JNNURM to facilitate GMC empowerment
Like other developed urban local bodies of the country, the Guwahati Municipal Corporation is also expected to get more teeth with the increasing necessity to implement the 74th constitutional amendment, advocating the empowerment of the local civic bodies. Whereas the demand for empowerment is growing from inside the civic body, the ambitious Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) has also made it mandatory to implement the 74th constitutional amendment, before granting sum for the urban infrastructure developmental projects to the city. The State government would be the implementing agency of the constitutional amendment. At present, the city is expected to get Rs 447 crores for its various projects. The sources in the GMC said that the State government might be interested in implementing the amendment in the coming days. "In a letter from the Guwahati Development Department (GDD), SN Barman, Joint Secretary to the Government of Assam has asked the GMC to furnish the detailed action plan and activity mapping on the 18 subjects concerning the civic amenities to be regulated by the urban local body after the amendment.' The government letter has also asked the GMC to give the details of expenditures on the 18 subjects till January 31, 2008. The eighteen subjects mentioned in the letter are urban planning, regulation of land, planning for economic and social development, road and electricity, water supply, solid waste management, fire service, urban forestry, safeguarding the interest of the weaker section of the society including the physically handicapped and mentally retarded, slum improvement, urban poverty alleviation, parks, gardens and playgrounds, protection of cultural, educational and aesthetic aspects, burial grounds and cremation grounds, cattle ponds, prevention of cruelty to animals, birth and death registration, street lighting, bus stop and public conveyance and slaughter houses, said the sources. In a recent rapid training programme that was held with the basic objectives of building awareness and understanding on the context, mission, objectives and significance of reforms under the JNNURM, the experts from the Administrative Staff College of India stressed on the need of introducing the 74th amendment and specially the role and requirement of political will in this regard.