Urban local bodies are mentioned under Part IX A, schedule 12 under article 243 0-243 ZG. Their role in rising urbanisation and sustainable cities is significant, thus requires to be functionally and financially independent.
Reluctant to empower ULB by the State: According to Niti Aayog, only total 11 states and UTs have devolved the functions to urban local bodies.
- State Governments have created parallel structures for the implementation of projects around agriculture, health, and education, which undermines the status of local bodies.
- District Planning Committees are non-functional in 9 states and failed to prepare integrated plans in 15 states.
- Local government expenditure as a percentage of GDP is only 2%, low compared to 7% in Brazil and 11 % in China.
- State Finance Commissions are not established as per Constitutional requirements.
- The concept of ward committees is just followed in Kerala and in West Bengal Only.
- Not even a single city in India can be matched with cities like London, Johannesburg, New York.
- Unplanned Urbanization as World Bank says: India’s Urbanisation is Messy and hidden.
- Dependent on central and state Government.
- Strengthening ULB should be in election manifesto.
- Alternative options for funding to be explored. Ex Value capture financing
- Credit Rating exercise of ULB, Ex Pune
Praja Foundation, ‘Urban Governance Index” initiative is the right way to make a holistic assessment of the ULB. Devolution is the only key to achieve the SDG 11: sustainable cities and communities”.