2012 historically significant for city

Nagara sabhe (now MCC) turns 150 on July 8; Amba Vilas Palace 100

When Mysore welcomes 2012 on Sunday, it’s a prelude to more celebrations. The year will remain significant in the annals of history.

It was exactly 150 years ago nagara sabhe (town municipality) which is now known as Mysore City Corporation (MCC) came into existence. The Amba Villas Palace will complete its centenary this year.

It was on July 08, 1862, nagara sabhe (town municipality) was formed in the then Mysore state. The population of the city, that included the palace and its immediate surrounding areas was just 30,000.

Earlier, the Government of India passed an order in 1861 directing all states and provinces to form nagara sabhe. Till 1892, the district magistrate (now deputy commissioner) was heading the body as commissioner. It was only after 30 years of its existence in 1892, members were elected. Among 21 members, nine were government nominees.

In 1870, it became an autonomous body with the government delegating several responsibilities. Even the expenditure of the police department was being borne by the nagara sabhe, as the government had entrusted the task of collecting revenue from every houses. In 1890, the government took over the responsibility of police, relieving the civic body.

The Mysore City Corporation (then nagara sabhe) building was constructed during the reign of Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar. Foundation was laid in 1921. The architecture resembles the Palace, especially with its domes on top.

R J Narasimha Iyengar, who was the third mayor of Mysore, told Deccan Herald, the town municipality became city municipality in 1930s. The secretary to the Maharaja was also the administrator. It became Mysore City Corporation in 1979, after the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act was passed in 1976. The first mayoral polls was held in 1983 and P Vishwanath was elected mayor. There were 57 wards, which were increased to 65 in 1996. It remains unchanged till date.

The MCC authorities have decided to form a committee to celebrate 150 years of the local body in a meaningful way. Amba Vilas Palace, an architectural wonder, which stands opposite MCC turns 100 this year.   It was constructed in 1912 when the old wooden palace was destroyed in a fire mishap.

The Palace Board, headed by chief secretary to the state government as chairman and deputy commissioner of Mysore as secretary is mulling over holding events throughout the year to make it a memorable occasion. From competitions for students to music programmes, the board is drawing the proposal.

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