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LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT

During the ancient Hindu period, the villages enjoyed autonomy and were governed by the panchayats which exercised administrative and judicial powers. These village bodies received a setback under the Muslim rule and almost disappeared in their old form under the British, confining their authority only to the social life of the village community. The annexation of territory and over centralization of administration during the early British period brought about total extinction of traditional institutions of local self-government in India.

The events of 1857, however, had an eye-opening and softening influence on the British rulers and the subsequent years saw numerous steps being taken for decentralization and to usher in local government in the rural and urban areas. The first legal provision for the rural areas was the passing of N.W.P. and Oudh local Rates Act, 1871, followed by the local Boards Act, 1883 which provided for the establishment of district and tahsil boards. The N.W.P. and Oudh Municipalities Act, 1883, gave greater autonomy and financial powers to the municipalities allowing them to contribute towards education from their own funds, in addition to their functions as before relating to sanitation, drainage, lighting, public health and regulation of markets. The most outstanding feature of the U.P. Municipalities Act, 1916, was the introduction of the system of communal and minority representation in the municipal boards and separate seats were to be allotted to the Hindus called general, Muslims and scheduled Castes. Women were also made eligible. But the control of the government over the municipal boards including their dissolution and suppression remained as before. There was no major change in the constitution, powers, functions, etc. of the municipal boards till the achievement of Independence in 1947. By an amendment made in the Act in 1949, communal representation in the  communal representation in the municipal elections was abolished, leaving only two categories namely the general and the scheduled Castes and thus, the method of election was democratized. Another amendment in 1953, changed the nomenclature of   chairman of the board to president and provided for his direct election on an experimental basis. However, later on, indirect elections were reintroduced and the municipal area was divided into wards which elected the members.

This was followed by the U.P. Nagar Mahapalika Adhiniyam, 1959, which empowered the State Government to frame rules for the centralization of any post in the Mahapalikas (corporations) and Nagar Palikas viz., municipal boards. The details of the self-governing bodies in the districts are described separately in the following pages.


MUNICIPAL BOARDS

Gorakhpur

A Committee was formed on 7th September, 1869 which managed the local affairs. The municipal committee Gorakhpur was established on 4th December, 1873 under the North-Western Provinces and Oudh Municipalities Act, 1873. It was constituted as municipal board in August 1884 under the North-Western Provinces and Oudh Municipalities Act, 1883. There were 20 members including 5 nominated one, besides, a chairman. Later, it was administered under the North-Western Provinces and Oudh Municipalities Act, 1900. The Income was derived mainly from octroi, tax on horses and ponies, wheel tax, tax on weighment and tax on burners of bricks, lime and tiles. Other sources of income were rents of houses and lands, market and slaughter-house dues, cattle pound fees and sale proceeds of town compost.

At present, Gorakhpur city is administered under the U. P. municipalities Act, 1916, as amended from time to time. The area under the municipalities is 39 sq. km. with a population of 2,30,912 in 1971, divided into 34 single-member wards. Three members of the  board belong to the Scheduled Castes. The members elected by residents of the municipal area on the basis of adult franchise, elect the president. The term of office of the members and president is five years, which can be enhanced by the state Government in special circumstances. The president is liable to be removed by a vote of no-confidence by the members.

Finances -- The income of the municipal board is mainly derived from sources like government grants and contributions, local rates and taxes octroi, funds and fees imposed under special Acts, revenue from municipal property and license fees on vehicles and slaughter-houses. The expenditure is incurred mainly on general administration, collection of taxes, street lighting water supply, public health & sanitation and education. The total income of the board was Rs 65,24,843 and expenditure Rs 62,46,234 in the year 1973-74.

Water Supply -- The waterworks of the city were completed in 1955, water being drawn from tube-wells. Pipelines of a length of 184 km. have been laid, with 391 public taps and 5,929 private connections. Water is supplied for nearly twenty-four hours, everyday. The daily supply is 41 litres per head and nearly 59,179 million litres of water was supplied by the board during 1972-73. The board employs a waterworks engineer and other technical staff for the maintenance of the waterworks. Under the water-supply reorganization scheme now a new tubewell has been bored which will be commissioned shortly.

