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Town Panchayats Administration

Introduction


Tamil Nadu is the first State to have introduced a classification in the status of local bodies as ‘Town Panchayat’, which was planned as a transitional body between Rural and Urban Local Bodies.


The Town Panchayats were conferred with individual administrative powers and unique functional characters have been in existence for over a century. The Town Panchayats  adopt well devised accounting and auditing procedures and the service delivery to the public has been better.
Town Panchayats are under the administrative control Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department, at Govt. level.


The Town Panchayats are places of importance such as Division / Taluk headquarters, Tourist Spots, Pilgrim Centers and Commercial/Industrial towns. This has necessitated special attention to the civic needs of the Town Panchayats.

District Municipalities Act

The Town Panchayats are governed by Tamil Nadu District Municipalities Act 1920. There are 528 Town Panchayats in the state which are classified into four grades, based on the income criteria :

 

Grade

Income Criteria

No. of Town Panchayats

Special Grade

Above Rs. 20 Lakhs

12

Selection Grade

Above Rs.16 Lakhs

222

Grade I

Above Rs. 8 Lakhs

214

Grade II

Above Rs. 4 Lakhs

80

Total

-

528

Organisational Setup

                                      Government

 

Hon'ble  Minister  For
Rural Development &
Local Administration

Secretary  to Government
Municipal Administration And
Water Supply Department

Head of the Department

 

Director of Town Panchayats

District units

District Collector

Assistant Director of Town Panchayats
(17 Zonal Office)
(Assistant Executive Engineer)

Town Panchayat

Town Panchayat Chairperson & Councillors/
Executive Officer

 

Chronological Developments

Till 1981, the Town Panchayats were under the administrative control of Directorate of Rural Development. During 1981, the Government vide G.O. Ms. 828 Dated 7.5.1981, constituted a separate Directorate for the Town Panchayats with the nomenclature of ‘Directorate of Town Panchayats’. However the administrative control of the Directorate of Town Panchayats continued to be with the Rural Development Department at the Secretariat as they were governed under the Tamil Nadu Panchayats Act 1958.

                       
Following the introduction of 73rd and 74th amendments to the Constitution of India in the year 1993, all the Town Panchayats were reconstituted under the Tamil Nadu District Municipalities Act, 1920 and treated as transitional area. i.e. an area in transition from rural area to an Urban area. Necessary amendments were brought on to the Tamil Nadu District Municipalities Act, 1920 for this purpose and a separate chapter in respect of Town Panchayats was inserted in the said Act. Consequently though the nomenclature ‘Town Panchayat’ remained unchanged, the administrative control of the Directorate of Town Panchayats was brought under the Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department at the Secretariat.                        
                       

1950

The Madras Panchayats Act 1950

Class I Panchayats Status

Health, Education & Local Administration Department

1958

Tamil Nadu Panchayats Act 1958

Town Panchayat Status

Rural Development & Local Administration Department (RD & LA)

1981

Tamil Nadu Panchayats Act 1958

Creation of Directorate of Town Panchayats Status continued under the control of RD & LA Department.

1984

Bifurcation of Rural Development and Local Administration Department into Rural Development Department & Municipal Administration and Water Supply Dept.

Town Panchayats continued under the control of RD Department.

1994

Tamil Nadu District Municipalities Act 1920 (as amended in 1994) (under 74th constitutional amendment effect from 31.05.1994)

Town Panchayat Status changed to and brought under the control of MA&WS Department.

1999

Tamil Nadu Panchayat Act 1994

98 Town Panchayats were identified as financially unviable - 25 Town Panchayats where reclassified as Village Panchayats with their consent.

1999

Introduction of Section 4-A under Tamil Nadu Panchayat Act 1994

To accommodate the existing council and the non provincialised staff.

2004

Tamil Nadu Panchayat Act 1994

561 Town Panchayats reclassification as Special Village Panchayats and brought under RD department.

2004

Amendment to Section 3 B of the Tamil Nadu District Municipalities act 1920

50 Town Panchayats reclassified as Third Grade Municipalities)

2005

Tamil Nadu Panchayat Act, 1994

Separate chapter under the caption of "special provision relating to Special Village Panchayats" in the said Act and the same was notified by an ordinance vide Government Gazette Extraordinary No: 251 dt. 1.10.2004 Further, the Act enacted was notified vide Government Gazette Extraordinary No: 309 dt. 13.12.2004. For administrative purposes separate orders were also issued vide G.O.Ms.No.150 RD Department, Dated 01.10.2004.

561 reclassified as Special Village Panchayats 

2006

Tamil Nadu District Municipalities Act, 1920

Reconstitution of Special Village Panchayats as Town Panchayats G.O.Ms. No.55 MA&WS Dt. 14.7.2006 and brought under MA&WS Dept.

 

Now there are 528 Town Panchayats in the 17 Zones and classified as below:

Sl. No.

Name of zone

Sl. No.

