AMMC-NPC meet Reddy on Manipur's urban development issues

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New Delhi, Oct 31 (UNI) The representatives of The All Manipur Municipal Council (AMMC) and Nagar Panchayat Councillors' Joint Action Committee called on Union Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy here today and apprised him of the negligence of the state government regarding devolution of power to the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs).

The representatives informed the Union Minister that the Government of Manipur had already enacted the Manipur Municipality Act, 1994. The powers, authority and responsibilities of ULBs were identified in the section 36 to 40 under the Act for devolution.

The representatives highlighted that in most of the states, ULBs executed the functional domain of twelfth schedule of the Constitution. In case of Manipur, the state government did not have any intention to devolve the power and functions to ULBs, even though the Manipur Municipalties Act was passed in 1994. The second series of Manipur State Finance Commission Report was submitted in November 2004. However, the State government did not devise a echanism still for the devolution of power along with fund in accordance with recommendation of State Finance Commission. So, the ULBs in Manipur working for the namesake without assigning any power and functions as enlisted in the 12th Schedule of the Constitution.

The team also further apprised the Minister that the Manipur Government was doing injustice to the ULBs of Manipur by violating the Article 243 W of the Constitution and sections 36 to 40 of the Manipur Municipalities Act, 1994. Accordingly, the team said, they had submitted several memoranda and finally an ultimatum to the Chief Minister urging him to consider their demands repeatedly.

As it had not been considered by the state government till date, sit-in-protests were organised during August 22-29, 2006, still no action was taken.

Mr Reddy assured to inform the Chief Minister as to why the power had not been devolved to the ULBs even though the Parliament had already amended the Constitution long time back to implement it.

The Minister further assured the representatives that he would take up necessary steps to the state government for violating the provision of Constitution and Manipur Municipalities Act, 1994.

Earlier on October 27, the team also met Union Minister of State to the Prime Minister Office (PMO) Prithviraj Chauhan and General Secretary, AICC, North-East In-charge, who also assured of help into the matter.

The team was to meet UPA Chairperson and AICC president Sonia Gandhi within a day or two. The team of 32 members comprise Chairperson, Vice-chairpersons and councilors of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) of Manipur. The team has been camping in Delhi since October 24.

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