Street Lighting -- Electricity was made available in the year 1929, before which oil lamps were the only means of street lighting. By now, almost all the streets and lanes have electric bulbs. On the important roads, tube lights have been provided. There are 8,000 electric lamp posts with only 480 kerosene oil ones within the municipal limits. The electricity is supplied by the state electricity board department.

Public health and Medical Services -- The public health department of the board is looked after by the district medical officer of health. The board has a chief sanitary inspector, 5 sanitary inspector, 10 sanitary supervisors, 16 assistant sanitary supervisors, 5 midwives, 13 vaccinators and 718 sweepers to render sanitation and public health services in the city. The board maintains an infectious diseases hospital in which 500 patients were treated during 1972-73. The board gives aid to an Ayurvedic dispensary, a Homeopathic dispensary, a Kushtha Seva Ashram and an eye hospital. Two maternity homes are also maintained by the board which took up 220 cases during 1972-73.

Drainage -- The length of the pakka and kutcha drains in the town is about 19 km. and 14 km. respectively. All the pakka drains are flushed by the municipal board.

Education -- The board runs 60 junior basic schools for boys and 25 for girls. In 1973-74, 7,335 and 2,612 students were enrolled, respectively. There are four senior Basic schools for boys and one for girls, the number of students being 563 and 30, respectively in 1973-74. There are 270 teachers in boys' schools and 92 in girls' schools.

Special Achievements -- A housing scheme known as Humayunpur Housing and Urban Development Scheme has been taken up covering an area of 13.75 hectares of which 2.52 hectares is owned by the board. The remaining land is yet to be acquired the cost of acquisition and development as estimated at Rs 53.04 lakhs. There is a municipal park known as Lal Diggi Park. Besides, the board maintains 8 other small parks. There are two municipal libraries. One is the hall compound and named Holmes Colonel Library. The other is situated in Lal Diggi Park and called Gappu Lal Municipal Library. Four mahila ashram i.e.destitute Women's homes are also maintained by the board.

Nautanwa
This town was declared a town area in 1925. From 1925 to 1971, it was administered under the U.P. Town Areas Act, 1914. It was constituted into a municipality in 1971 under the U.P. Municipalities Act, 1916, covering an area of 1987 sq. km. with a population of 11,776 according to the census of 1971. It is divided in to three wards. Three members are elected from one ward and four each from the remaining two wards, the total being 11. The President is elected by the members.

Finances -- The total income of the board during the year 1973-74 was Rs 2,82,613 and expenditure Rs 1,70,311.

Waterworks -- The tube-well constructed in 1969-70 is the main source of supply of drinking water in the town. Water is supplied for nearly 10 hours daily. About 49,27,500 million litres of water was supplied during 1973-74. There are 91 public taps and 274 private connections. The board employs an engineer and other technical staff for the maintenance of its waterworks. There is also a scheme for the construction of a new tube-well at an estimated cost of Rs 97,000 to improve water supply in the town.

Street Lighting -- Till 1967 the streets of the town were lit by kerosene oil lamps, when electricity was made available to the board. There were 225 electric lamps and 40 kerosene oil lamps in the town for street lighting.

Public Health and Medical Services -- The board employs a sanitary inspector and other staff for the sanitation of the town.

Drainage -- The total length of both pakka and kutcha drains in the town is about 5.50 km. Drains of about 2 km. of length are flushed daily.

TOWN AREAS AND NOTIFIED AREA

At present there are five town areas in the district which are administered under the U.P. Town Areas Act,1914 (Act II of 1914) by committees, each consisting of a chairman and a number of members all being directly elected by the residents of the town on the basis of adult franchise for a term of four years. The number of members of each committee depends on the population of the town. The committees are empowered to levy house tax, property tax, tax on agricultural land situated within the limits of the town area etc. Other sources of income are sale proceeds of manure, license fees, fines, water tax, loans and Grants given by the government and rents of nazul lands, if any. The main heads of expenditure are general administration, collection charges, water-supply, public health and sanitation maintenance of public streets and drains and street lighting.

Siswa Bazar
Siswa Bazar, an old business centre was first declared a town on 25th November, 1871, under the Bengal Chaukidari Act of, 1856. At present, it is administered under the U.P. Town Areas Act of 1914. The town had an area of 0.12 sq. km. and a population of 8,358 in 1971. It is administered by the town area committee consisting of 12 members including the chairman all elected by the people of the town for a term of four years. This period can, however, be extended by government in special cases. The total income and expenditure of the committee was Rs 1,40,262 and Rs 1,68,953 respectively in 1973-74. The waterworks was completed in the year 1966. There are 260 public and private connections in the town. The electricity was made available in 1956. There were 100 electric bulbs and 40 mercury tube electric street lamps in the town in 1972.

