Bihar cabinet approves 111 new urban bodies, 5 more municipal corporations
In an attempt to boost urbanization, Bihar’s cabinet on Saturday approved the urban development department (UDD) proposal to amend the Bihar Municipal Law to pave the way for the creation of more than 100 new urban local bodies and improve the state of existing ones.
The exercise would also lead to the creation of five more municipal corporations in the state. There are currently 12 municipal corporations in the state, which includes Chapra which was granted municipal corporation status in 2016.
At the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nitish Kumar, the government gave its approval for updating the Nagar Parishads of Motihari, Sasaram, Bettiah, Madhubani and Samastipur as municipal corporations. It also approved the UDD’s proposal to expand the limit to 12 urban bodies, including those of the Bihar Sharif municipal corporation, Masaurhi Nagar Parishad, Buxar Nagar Parishad and Hajipur Nagar Parishad.
UDD officials said the process to develop 103 new Nagar Panchayats and eight new Nagar Parishads would begin after the cabinet decision. Similarly, 32 Nagar Panchayats would be upgraded as Nagar Parishads.
A total of nine new Nagar Panchayats would be created in Darbhanga, followed by eight in Nalanda and Purnia, seven in Muzaffarpur and five in Gaya and Katihar. Punpun and Paliganj would be notified as new Nagar Panchayats in Patna.
Currently, the state has 49 Nagar Parishads (also called town halls) and 80 Nagar Panchayats (administratively known town halls), said a UDD official.
The official said the government’s decision to create new urban bodies and upgrade existing ones to larger entities would lead to large investments in infrastructure development, development of business activities and improvement of civic amenities. However, people under the jurisdiction of these urban agencies must pay taxes for making use of civic amenities.
Bihar has approximately 11.27% urban population compared to the national average of 31.16%. Once the new urban areas are notified and infrastructure is improved according to its new status, the state’s urbanization will grow to about 20%, an official said.