District covered

 No. of Town Panchayats

Special Grade

Selection Grade

Grade I

Grade II

Total

1

Kancheepuram

1

Kancheepuram

1

8

7

2

17

2

Thiruvallur

2

Thiruvallur

-

5

5

-

10

3

Vellore

3

Vellore

-

8

8

-

16

4

Thiruvannamalai

-

4

3

3

10

4

Dharmapuri

5

Dharmapuri

-

8

2

-

10

6

Krishnagiri

-

5

-

1

6

5

Salem

7

Salem

-

15

14

4

33

8

Namakkal

-

10

8

1

19

6

Erode

9

Erode

-

15

18

9

42

10

Tiruppur

-

6

6

4

16

7

Coimbatore

11

Coimbatore

1

13

15

8

37

8

Udhgamandalam

12

The Nilgiris

1

6

4

-

11

9

Cuddalore

13

Cuddalore

1

8

5

2

16

14

Villupuram

-

10

4

1

15

10

Thanjavur

15

Thanjavur

-

11

7

4

22

16

Nagapattinam

1

2

5

-

8

17

Thiruvarur

-

4

3

-

7

11

Thiruchirapalli

18

Thiruchirapalli

-

7

9

-

16

19

Perambalur

-

-

1

3

4

20

Ariyalur

-

-

1

1

2

21

Pudukkottai

-

5

3

-

8

12

Dindugal

22

Dindugal

-

13

8

2

23

23

Karur

1

3

5

2

11

13

Madurai

24

Madurai

-

4

5

-

9

 14

 Theni

25

Theni

-

12

6

4

22

15

Sivaganga

26

Ramanathapuram

-

1

3

3

7

27

Virudhunagar

-

2

4

3

9

28

Sivaganga

-

4

7

1

12

16

Tirunelveli

29

Tirunelveli

4

12

16

4

36

30

Thoothukudi

1

11

4

3

19

17

Nagercoil

31

 Kanyakumari

1

10

29

15

55

Total

12

222

215

80

528

 

Importance of the Department

            Town Panchayats are drivers of economic growth and offer opportunities for social and cultural development of people.  The Total population of the Town Panchayats is 70,89,528, which accounts for 11.36% of the total population of the State as per 2001 Census and 25.80% in Urban Population.   There has been huge flow of floating population to all these towns from adjoining rural areas.  Many of the Town Panchayats are of Tourism, Pilgrim importance and heritage towns and also the economic, industrial clusters.    It is therefore, necessary to provide adequate infrastructure facilities such as  water supply, sanitation, roads, street lighting and other public amenities such as Slaughter houses, Burial / Cremation Ground, bus stands, Shandies.  The Government proposes to adopt a holistic approach covering all civic amenities and infrastructure to these towns.

Activities of  the Department

Town Panchayats Department formulates and implements responsive programmes, services and activities to facilitate urban communities to bring about positive change and strengthen their social and economic fabrics. In this effort the department has very effectively used all the available resources, funds and grants that have been provided under various schemes by Government of India, besides adding State Financial resources wherever needed, and  funds and financial resources are ploughed into the developmental efforts of Town Panchayats for better  delivery of cure amenities. 

Objective and goal of Town Panchayat Department:

  • To ensure responsive, accountable, transparent and people-friendly civic administration.
  • To develop administration that takes the citizens into total confidence, in all the schemes implementation in Town Panchayats.

Administrative set up
I. State level
           The Secretary to Government, Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department is in charge of Town Panchayats,  as Administrative head at Secretariat and the Director of Town Panchayats is the Head of Department (HOD) at State level and he is  also Inspector of Town Panchayats,  to review and monitor the activities relating to the development programmes implemented through Town Panchayats.

II. District Level / Zone level
            The Collectors are the administrative head of Town Panchayat Administration at  District Level  and he is assisted by a Zonal Assistant Director of Town Panchayats. 

III. Town Panchayats Level

            Executive Officer of the Town Panchayats is the Executive authority of the Town Panchayat.  He is assisted by Head Clerk, Junior Assistant, Bill Collector, Typist for the maintenance of records, Collection of taxes, maintenance of assets and in ensuring the publicity and propaganda and in implementation of Government Programmes. 

Functions of Town Panchayats

   The Town Panchayats are responsible in delivery of the following civic services:

  • Providing Basic Amenities
    • Roads
    • Street Lights
    • Water Supply
    • Public Health
    • Drainage
  • Granting of Building Licenses
  • Levying of Taxes
    • Property Tax
    • Vacant Land Tax
    • Profession Tax
    • Non Tax
    • Water Charges
  • Issuing Birth & Death Certificates
  • Issuing Dangerous & Offensive Trade Licenses
  • Implementation of State / Central Schemes

Sources of Revenue of Town Panchayats
               The revenue of the Town Panchayats is derived from the sources as below:

      • Property Tax
      • Professional Tax
      • License Fees, Rents and other charges such as water charges
      • Surcharge on Stamp duty
      • Devolution grants from the Government
      • Other miscellaneous incomes such as interest on deposits

 

 


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