for revenue generation and infrastructure development.
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Re: What governance reforms are required to make ULBs economically viable? What have been the best practices in this regard outside the country and within the country and can they be replicated?

Postby manioberoi@gmail.com » Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:35 pm

If the Prime Minister and the Congress High Command really have the political will, (they have both stated on 02 October 2010 that Chief Ministers are the real stumbling block for obstructing the 74th Amendment), then the 74th Amendment could be implemented by a pincer movement using the following hard strategy ending in Paras (10) and (11) below:

(1) Direct the Chief Ministers (and the Union Home Minister for Union Territories) to STOP VIOLATING PART IV OF THE CONSTITUTION (BASIC STRUCTURE), which they have been doing with impunity for last 17 years, and implement in letter and spirit, within 6 months, the decentralisation of executive including powers of conditional and subordinate legislation (but not legislative powers under List II) to Urban Local Bodies where the real power must be with the citizen and not the politico-bureaucratic nexus (this involves setting up a referendum system and an independent and competent Lok Ayukta on the lines of L Chandra Kumar v Union of India case 1997).

(2) The Union Government probably does not know or does not want to know that it has power under Article 141 Law of the land to dismiss a State Government for continued violation, for 17 years, of basic structure of the Constitution under Article 356, that is "misuses its power contrary to the basic scheme and purpose of the Constitution "

(3) In a telling commentary reported by the Supreme Court in a 1994 judgement at 1994 AIR 2075:

"S/Shri Soli Sorabjee, Ram Jethmalani and Shanti Bhushan, learned counsel for the petitioners submitted, on the other hand, that the action of the president under Article 356 is not beyond judicial scrutiny. The Constitution does not create any such immunity and it would not be desirable to infer any such immunity by a process of reasoning or as a matter of self-restraint by this Court. The power has been used more often than not for purposes other than those contemplated by Article 356. The provision has been abused Repeatedly over the years reducing the State Governments and the State Legislatures to the status of mere municipalities."

(4) 1994 AIR 2021: "The political party or the political executive securing the governance of the State by securing majority in the legislature through the battle of ballot throughout its tenure by its actions and programmes, it is required to abide by the Constitution and the laws in letter and spirit."

(5) 1994 AIR 2006:"power of the President under Article 356 is not unfettered nor unlimited; its exercise is dependent upon the existence of an objective fact, namely a situation has arisen in which the Government of the State cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. This condition precedent is sine qua non to the exercise of power and issuance of the Proclamation under Article 356. The Proclamation must set forth the grounds and reasons for reaching the satisfaction supported with the materials or the gist of the events in support thereof. The grounds and reasons should be cogent and credible and must bear proximate nexus to the exercise of the power under Article 356. The breakdown of the constitutional machinery is generally capable of objective determination. The power under Article 356 cannot be exercised on the basis of the report of the Governor or otherwise of an inefficient or malfunctioning of the Government or mere violation of some provisions of the Constitution. It could be exercised only when the Government misuses its power contrary to the basic scheme and purpose of the Constitution"

(6) 1994 AIR 1979: "History warns us that the frustration with democracy has often in the past, led to an invitation to fascism and dictatorship of one form or the other.... The Presidential power under Article 356(1) has also to be viewed from yet another and equally important angle. Decentralisation of power is not only valuable administrative device to ensure closer scrutiny, accountability and efficiency, but is also an essential part of democracy. It is for this purpose that Article 40 in Part IV of our Constitution dealing with the Directive Principles of State Policy enjoins upon the State to take steps to organise village panchayats and endow them with such powers and authorities as may be necessary to enable them to function as units of self governance. The participation of the people in the governance is a sine qua non of democracy. The democratic way of life began by direct participation of the people in the day to day affairs of the society. With the growth of population and the expansion of the territorial boundaries of the State, representative democracy replaced direct democracy and people gradually surrendered more and more of their rights of direct participation, to their representatives. Notwithstanding the surrender of the requisite powers, in matters which are retained, the powers are jealously guarded and rightly so. If it is true to say that in democracy, people are sovereign and all power belongs primarily to the people, the retention of such power by the people and the anxiety to exercise them is legitimate. The normal rule being the self-governance, according to the wishes expressed by the people, the occasions to interfere with the self- govemance should both be rare and demonstrably compelling."

