Bihar cabinet approves 111 new urban bodies, 5 more municipal corporations
In a bid to boost urbanization, the Bihar cabinet on Saturday approved the urban development department’s (UDD) proposal to amend the Bihar Municipal Act to pave the way for creation of over 100 new urban local bodies and upgrade the status of existing ones.
The exercise would also lead to creation of five more municipal corporations in the state. Currently, there are 12 municipal corporations in the state, which includes Chapra that was accorded the status of a municipal corporation in 2016.
At the cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Nitish Kumar, the government gave its approval for the upgradation of Nagar Parishads of Motihari, Sasaram, Bettiah, Madhubani and Samastipur as municipal corporations. It also approved the UDD’s proposal to expand the limit of 12 urban bodies, including those of the Bihar Sharif municipal corporation, Masaurhi Nagar Parishad, Buxar Nagar Parishad and Hajipur Nagar Parishad.
UDD officials said that the process to develop 103 new Nagar Panchayats and eight new Nagar Parishads would start after the cabinet decision. Similarly, 32 Nagar Panchayats would be upgraded as Nagar Parishads.
A total of nine new Nagar Panchayats would be created in Darbhanga, followed by eight each in Nalanda and Purnia, seven in Muzaffarpur and five each in Gaya and Katihar. Punpun and Paliganj would be notified as new Nagar Panchayats in Patna.
Currently, the state has 49 Nagar Parishads (also called city councils) and 80 Nagar Panchayats (administratively known town councils), said an UDD official.
The official said that the government’s decision to create new urban bodies and upgrade the existing ones to bigger entities would lead to huge investments in infrastructure development, development of business activities and enhancement of civic amenities. However, the people falling under the jurisdiction of these urban bodies need to pay taxes for availing civic amenities.
Bihar has about 11.27% urban population against the national average of 31.16%. Once the new urban areas are notified and infrastructure is enhanced according to their new status, the state’s urbanization will grow to about 20%, said an official.