Pipraich
It was declared a town on 25th November, 1871, under the Bengal Chaukidari Act, of 1856 and is now administered as a town area under the U.P. Town Areas Act of 1914. The Town covers an area of 2.8 sq. km.  and had a population of 7,162 in 1971. The town area committee consists of 11 members including the chairman, all elected by its inhabitants for a term of four years. This period can, however, be extended by government in special cases.

The total income and expenditure of the committee was Rs 90,422 and Rs 1,05,710 respectively in 1973-74.

The town has its own waterworks commissioned in 1971. There were 129 water taps with 2,438 m. of pipelines in 1971. Electricity became available for street lighting in the town in the year 1962. There were 40 electric street lamps in 1972-73. The committee also makes arrangements for the cleansing of roads, streets and drains in the town.

Gola
This town was declared as such on 25th November, 1871, under the Bengal Chaukidari Act, of 1856. At present, it is administered under the U.P.Town Area Act of 1914.

The town covers an area of 0.12 sq. km. and has a population of 5,492 in 1971. The town area committee consists of 10 members including the chairman, all elected by the townsmen for a term of four years extendable by the government in special cases.

The total income and expenditure of the town area committee was Rs 37,815 and Rs 40,023 respectively in 1973-74. The waterworks was completed in the year, 1968. There were 22 public and 120 private water connections in the town and the total length of pipelines was 3,284 m. in 1971. Electricity was made available in the town in 1963. There were 21 street electric lamps in the
town in, 1972.

Barhalganj
This place too was declared a town on 25th November, 1871, under the Bengal Chaukidari Act, of 1856. Its administration was then looked after by the town panchayat committee. Now, it is administered by the town area committee, under the U.P. Town Areas Act, of 1914.

The town had an area of 3.6 sq. km. and a population of 9,247 according to the census of 1971. The town area committee consists of 11 members including the chairman, all elected by the people of the town for a term of four years, extendable by the government in special cases.

The total income and expenditure of the committee was Rs 1,38,904 and Rs 1,45,538 respectively in 1973-74.

Electricity became available for street lighting in the town in 1960.  There were 45 electric street lamps in 1972-73.

Mundera Bazar
This village was converted into town area in October, 1971, under the U.P. Town Areas Act, of 1914.

The town covered an area of 6.4 sq. km. and had a population of 6,178 in 1971. As no election has yet taken place, it is being administered by the sub-divisional officer, Gorakhpur. Electricity was available here and there were 40 electric street lamps in the town in 1972. A sum of Rs 1,870 was spent on street lighting in 1972-73.

The total income and expenditure of the committee was Rs 58,304 and Rs 70,364 respectively in 1973-74

FERTILIZER NOTIFIED AREA

The notified area was constituted on 30th April, 1970, under the U.P.Municipalities Act 1916, (U.P. Act No. II of 1956).

This notified area covered an area of about 4 sq. km. and had a population of 3,800 according to the census of 1971. The notified area committee consists of 9 members including the president, all nominated by the government who continue in office till fresh nomination by the government. The
total income of the committee was Rs 6,041 and expenditure on general administration was Rs 6,146 in 1973-74.

PANCHAYATI RAJ

In ancient times, the village panchayats comprising of the elders, had administrative and judicial powers and exercised full control over the villages. During the British rule these panchayats were shorn of these powers though they continued to survive and control the social life of the village community. The U.P. panchayat Raj Act, 1947 was passed after Independence. It reorganized the traditional institutions on the modern pattern of elected Gaon Panchayats and delegated to them adequate powers for the administration of villages. Nyay panchayat forming the village courts with civil, criminal and revenue powers were also, constituted under this Act. The jurisdiction of a nyay panchayat, which has 10 to 25 members, extends to 5 to 10 Gaon Sabhas. The panchs of the nyay panchayat are nominated by the district magistrate, on the basis of qualifications prescribed, out of the panchs elected to the Gaon panchayat, who then elect a sarpanch and a sahayak sarpanch from amongst themselves. The sarpanch as the name denotes is the chairman of the nyay panchayat. The cases are heard by benches of 3-5 panchs each. The term of office of these benches is one year.