(7) 1994 AIR 2000:"Through the Preamble of the Constitution, the people of this country have solemnly resolved to constitute this country, among others, into a secular republic and to secure to all its citizens (i) JUSTICE, social, economic and political;......Article 51-A casts a duty on every citizen [includes all central govt ministers and bureaucrats] of India, among others, (a) to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions"

(8) 1994 AIR 2010: "The Constitution decentralises the governance of the States by a four tier administration i.e. Central Government, State Government, Union Territories, Municipalities and Panchayats. See the Constitution for Municipalities and Panchayats : Part IX (Panchayats) and Part IX-A (Municipalities) introduced through the Constitution 73rd Amendment Act, making the peoples’ participation in the democratic process from grass-root level a reality. Participation of the people in governance of the State is sine qua non of functional democracy. Their surrender of rights to be governed is to have direct encounter in electoral process to choose their representatives for resolution of common problems and social welfare. Needless interference in self-governance is betrayal of their faith to fulfil self-governance and their democratic aspirations. The constitutional culture and political morality based on healthy conventions are the fruitful soil to nurture and for sustained growth of the federal institutions set down by the Constitution. In the context of the Indian Constitution federalism is not based on any agreement between federating units but one of integrated whole"

(9) Article 356 reads as follows:
"356. Provisions in case of failure of constitutional machinery in States.- (1) If the President, on receipt of report from the Governor of a State or otherwise, is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the Government of the State cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution, the President may by Proclamation-
(a) assume to himself all or any of the functions of the Government of the State and all or any of the powers vested in or exercisable by the Governor or anybody or authority in the State other than the Legislature of the State;
(b) declare that the powers of the Legislature of the State shall be exercisable by or under the authority of Parliament;
(c) make such incidental and consequential provisions as appear to the President to be necessary or desirable for giving effect to the objects of the Proclamation, including provisions for suspending in whole or in part the operation of any provisions of this Constitution relating to anybody or authority in the State :

Provided that nothing in this clause shall authorise the President to assume to himself any of the powers vested in or exercisable by a High Court, or to suspend in whole or in part the operation of any provision of this Constitution relating to High Courts.

(10) Union of India should approach the Supreme Court in a petition against all States (after making Union Home Ministry implement 74th Amendment in Union Terrirtories) to implement 74th Amendment in 6 months time in accord with Article 40 (and Part IX and IXA which are extensions of Article 40).

(11) Keeping Supreme Court in confidence, if any State Govt continues to violate basic structure of the Constitution, dismiss that Govt under Article 356 and take over the State and implement 74th Amendment in letter and spirit.
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Re: What governance reforms are required to make ULBs economically viable? What have been the best practices in this regard outside the country and within the country and can they be replicated?

Postby mpalia.sirt@gmail.com » Sat Jul 09, 2011 5:40 am

jitendrap@cdac.in wrote:e-Governance could be best solution to make our Urban Body economically viable. Because of, if we able to computerize entire Municipal Area i.e. Land, House Holds, Hospitals, Educational Institutions, Business Entities then we can track the activities of these institutions and also collect taxes from them. Like in every city most the House Owner are giving their houses on rent but hardly they are paying Income Tax for that and also government unable to control the rent. Second important thing is our city is growing day by day but in same way Municipalities are not developing infrastructure for that and this demand and supply gap is increasing. Here, problem with Municipal Authority is that they don't have actual data on any activity i.e. How many new houses constructed every month/ year in the city or How many child have born in the city? If we able to computerize the Municipal Area then we will able to plan for revenue generation and infrastructure development.
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