Common law planned for ULBs to streamline administration

Common law planned for ULBs to streamline administration

The state government is planning to have common legislation to govern urban local bodies to streamline administration.

When this happens, four legislations governing urban local bodies would be replaced by a single law. At present, 11 corporations are governed by the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976. Less populated urban pockets, including city municipal councils (CMCs), town municipal councils (TMCs) and town panchayats (TPs) come under the Karnataka Municipalities Act, 1964.

Planning, development of layouts and sanction of building plans come under the jurisdiction of the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act, 1961, and Karnataka Urban Authorities Act, 1961.

Each of these four legislations comes with its own set of rules. Urban experts have pointed out that the multiplicity of legislations sometimes results in overlap of procedures, delays in plan sanctions, and many of the clauses in the existing enactments are redundant and need to be structured.

Official sources said the government now plans to take up unification of urban laws by “dynamically linking” them to meet the needs of the current scenario. For instance, the existing municipal laws only recognise animal transport like horse carts and tongas but not modern means of public transport like buses and the Metro. Besides, there is no special provision to tackle the nuisance created by people in urban areas or dedicated courts to try them.

Also, the provisions of the new land acquisition law and urban land use have to be recognised and adopted into municipal laws, officials added.

R Vishal, director, municipal administration said the government has constituted an internal committee comprising serving and retired members of the urban development department to chalk out an action plan to bring the legislations under a common umbrella.

He said the committee will look into all aspects of urban governance including taxation, plan sanction among others and come out with its draft report. Initially, existing laws will be modified based on the recommendations made in the report. In the long run, a comprehensive unified law could be drafted to strengthen ULBs, and make them autonomous, he added.