The community development blocks which were established in 1952 with the launching of the planning and development programme, had block development committees but they were only of advisory nature, set up to help and advise the staff posted in the blocks for successful and speedy implementation of the Five-year Plan schemes. Subsequently, by the U.P. Kshetra and Zila Parishads Adhiniyam, 1961, these committees were given statuary recognition and wider executive and financial powers. There were district boards to manage the local affairs, which functioned under the U.P. District Boards Act, 1922. In 1958, the U.P. Kshetra Samitis and Zila Parishads Adhiniyam, 1961 was enforced which established Zila parishad at the district level and Kshetra Samitis at the block level.

Thus the three-tier organisation came into being in the rural areas of the district-gaon panchayat at the base, Kshetra Samiti in the middle and the Zila Parishad at the apex.

Zila Parishad

The district board traces its origin to the various committees formed from time to time administer the funds derived from cesses and local sources, such as the road and ferry fund, the school cess, and the like. These were amalgamated in 1871, when the district committee came into existence and this body was transformed into a partially elected district board, with members returned from the local or tahsil boards, under Act XIV of 1883. In 1906 the local boards were abolished. The district Board as it then existed, consisted of 18 members, six elected annually for a term of three years, six representatives one from each tahsil and the six sub-divisional officers. The district magistrate was the chairman.

The U.P. District Boards Act, 1922 made some changes in the constitution of the board. The number of members was raised to 40 of whom 35 were elected, 2 nominated by the government, 2 nominated by the elected members of the board and the chairman, who was elected by the elected members of the boards. In 1958, the U.P. Antarim Zila Parishads Act, 1958, came into force. In place of the district board, the local body now was called the Antarim Zila Parishad. In 1963, according to the U.P. Kshetra Samitis and Zila Parishad Adhiniyam, 1961, the word 'Antarim' was dropped and the Zila Parishad came into existence.

The total membership of the Zila Parishad Gorakhpur is 100 which includes 31 pramukhs and 31 representatives of Kshetra Samitis, the presidents of the 2   municipal boards, a representative of the co-operative bank, 3 representatives from the co-operative institutions, 3 members of the Lok Sabha, 15 members of the Vidhan Sabha, 2 members of the Vidhan Parishad, 3 members nominated by the government, 4 women members and 5 members of the Scheduled Castes.

The normal term of the Zila parishad and its members is five years but it may be extended by the government. The members of Zila Parishad elect an adhyaksh and an up-adhyaksh for five years and one year respectively.

The district planning officer is the chief executive officer of the Zila Parishad.

The functions of the Zila Parishad are very comprehensive and include all those of the former district board, district planning committee of Antarim Zila Parishad besides, co-ordination of the activities of the development blocks, implementation of inter-block schemes and utilization of the funds allotted by the government for purposes of  agriculture, animal husbandry, irrigation, co-operation, village and cottage industries, medical and public health services, education, cultural activities and welfare of children, youth and women. The major sources of income of the Zila Parishad are government grants, taxes levied by it and fees from cattle pounds. The main items of its expenditure are public works and medical and public services. Previously, it dealt with primary education also, but since 1972, the subject has been taken over by the government. The total income of the Zila Parishad was Rs 85,32,799 and expenditure Rs 70,17,365 during the year 1973-74.

Medical and Public Health Services - There are 3 allopathic, 31 Ayurvedic and 9 Homeopathic dispensaries under the management of of the Zila Parishad. Nearly 2,08,050 patients were treated at all these Dispensaries in 1973.

