CHAPTER 16:HARYANA LOCAL SELF GOVERNMENT
Local Self Government is also called government at the grass root level and is also a strong political base of a state. The Haryana state has a three tier system of local government that looks after the local issues, administration and upliftment of the weaker sections of the society.
Local Self Government in Haryana has its roots in ancient times, when elected bodies like sabhas and samitis existed. Bhaichara Panchayats were present during Medieval period. During British regime, District Boards were set up in 1884. Finally, 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts gave constitutional recognition to the institutions of Local Self Government.
Panchayati Raj System
The first Panchayati Raj System was formed on 2nd October, 1959 in Nagaur district of Rajasthan. It was inaugurated by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru. Since, then all the states except Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya have adopted this system. Haryana adopted the Panchayati Raj System on 22nd April 1994.
Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) in Haryana
Gram Panchayats were established at the village level in Haryana under the provisions of Punjab Gram Panchayat Act, 1952. Later, through the Punjab Panchayat Samitis and Zila Parishads Act, 1961, the Panchayat Samitis and Zila Parishads were constituted at block and district level respectively. This arrangement continued when Haryana became a separate state in 1966.
In the year 1993,73rd Constitutional Amendment Act was enacted which gave constitutional status to Panchayati Raj System. The Haryana Panchayati Raj Act, 1994 was enacted after the 73rd Amendment Act. It came into force on 22nd April, 1994.
The Haryana Panchayati Raj Act, 1994 (Act Number 11 of 1994) provide for Constitution of three tier local government i.e. Gram Panchayats, Panchayat Samitis and Zila Parishads for better administration of the rural areas and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. This Act extends to whole of the state of Haryana. Under the Act, the Panchayati Raj Institutions have been entrusted with duties and functions related to all the 29 subjects listed in Eleventh Schedule of the Constitution.
As per the Panchayati Raj Act, 1994, the Panchayats are elected for a period of five years. If a Panchayat is dissolved before a span of five years, then the new members should be elected within six months. The Panchayats are given the ability to levy and collect taxes, tolls and fees. They also depend on grants and funds forwarded by the State Governments.
Haryana became the first state in India where Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) were used for voting in the Panchayat elections. It is the second state in India after Rajasthan to mandate to fix minimum educational qualification for those contesting in Panchayati Raj Institutions. This came into effect from 7th September, 2015.
The act has made Gram Sabha the Soul of the Panchayati Raj System. Gram Sabha is a body consisting of all persons whose names are included in electoral rolls of a Panchayat area. The act mandates atleast two Gram Sabha meetings in a year.
The three levels of Panchayati Raj System are discussed below :
The Haryana Panchayati Raj Act, 1994 provides for the establishment of a Gram Panchayat at each village having a minimum population of 500.
It consists of a Sarpanch and other members (Panches) who are elected by the members of the Gram Sabha. There are highest number of Gram Sabhas in Gurugram district of Haryana. Gram Panchayat is a powerful body, Sarpanches have practical right to inspect every department, which is notified and working in Gram Panchayat. No scheme or work can be implemented without consent of Sarpanch or Gram Panchayat.
The main source of income of Gram Panchayats are grants-in-aid from Government or other concerned departments and they also have own income from various sources. Gram Panchayat is the lowest level of local government in India.
Panchayat Samiti is the second tier of Panchayati Raj System which is constituted at the block level. It consists of a Chairman, a Vice-Chairman, directly elected members from territorial constituencies as determined under Section 58 of the Act, and the members of Haryana Legislative Assembly (representing constituencies, which comprise wholly or partly in the Panchayat Samiti.)
In most blocks, Block Development and Panchayat Officer is Nodal Officer and every activity is determined with the consent of Block Development and Panchayat Officer. As an administrator, Block Development and Panchayat Officer is responsible for every activity and fund utilisation in Gram Panchayats.
This is the highest level of local government in rural areas. It consists of members directly elected from the wards in the districts, Chairman of all Panchayat Samitis within the district, the members of the House of People, Members of Haryana Legislative Assembly, (whose constituency lies within the district or part thereof) a President and a Vice-President.
