Municipal corporations are major governing bodies that ensure the smooth functioning of cities and towns through the provision of critical services and regulation of activities. They carry out a wide variety of obligatory and discretionary functions that collectively aim to make urban dwellings liveable, efficient, and sustainable.
There are certain core functions that a municipal corporation is mandated to perform by law. These obligatory or mandatory functions are essential for the basic functioning of a city.
One of the foremost duties of a municipal corporation is to provide clean drinking water to all its residents. It must plan, execute, and maintain various water supply projects to source, treat, and distribute water through pipelines and tankers. Regular testing and monitoring are done to ensure water quality adheres to safety standards.
Sewage And Sanitation
A key obligation is the safe disposal of sewage and wastewater from households and establishments. The corporation manages this through an underground sewage system, sewage treatment plants, drain cleaning, and other sanitation methods. It also provides sanitation staff and equipment for tasks like garbage collection.
Maintaining public health through preventive measures and healthcare facilities also falls under the obligatory functions. The municipal corporation sets up hospitals, dispensaries, and maternity centers. It also takes measures to control outbreaks of epidemics like malaria, dengue, etc. through fumigation, immunization drives, etc.
Roads And Street Lighting
Construction and maintenance of roads, streets, bridges, and subways is another mandatory duty. The corporation also installs and manages street lighting on roads and public spaces through municipal software. Proper roads and lighting improve connectivity and safety for citizens.
Birth And Death Registration
The corporation is required to maintain a record of births and deaths within its jurisdiction. It issues birth and death certificates through its regional offices. Accurate registration is important for administrative purposes.
In addition to the obligatory functions, municipal corporations also undertake many discretionary functions for public welfare. However, the extent of engagement varies across cities.
Many municipal corporations provide primary and secondary school education through corporation-run schools. They supplement government schools to improve education rates and quality. Some also aid colleges and vocational training institutes.
Municipal corporations often organize public bus transport services to connect different parts of the city. Many also run metro rail networks and regulate other public vehicles like taxis and auto-rickshaws. Affordable transportation facilities promote mobility.
Gardens And Parks
Municipal corporations create and maintain public parks, gardens, and recreational spaces for citizens. Parks improve air quality, provide open spaces, and promote well-being. Botanical and zoological gardens are also maintained by some corporations.
Facilities like community halls, night shelters, libraries, etc. may be provided. Some corporations have performing arts centers to promote culture among citizens. Many also organize community events, fairs, and public awareness campaigns.
Town planning involves designing master plans and zoning regulations for organized development of a city. Municipal corporations prepare land use plans, enforce building codes, and guide urban expansion through satellite towns, etc. Proper planning prevents haphazard growth.
Fire And Emergency Services
Major municipal corporations administer their own fire departments and emergency rescue services. These are essential for the safety of life and property. Ambulance services are also operated in many cities.
In some cities, the municipal corporation generates and distributes electricity through its own power projects. A reliable power supply aids industries and residences. Some also promote the adoption of solar energy.
Municipal corporations identify and upgrade slum areas by building new tenements or improving living conditions. Some provide housing and loans to economically weaker sections for rehabilitation. This provides basic amenities to the urban poor.