Andhra Pradesh govt to upgrade village panchayaths to municipal towns
With a view to infuse planned development and growth, the state government is seriously contemplating to upgrade major village panchayaths to Nagara Panchayaths and municipal towns. The state government will shortly take up a feasibility study to convert the rural civic bodies into urban civic bodies. Sources said that the village panchayaths with over 25000-30000 population will be considered for upgradation.
Hurdles for creation of new urban civic bodies were also cleared after the expiry of the term of the elected general bodies of the village panchayaths. The state government recently appointed special officers as person in-charges of the village panchayaths across the state. As per the Panchayathraj Act, the state government on its own could not impose its views on the village governing councils. A resolution from the village panchayath is a must even for the state government to take a decision with regard to upgradation. Since no elected governing council would support the move for upgradation of the villages into Nagara Panchayaths or Municipal towns, the government waited for the expiry of the term of the elected bodies.
Normally, the village elected councils would oppose upgradation for two reasons. One, the sitting members would lose their term as elected members of the panchayath. Two, the conversion to urban civic body would result in steep increase in property and water taxes.
However, the state government is of the view that elevation of rural bodies to urban civic bodies would help bring in discipline to the growth. The approaval of building plans and structures including commercial complexes would be done through a dedicated planning wing in urban areas while there is no such mechanism in rural civic bodies.