As heads of all 79 urban local bodies have been appointed after the completion of the poll process, the elected representatives have stepped up efforts to extend the 74th Amendment of the Constitution to J&K to make these bodies functional in the ‘real sense’.
“A meeting of the general house of the Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) will be held on December 15 to intensify the campaign to give adequate powers to the urban local bodies to make them purposeful,” JMC Deputy Mayor Purnima Sharma told Kashmir Post. She said a resolution regarding the extension of the 74th Amendment of the Constitution in J&K will be unanimously passed in the meeting and forwarded to Governor Satya Pal Malik for implementation.
“Without the delegation of powers, the urban local bodies are useless. It is time to extend the 74th Amendment to J&K to make the civic bodies result-oriented,” she said and added that without extending provisions of the Amendment, the autonomous character of the urban local bodies would never be maintained.
Of the 37 urban local bodies in Jammu, the BJP has managed to win 32 by luring members of other parties and Independents. Now, the party is facing pressure from urban local body members to ensure the extension of the 74th Amendment in J&K during the Governor’s rule.
The 74th Amendment, related to municipalities (urban local governments), was passed by Parliament in 1992 and it received the assent of the President on April 20, 1993. Except J&K, all states have implemented the Act to strengthen the urban local bodies.
The elected representatives of urban local bodies have a reason to mount pressure to get adequate powers during the Governor’s rule because they believe that the political leadership in Jammu and Kashmir will never allow the strengthening of democratic institutions at the grass-roots level.
Salient features of 74th Amendment
* Constitution of municipal corporations/councils
* Constitution of ward committees
* Reservation of seats
* Fixed duration of municipal bodies
* Power, authority and responsibilities of municipalities
* Appointment of state Election Commission
* Appointment of state Finance Commission
* Constitution of metropolitan and district planning committees