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Uttarakhand govt seeking legal opinion on dissolution of civic body boards

Having given its nod for upgradation of many urban local bodies (ULBs) in Uttarakhand, the BJP-led state government is now examining the possibility of dissolving their boards

dehradun Updated: Nov 01, 2017 20:31 IST
Neha Pant
Neha Pant
Hindustan Times
urban local bodies,Madan Kaushik,ULBs
Urban development minister Madan Kaushik rules out the possibility of early elections for local bodies in Uttarakhand even in case the legal opinion goes in favour of dissolution of boards.(HT File)

Having given its nod for upgradation of many urban local bodies (ULBs) in Uttarakhand, the BJP-led state government is now examining the possibility of dissolving their boards. This comes at a time when the local body polls are just a few months away — the polls are due before April next year.

The government has given its nod to the expansion of around 40 ULBs by merging nearby villages into their limits. While 353 villages are to be merged into the ULBs completely, 44 villages will be merged partially. Moreover, the government has also approved upgradation of Rishikesh and Kotdwar municipal councils into municipal corporations, taking up the number of municipal corporations from six to eight in the state.

“Since the area falling under many local bodies now stands altered, the question arises whether their elected boards continue to be valid or not. We are getting this examined and have sought legal opinion from experts on this,” urban development minister Madan Kaushik told HT. “Once we get the legal opinion, we’ll take a call on whether the elected boards (of affected local bodies) should be dissolved or not,” he added.

Kaushik, however, ruled out the possibility of early elections for local bodies even in case the legal opinion goes in favour of dissolution of boards. “Since just a few months remain (for polls), the affected local bodies will get governed by official administrators till then if it (dissolution) happens,” he said. The government was also exploring the possibility of “holding the implementation part” of the government decision to expand the local bodies until the elections, he further said.

The government’s decision to expand the local bodies had sparked off angry protests from panchayat body leaders across the state, primarily because the five-year tenure of all panchayati raj institutions of Uttarakhand (except in Haridwar district) is scheduled to end only in 2019.

First Published: Nov 01, 2017 20:31 IST