Introduction and Context
With the foundation of the Republic of India in 1950, and consequent to reorganization of states, Madhya Pradesh assumed its status in 1956. It was geographically the largest state until 2000. In 2000, the Chhattisgarh region was carved out to create a new state; even then it is the second largest state after Rajasthan. It covers 9.5% of the area (308,000 Sq.) and houses 6 per cent of the country’s population (72.5 million). On the basis of the size of urban population in the country, it ranks 8th and accounts for 5.58 per cent of the total urban population. 476 cities and towns of Madhya Pradesh accommodate 20.1 million populations and following the national trajectory of urbanization closely. The growth of towns during 1901-2011 in the state reveals that it is more rapid than that of the national average. The number of towns has increased from 253 in 1981 to 350 in 1991 and 368 in 2001 and 476 in 2011. This increase is owing to the emergence of new towns within the proximity of large cities, new centers of industrial and commercial activities, thermal power stations and partly due to the creation of urban local bodies by the state government which were formerly rural areas.
Urban Governance in MP
The urban Madhya Pradesh has 378 ULBs comprising 16 Municipal Corporations, 98 Municipal Councils and 264 Nagar Parishads. The urban sector faces a number of challenges coupled to a high level of planned investment in urban infrastructure and reforms under various government and donor funded initiatives. These challenges place considerable pressure on municipal corporations which lack sufficient capacity to implement many of the investment programmes according to plan.
Urban Infrastructure Development
In response to the rapidly growing urban population and a high level of urban poverty the Government of Madhya Pradesh has embarked on a number of infrastructure development initiatives in collaboration with GoI and donor agencies. Under JNNURM/UIDSMT, a total estimated investment of Rs. 8064 crores has been planned in the City Development Plan of the four project cities of Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur and Ujjain. This indicates that the ULBs in the four cities will have to mobilise funds to the extent of Rs. 2030.19 crores as their own contribution to the total investment. On an average, each one of the four ULBs will need to contribute Rs. 507.55 crores implementing the projects.
Other reforms include: significant progress in towards transition to double entry accounting; the simplification of procedures for diversion of agricultural land; streamlining of building plan approvals; city management of urban transport services; PPP options for infrastructure, increases in property tax recovery using computerized processes etc. A variety of reforms are currently in process including: improvement in municipal governance and attaining inclusive urban development and growth, GoMP has introduced following changes enumerated below:
- Madhya Pradesh Public Services Guarantee Act enacted to ensure the timely delivery of essential municipal services from a single window.
- Citizen Facilitation Centers established in major Municipal Corporations to guide and help citizen to avail services without hassle.
- To promote transparency and accessibility of common tendering and Integrated computerized Standard Schedule of Rates system has been developed
- Online payments options created for Property tax, Water charges, Birth/ Death certificates in major Municipal Corporations.
- Public Grievances redressal system through tele samadhan is being implemented shortly.
- ERP based integrated Municipal Administrative System (MAS) has been implemented in Bhopal and ready to roll out in other cities.
- Automated building plan approval system in 3 cities major cities.
- Statewide Urban Sector Management Information System (USMIS) is being rolled out and exclusive data centre for Urban Sector is being established.
ULBs Level Restructuring :
- There were around 424 job titles (cadres) across ULBs - after rationalization of task and job, 110 jobs have been identified in the entire ULB structure.
- New staffing norms are being prepared based primarily on population along with specific city’s needs (Tourism, Religious, Industrial)
- Amendments proposed in the existing Service Rules and integrating training with career progression.
- Cadre Development Plan and integrating it with competence and skill development plan through an urban training policy.
- Creation of specialized municipal cadre:
- Madhya Pradesh Municipal Administrative Service
- Madhya Pradesh Municipal Engineering Service
- Madhya Pradesh Municipal Health Service
- Madhya Pradesh Revenue service
- Madhya Pradesh Municipal Finance service
Directorate Level Restructuring:
Since Directorate of ULBs is a bridge between the State Government and the ULBs, its restructuring is aligned with ULB reforms. Hence, increase in the number of posts as well creating specialized posts will strengthen functional linkage between government and ULBs. Strengthening of State Urban Development Agency (SUDA) and developing it as nodal agency for various programmes aimed at urban poverty reduction is equally important.