Appoint administrators for Navi Mumbai, Aurangabad civic bodies: SEC to stateUpdated: Apr 29, 2020 00:19 IST
The State Election Commission (SEC) has instructed state government to appoint administrators for Aurangabad, Navi Mumbai municipal corporations, nine municipal councils, two district councils and 1,566 gram panchayats as the 5-year term of these local bodies has either ended or will end soon, and immediate elections are not possible due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The term of Aurangabad Municipal Corporation ended on April 28, while that of Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation is ending on May 7 and that of Vasai-Virar City Municipal Corporation will end on June 27. SEC has recommended appointment of administrators for the bodies.
Generally, municipal commissioners are appointed as administrators till new bodies are elected.
SEC had, in third week of March, announced to postpone the election procedure for these corporations, district councils, municipal councils and gram panchayats in view of the pandemic.
“According to the constitutional provisions, the 5-year term of any elected local body cannot be extended. It was reiterated by the Supreme Court last year when terms of a few district councils were extended in the absence of fresh elections (by previous government). We have, last week, written to rural and urban development departments for appointment of administrators for these bodies,” said Kiran Kurundkar, secretary, SEC.
Arvind Kumar, principal secretary of rural development department, said, “We have already appointed extension officers as administrators for gram panchayats. We are seeking legal opinion if they can be replaced with other authorities, either from administration or representatives of political parties, as the extension officers are overburdened. In district councils, only chief election officers (CEOs) can be appointed as an administrators.”
Mahesh Pathak, principal secretary of urban development department, said, “We have issued the orders of appointing the administrators for municipal corporations, municipal councils and nagar panchayats effective from the day after the 5-year term of the elected bodies come to an end. Aurangabad commissioner Astik Kumar Pandey will take over from Wednesday, and commissioners of two other corporations will do the same once the terms end of their respective bodies. Councils and panchayats will have sub-divisional officers as administrators.”