Shimla Municipal Council handles the civic administration of the city of Shimla, which is also the capital of Himachal Pradesh. It was founded in 1851, for handling the civil matters of the summer capital of British India. After seeing lot of fluctuation of history, today it governs the city and the nearby areas. The municipal is controlled by the elected mayor and the other political parties of India. All the matters which are related to the infrastructure of the city are resolved by the municipal corporation of Shimla and the councilors of the wards of this local self government.
History of the Shimla Municipal Corporation
One of the oldest municipal corporations in India, Shimla Municipal Corporation was first constituted in December 1851. It was constituted as the Municipal committee, whose members were Government officials. The formal elections were held in the August 1855. In 1871, it was declared as the Class I Municipality. In 1874, it was brought under Punjab Municipal Act and divided into two wards. They were Bazaar and the Town. Till the independence, the municipal corporation was changed many times under the reconstitution procedures.
After independence, Shimla was divided into 14 single wards and 1 two member ward. All the members of the Corporation were elected by the citizens and the President was elected by the members themselves. Due to increase in the population, the numbers of the members were raised to the 21.
Governance of Shimla Municipal Corporation
Today, the Shimla Municipal Corporation has 27 councilors who govern the city. Out of 27 councilors, 3 members are nominated by the state government. The state government nominates the prominent personalities who are active in academics, social service and the other fields. The councilors select the mayor and the deputy mayor of the city. The corporation has reserved 33% seats for the women. The election for the Shimla Municipal Corporation is held after every five years. The Municipal Commissioner is the administrative head of the Shimla Municipal Corporation, who is appointed by the State Government.
The Shimla Municipal Corporation administrates the Shimla city and the surrounding areas such as Totu, Dhalli and new Shimla. These three areas came under the authority of SMC or Shimla Municipal Corporation in 2006 to 2007. The major political parties in Shimla are Bharatiya Janata Party, Communist Party(Marxist) of India and National Congress. The city has one seat in State Legislature and one seat in Loksabha in Indian Parliament.
Function and Duties of Shimla Municipal Corporation
The Municipal Corporation of Shimla is responsible for the governing the city of Shimla and the nearby areas. It includes various departments to facilitate the functions. These functions include the waste disposal, street management, collecting property tax, issuing the trade licenses and the marriage certificates. It also includes the registration of the birth and deaths, water supply, construction and maintenance of the roads and electricity supply. As the tourism in the big part of the city economy, the corporation also provides various services to the tourists.
For performing the duties in an efficient method, the corporation has various departments, who look after a particular function. These separate departments include Education, Accounts, Fire Management, Water works, Revenue, Drainage, Public Works, Electric supply and Health. The other departments are Planning and rehabilitation, General Administration, Law, Information technology, Housing and Environmental development, and food and other civil supplies.
Disaster Management Team of Shimla Municipal Corporation
As Shimla is located in the mountain landscape, it is highly prone to various natural or man-made disasters. To combat these situations, the Municipal Corporation has Disaster Management Team which is constantly trained in various disaster management systems. The Disaster Management Team is always on the standby for the assistance. Also, it maintains contact with the inside and outside agencies including fire management, law and order dept. and various hospital teams.