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Why are our cities suffering?

My take on why local level governance in cities like Bangalore and Mumbai are suffering while thriving in cities like New Delhi and to a lesser extent, Chennai.

Any good city needs local governance. This means having a strong mayor council in place and using revenues generated by the city to a substantial extent for the city's needs. 

But this is not done in case of Mumbai where according to 'The Economist';

"The second reason is long-standing underinvestment in Mumbai by the state government of Maharashtra. It has preferred to divert Mumbai’s revenues to rural Maharashtra, which has more voters. To protect this source of patronage, it has also sabotaged Mumbai’s municipal government. ****India’s giant cities need powerful mayors to manage their development****, as China’s cities have, but state governments are opposed to the idea."

P Manivannan, IAS, often regarded popularly as the most effecient "CEO" of Mysore is of the view that State Governments largely sabotage local level governance - in our case undermine the powers of MCC (Mysore City Corporation) and BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike).

Mr P Manivannan, writes that, "You will be shocked to know that the State Government refuses to recongnise the Urban Local Bodies as third tier of government! ****Both the Central and State Governments tax the Municipal income and expenditure**** ! So much for autonomy and local government!"

Mr Manivannan, further writes that state and central governments are not taking the counsel of the 74th Amendment, both in letter and spirit. The 74th Amendment is crucial for local level governance in India's cities and urban areas.

No wonder BBMP polls are being delayed and debased by politicos.

In contrast, we observe cities like Chennai, which have a strong Mayor Council in place having better local governance than Bengaluru.

We take the example of New Delhi, where CM Mrs Sheila Dikshit has been recently voted to an unprecedented third term! She largely functions as the Mayor of New Delhi instead of the Chief Minister of the State of Delhi.

Second, more importantly, she does not have to worry about taxes generated in Delhi being spent on Haryana or Punjab unlike how it is done in Maharashtra and Karnataka.

While i agree there is a need for investment in rural infrastructure and that urban taxes help generate money needed for the former, the goose that lays that golden egg should not be tortured. comment guidelines

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