74th Constitutional Amendment|Government transfers 577 roads to urban local bodies

After the health and education sector, Jammu and Kashmir government has ordered transfer of 577 roads to the urban local bodies with a view to implement 74th Constitution Amendment Act which stresses on devolution of power to municipal corporations.

The roads have been transferred to Srinagar and Jammu Municipal Corporations.

In this regard an order titled devolution of functions, functionaries and resources to the urban local bodies in alignment with mandate of 74th Constitution Amendment Act has been issued by the Principal Secretary, Public Works Department.

“Sanction is hereby accorded to the transfer of 213 roads falling under the municipal limits of district Jammu having width below 5.5 kilometers to Jammu Municipal Corporation. Transfer of 364 roads falling under the municipal limits of district Srinagar having width below 5.5 kilometers to Srinagar Municipal Corporation,” the order reads.

The government order has further orders transfer of Tawi Bridge cum medical college Division, Jammu to JMC and City Roads Division Srinagar to SMC along with posts.

The total 165 posts have been transferred to JMC, SMC. However as per the directive, the Public Works Department will continue to be cadre controlling authority and the staff transferred to ULBs will be considered as on deputation.

Chief Engineer, Roads and Building Department Showkat Ahmad said that they received the government order and have started the process to hand over roads to urban local bodies.

Earlier under the provisions of 74th Constitution Amendment Act, J&K government has transferred the control of around 108 government primary schools to the municipal corporations in Jammu and Srinagar. The government has also transferred functional control of 53 health sub-centres to urban local bodies in twin capital cities of the UT.

The 74th amendment act mandates setting up and devolution of powers to Urban local bodies or city governments as the lowest unit of governance in cities and towns.

This initiative of the Government of India in 1993 was built upon the premise that all ‘power’ in a democracy rightfully belongs to ‘the people’. Power was mandated to be given to the people via the local bodies (referred to as municipalities), namely Municipal Corporations, Councils and Nagar Panchayats, which would have representatives that are elected regularly and have a decisive role in planning, provision and delivery of services.