​​​History of Municipal Administration

Municipal Administration has a long history in Tamil Nadu. In South India, the celebrated "Kudavolai" system of imperial Cholas, points to the existence of well-organised representative institutions. They were basic grass​ root democratic bodies.

The History of local self-governance in urban areas has the following highlights:


Constitutional Amendment :

A new section relating to the Urban Local Bodies in the Constitution of India was added in 1992 to provide for

  • Constitution of three types of Municipalities:
    • Nagar Panchayat, for areas in transition from rural to urban area (Town Panchayats)
    • Municipal Council for smaller urban area
    • Municipal Corporation for larger urban area
  • Composition of Municipal Councils
    • Representation of Chairpersons of Committees, if any, at the ward or other levels in the Municipalities
    • Representation of MLA/MP representing the constituency within which the ULB is situated
  • Election of Chairperson of a Municipality in the manner specified by the State Law
  • Constitution of committees at ward level or other level within the municipal area as may be provided in the State Law
  • Reservation of seats in municipal councils both in the offices of Councillors and chairman - 
    1. For Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes
    2. For Women
    3. In favour of backward class of citizens
  • Fixed term of office for five years
  • Levy of taxes and duties by Municipalities, assigning the proceeds of tax and duties to Municipalities by the State Government and for making grants
  • Constitution of State Finance Commission to review the finances of Municipalities
  • Audit of accounts
  • Constitution of State Election Commission for the conduct of elections to all Local Bodies
Constitutional Amendments

The proposal to amend the Constitution by adding a separate Part, culminated in the passing of the Constitution (74th Amendment) Act, 1992. The amendments relating to Urban Bodies have been incorporated as Part IX-A of the Constitution. It contains 17 Articles, namely 243 P to 243 ZG. The Constitution (74th Amendment) Act, 1992 as per the Article 243-W endows the Municipalities such powers, authority and responsibilities to function as institutions of self-government in relation to the matters listed below as in the Twelfth Schedule :-

Twelfth Schedule
  1. Urban planning including town planning
  2. Regulation of land use and construction of buildings
  3. Planning for economic and social development
  4. Roads and bridges
  5. Water supply for domestic, industrial and commercial purposes
  6. Public health, sanitation conservancy and solid waste management
  7. Fire services
  8. Urban forestry, protection of the environment and promotion of ecological aspects
  9. Safeguarding the interests of weaker sections of society, including the handicapped and mentally retarded
  10. Slum improvement and upgradation
  11. Urban poverty alleviation
  12. Provision of urban amenities and facilities such as parks, gardens, playgrounds
  13. Promotion of cultural, educational and aesthetic aspects
  14. Burials and burial grounds; cremations, cremation grounds and electric crematoriums
  15. Cattle pounds; prevention of cruelty to animals
  16. Vital statistics including registration of births and deaths
  17. Public amenities including street lighting, parking lots, bus stops and public conveniences
  18. Regulation of slaughter houses and tanneries