Public Works- The Zila Parishad maintains about 99 km. of metalled and 297 km. of unmetalled roads. It has undertaken the responsibility of painting the roads constructed under the Rural Manpower Mobilization scheme. A sum of Rs 14,81,471 has been received as grant under the link road scheme for the construction of unmetalled roads. Work estimated to cost Rs 8.81 lakhs has been entrusted to the Parishad. Under its supervision, a bridge and a culverts have been constructed. 

kshetra Samitis

There were 31 kshetra samitis, one for every development block in the district, in 1972-73. With the enforcement of the U.P. Kshetra samitis and Zila Parishads Adhiniyam of 1961, functions of the erstwhile block development committees devolved upon the newly established kshetra samitis. One kshetra samiti comprises of all pradhan of constituent gaon sabhas, chairman of town area committee if any and presidents of notified area committees if any, lying within the block area, representatives of co-operative institutions of the block and members of the zila parishad who are elected from the block. All members of the lower houses of the Central and State legislatures, whose constituencies include any part of the block and all members of the upper houses of the Central and State legislatures who have their residence in the block and all members of the Central and State legislatures whose place of residence is in the district in which the block is situated and who have chosen to represent the block are ex-officio members of the kshetra samiti. The members of the kshetra samiti may also co-opt a certain number of women and persons belonging to the scheduled Castes and persons interested in planning and development provided they are registered as voters for the Legislative assembly from any part of the block. The term of kshetra samiti is five years.

The members of Kshetra samiti elect the pramukh i.e. the presiding officer out of the voters list for the Legislative assembly from the area included in the block and one senior up-pramukh and one junior up-pramukh from among themselves, all for a five-year term. The block development officer is the executive officer of the kshetra samiti, which is responsible for the formulation and execution of the development plans of the gaon sabhas constituting the development block. The main activities of this body are in the sphere of agriculture, horticulture, live-stock and fisheries, construction of minor irrigation works, opening of health maternity and child welfare centres, prevention and control of epidemics, promotion of cottage and village   industries and co-operative institutions. Briefly the Kshetra Samiti acts as a co-ordinating agency, for all the gaon sabhas functioning within its jurisdiction in the implementation of their planned schemes and programmes.  It is particularly responsible for the implementation of inter-villages projects in the block area.

Gaon Panchayats
Since ancient times, the villages in India had been administered by their respective panchayats which exercised administrative and judicial power.  The number of panchayats has varied from time to time. In 1947, when the  U.P.Panchayat Raj Act was enforced in the district, there were 1335 gaon  panchayats. Their number increased with the population and in 1972-73 it rose  to 2,673.

A gaon sabha is constituted for a villages or group of villages with a minimum population of persons and consists of all the adults of the village. The gaon panchayat, which is the executive of the gaon sabha, has a pradhan (president) and an up-pradhan (vice-president) the former and the members of the gaon panchayat being elected initially by the elders of gaon sabha, for a five years extendable by the government. An up-pradhan (Vice-President) is  elected by the members of the gaon panchayat for a term of one year. The number of members of the gaon panchayat is determined in proportion to the  population of the gaon sabha and generally ranges from 15 to 30.

The gaon sabha is intended to constitute the basis of an active and conscious peasant democracy which should not only integrate but also initiate all rural development policies and programmes. The functions of the panchayat include among others, construction, repairs, cleansing and lighting of streets, sanitation , prevention of epidemics, upkeep and supervision of  forests, waste lands, pastures, buildings, land or any other property of the gaon sabha, registration of births, deaths and marriages, regulation of  markets and fairs, establishment of primary schools, provision of drinking  water facilities and welfare of children, youth and women.

The main sources of income of a gaon panchayat are government grants, taxes collected by it and voluntary contributions by the local people. The income of the gaon panchayats is generally so meager that it is not possible for them to carry out all the functions entrusted to them. The following  statement shows the income of panchayats from various sources during 1973-74.
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Sources                                          Amount in Rs
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Taxation                                              6,50,070
License fee                                                 764
Land management committee                  1,71,377
Grants                                                   10,988
Other Sources                                        43,205
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Total                                                  8,76,404
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The following statement shows the expenditure of panchayats on various heads during the year 1973-74:
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Heads                                   Amount in Rs

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Construction work                       5,17,197
General administration                  1,11,371
Others                                       1,09,868
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Total                                         7,38,436
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Details of the achievements of the panchayats of the district are given below:
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Work done                              During the Fourth Five-year plan
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Construction of drains                                    1,517
(meters)
Construction of kharanjas                             37,937
(in sq. meters)
Culverts constructed                                        225
Wells constructed                                            637
Hand-pumps installed                                    8,021
Tube-wells constructed                                      40
Soak pits constructed                                    1,764
Panchayat ghars constructed                              45
School buildings constructed                            341
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Beside this the gaon panchayats have also constructed some kutcha and pukka roads.

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