THE 74th CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT ACT OF 1992 AND PLANNING The 74 Constitutional Amendment Act (CAA) 1992 is aimed to strengthen urban local governments through devolution of power towards decentralisation. The aim and objectives of 74th constitutional Amendment are: 1. To set up institutional mechanism to facilitate decentralisation. 2. Demarcate role of urban local governments and specify their function. 3.
Specify areas deemed as urban to include new urbanising areas. 4. Ensure representation of pubic specially deprived class/women. 5. Ensure that urban local governments are not superseded. Why was this Amendment needed:Urban areas and their governance have always been a subject of interest and have traversed various territories, sometimes slippery, sometimes firm, but always a matter of discussion and a favourite of policy making.
Efforts have been made by the government repeatedly to create smooth and efficient ways of managing urban affairs. Another leap in this direction was the 74th Amendment Act of the Constitution in 1992. At that time it was considered a path breaking amendment because it aimed at the creation of local governments and dissolution of powers to them in the respective states.
It outlined a broad framework of institutions that would act as the local governments and would ultimately bridge the gap between the government and the governed. The 73rd Amendment Act, which is known as the sister amendment aimed at the creation of stronger, active bodies at the local level in the rural areas. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF 74TH AMENDMENT ACT: The process to amend the constitution was initiated by the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi during 1989. It was finally passed during December 1992 and effective with effect from April 1993. Since the urban development is the state subject, all the states were to enforce the provision of above amendment through amendment of respective bye-laws of states within a year.
74TH CONSTITUTION AMENDMENT ACT IN TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING Urban Development Plans Formulation and Implementation (UDPFI) Guidelines were prepared in 1996 in consonance with the provisions of 74th CAA. It contained suggested changes required in Model Regional and Town Planning and Development Law and modifications in Town Planning Acts. The objective was to guide the State governments to incorporate the provision especially of preparation Metropolitan and District Plan.
However, most of the State Governments did not incorporate the provisions in the Town and Country Planning Acts as suggested by UDPFI Guidelines,1996. An attempt was made under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) wherein one of the reforms was to comply with 74th CAA with reference to constitution of both Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) and District Planning Committee (DPC). States have constituted MPC and DPC but without strong professional backup for preparing both metropolitan and district plans. AN OVERVIEW:The 74th Amendment was implemented because In many states, local bodies became ineffective, because of the failure to conduct regular elections, and inadequate transfer of powers and functions. Due to this, urban local bodies were not able to perform effectively as the democratic units of self-government.The Act has given wide ranging responsibilities and functions to the Urban Local Bodies and their elected representatives.
The representatives in the Urban Local Bodies have been elected from all sections of the communities, to make the urban governance broad based. The constitution provides for reservation of seats in order to give due representation to the weaker section and special groups.The Government of India introduced new municipal legislation to give effect to the Constitutional Amendment Act. This proves that Administration of Municipalities in India has become a part of the federal structure with 74th Amendment to the Constitution of India. Though Municipalities form a part of federal structure in India, they are still the entities of the State Governments. In conclusion, we can say that the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act has given power for revitalising and strengthening to the Urban Local Bodies.