Discuss the composition and functions of Municipal Boards. | How many member are there in Municipal Boards.

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In Assam, Municipal Boards were created according to the Assam Municipal Act, 1956, for the administration of urban areas in Assam, except Guwahati. The state government by the notification may declare, with the permission of the inhabitants, any area as municipality having more than 10,000 population composition. Municipal Boards consists of not less than 10 members and not more than 30 members. The members of Board are called  Commissioners. There are both elected and nominated members in Boards. The elected Commissioners are are elected directly by the people. On the basis of population, the whole area, under the Board is divided into several wards. What will be the number of members for a particular Municipal Board- is determined by state government.According to the amended Act 1997.

1. The state government may appoint any person without having required knowledge in Municipal administration, as a member of Municipal board. This member may attend the meetings, but cannot vote.

2. The elected members of Lok Sabha and state legislature assembly representing the majority area of the district as his constituency, would act as ex-officio members.

3. If any member of Rajya Sabha is a voter within the area of municipal board, he would act as ex-officio member.

4. Seats should be reserve for SC/ST, on the basis of their population. Among these, one-third seats should be reserved for SC/ST women. The government by notification would determine which municipal board’s chairman’s post should be reserve for women or the SC/ST people. 

    The Commissioners are elected 5years. The state government may remove any commissioner.

      The Commissioners in their first meeting must one among them as Chairman and another as Vice-Chairman. The election of chairman must be approved by the government of Assam .

     After this approval, the Chairman can exercise his power. The state government can remove Chairman and Vice Chairman if they fail to perform their duties. Again, the board can remove them from the post by passing no confidence motion against the  incumbent. The chairman and vice chairman may resign from their office.

      The Chairman is head of the Municipal Board. He is responsible for proper working of the board. He enjoys both the statutory and delegated powers. In emergency situation, the chairman can act in his own way. 

     There should be regular monthly meetings of the Board. If at least  3 commissioners give requisition, the chairman may convene special meeting. The chairman presides over the meetings and in his absence, the Vice Chairman presides. 

     Generally quorum is formed with one-third of the total membership. But in certain special cases, at least the support of half of total members are required. The proceedings of all meeting are kept for further discussion.


   The Assam Municipal Act 1956 which has been amended in 1997, vests following powers to Municipal Board :

1. The Municipal Board can elect and removed its Chairman and Vice Chairman. It can remove commissioners also.

2. It can pass law and bye-laws for smooth performance of its duties and a according to necessity.

3. Municipal Board can prepare its own budget.

4. It can impose and collect taxes on land or house within its jurisdiction.

5. It can levy tax in case of transfer or sale of property.

6. If necessary, it can float loans to perform its duties and may create sinking fund to repay the loans.

7. For the efficient performance of its duties, Municipal Board may constitute various committees.

8. It may appoint on executive officer for the performance its duties imposed by Act.

9. It may take necessary steps for the financial security of its employees. For example - fix the salaries, allowances, create and manage contributory provident fund etc.

10. It enjoys the power to take over the management charge of certain public imitations. For example schools, hospitals, dispensaries, market etc. 

      It can construct school, dispensaries, park etc.

11. Municipal Board can give permission for constructed of houses within area. If any house or building is constructed or extended without its prior approval, municipality has power to demolish it.

12. With approval of District Commissioner, municipality may give permission to open shops, industry etc.

13. It can fix the registration fees of dogs and ask the owners of dogs to get them registered.

14. With the permission of Government, Municipality has the power to buy and sale lands.

15. Municipal Boards enjoys the power to name or rename any public road. It may close any public road for any vehicle, animal etc. 

     It can permanently or temporarily close any public road or any part of public road.

Functions : 

  The functions of Municipal Board, according to the Act of 1997 are as follows :- 

  1. It should appoint personnels for the performance of Duties and pay their salaries. 

2. It should take necessary steps to establish and run hospitals, dispensaries, clinics etc. for the residents of its locality.

3. It should construct, maintain, repair roads for the public convenience.

4. It should take necessary steps to check or prevent contagious diseases. 

5. For the welfare of woman and children, municipality may establish and manage maternity homes, child welfare centres etc.

6. It may construct and maintain public drains, sewerage to carry rubbish and offensive materials and keep public urinals and latrines clean.

7. It should supply clean drinking water and for that purpose should maintain wells, ponds, channels etc.

8. For the protection of life and property of the residents of municipal areas, it should take necessary measures for prevention and extinction of fire.

9. It should properly maintain a register for the registration of births and deaths within its jurisdiction.

10. For the education of the children within jurisdiction, it may establish and maintain high school and may give grants to the schools with permission of state government.

11. It may establish and maintain library.

12. It should establish and maintain burning and burial grounds.

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