On administrative side, Directorate of Development and Panchayat is headed by a Director. Other officers are District Development and Panchayat Officers (DDPO) at district level and Block Development and Panchayat Officers (BDPOs) at block level. Panchayat Sachiv at Gram Panchayat is also an officer of Zila Parishad.
Reservation in Panchayat Elections
The Haryana Panchayati Raj Act, 1994 provides for the reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes in proportion to their population at all the three tiers of PRIs. It also mandates that one third seats shall be reserved for women at all three tiers. The Act also provides that each Panchayat, Panchayat Samiti and Zila Parishad has one member belonging to the backward classes.
Panchayati Raj Engineering Wing
The Panchayati Raj Engineering Wing (PREW) is an Engineering Wing of Development and Panchayats Department. The objective of engineering wing is to design, execute and maintain needed infrastructural facilities in rural areas for the economic development of rural people in Haryana. The journey of Panchayati Raj Engineering Wing started way back from the time of joint Punjab and Haryana. But it got its present identity only after Haryana became a separate state on 1st November, 1966. PREW functions directly under the Development and Panchayats Department, Haryana. Special Secretary, Development to Government of Haryana acts as its administrative head and Chief Engineer as its technical head.
Local Self Government in Urban Areas
Municipal Corporation (Mahanagar Nigam), Municipality (Nagar Palika) and Notified Area Council (Nagar Panchayats) are local form of governance in urban areas. These local bodies look after public health,welfare, sanitation, drinking water facility, public infrastructure, etc. They are funded by the State Governments. They also raise revenue through fees, fines, taxes, etc. The functions and duties of these are enlisted in the Twelfth Schedule of the Constitution. They have been given constitutional status through the 74th Amendment Act of 1992.
Urban Local Bodies in Haryana
The Haryana Municipal Act, 1994 was enacted following the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992. The Haryana Muncipal Act provided for a three tier system of urban local governance. It defines three classes of Municipalities namely Municipal Committee (for a transitional area), Muncipal Council (for a smaller urban area) and Municipal Corporations (for a large urban area).
According to the number of population living in an urban area, the local bodies designated in Haryana are as follows’.
These are set up in cities that have more than 3 lakh population. Haryana has 10 Municipal Corporations. These are Faridabad, Gurugram, Ambala, Panchkula, Yamunanagar, Rohtak, Hisar, Panipat, Karnal and Sonipat (formed Municipal corporation on 1st June, 2015). Faridabad is the largest Municipal Corporation and smallest is Panchkula. The corporation carries out various functions like birth/death/marriage registrations, solid waste management, collection of property tax, building community centres, sports complex, etc.
Small cities and towns with population between 50000 to 3 lakh are managed by Municipal Councils. There are 18 municipal councils in Haryana. These are:
|City (Municipal Council)||District|
|Bhiwani, Charkhi Dadri||Bhiwani|
|Sirsa, Mandi Dabwali||Sirsa|
The small towns having population less than 50000 are managed by Municipal Committees. In Haryana, there are 52 Municipal Committees operating presently.
Formation and Working of Municipalities
The formation of first Municipal Corporation took place in Madras in 1687 and later Calcutta and Bombay in 1726. As per the 74th Amendment Act of 1992, municipal areas are declared having regard to the population of the area, the density of population and the revenue generated for local administration. The members of a Municipality are directly elected from the territorial constituencies for a term of five years.
It also consists of members of House of the People, Legislative Assembly and Council of States from that Municipal area. The President and Vice-President of a Municipality in Haryana are elected by the members from amongst themselves for a tenure of five years. The 12th Schedule of Constitution (Article 243 W) provides eighteen functions that needs to be fulfilled by the municipalities. These functions are related to registration of births, deaths, marriages, provision of street lighting, sanitation, drinking water, public vaccination, construction of community halls, parks, public libraries, museum, etc.
Cantonment Board is established for the administration of local affairs of on area where military is stationed. This urban local body works directly under the control of Minister of Defence. Haryanas only Cantonment Board is in Ambala.