6 Civics

Urban Administration

Learning Goals:

  • Municipality
  • Ward Councilor
  • Councilors' Committee
  • Functions of Municipality

Urban Administration: A city is much bigger than a village. A city has larger population and greater number of public facilities. All of these need to be managed properly to ensure a smooth life for the people. The civic amenities in a city are provided by the municipality.

Municipality: Municipality is an elected body; like the Gram Panchayat or the Parliament. The tenure of a municipality is for five years. In smaller towns, the municipality is called municipal council. In big cities, it is called municipal corporation, e.g. Municipal Corporation of Delhi and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.


Wards: Each municipality is divided into smaller units called wards.

War Councilor: People from each ward elect a councilor. He is known as Ward Councilor. The Ward Councilors then elect the Chairman from among themselves.

Departments: The municipality is supported by various departments to look after execution of public facilities and civic amenities. Some of the examples of departments are; sanitation, health, education, construction, etc.

  • The sanitation department looks after maintaining cleanliness in the city. Cleaning of drainage and garbage comes under this department.
  • The health department looks after health issues; like prevention of malaria, dengue and cholera.
  • The education department looks after the facilities in schools. All the government schools in a city may not come under the municipality.
  • The department related to construction looks after construction and maintenance of parks, streetlights and some roads.

Councilor’s Committees

Different committees are formed to look after planning and implementation of various programmes. These committees have councilors as their members. A particular committee takes decision about a particular aspect. For example; the committee related to sanitation would take decision about regular clearing of garbage from a locality.

Commissioner and Administrative Staffs

The commissioner and administrative staffs are appointed by the government. Their job is to look after the implementation and management of various programmes.



Functions of Municipality:

Water supply, hospitals, roads, street lighting, drainage, fire brigade, market places, records of births and deaths, solid waste management, etc. are the functions of the municipality.

Source of Fund for Municipality

Taxes on house, water, market, entertainment and vehicles are the main sources of fund for the municipality. Apart from that, the municipality also receives grant from the government. You may have seen tax on cinema tickets or circus tickets. Similarly, parking charges are levied on vehicles by the municipality.



Contract Employees

A new trend has emerged in most of the municipalities in India. In order to cut costs, the municipalities now give contract of various works to private operators. This is called sub-contracting. The workers are not on the payroll of the municipality. While this has helped in increasing efficiency, it has worsened the situation of the workers. The workers’ job is not secure. They do not get social security.