HISTORICAL OVERVIEW OF MUNICIPALITIES ACTs
Historical background In the erstwhile State of Hyderabad
Municipalities were governed under Hyderabad District Municipalities Act, 1956. Later, Andhra Pradesh was formed (1 November 1956) by merging the then Andhra State and the Telugu-speaking districts (Telangana) of the then Hyderabad State. While the municipalities in the Andhra area were governed under Andhra District Municipalities Act, 1920, municipalities in the Telangana area were governed under Hyderabad District Municipalities Act, 1956.
Though the basic structure of both Acts was similar, there was no uniformity in certain provisions relating to elected representatives, municipal functionaries, functions, powers, and responsibilities, etc. It was therefore proposed to legislate a uniform municipal act for the entire State covering the Andhra area as well as the Telangana area. This resulted in the passage of the Andhra Pradesh Municipalities Act, 1965 and the Act came into effect on 2 April 1965. With the coming into force of the Act, the earlier Acts of 1920 and 1956 were repealed. The State of Andhra Pradesh was subsequently bifurcated as State of Andhra Pradesh and the State of Telangana on 2 June 2014. The Andhra Pradesh Municipalities Act, 1965 was adopted in the State of Telangana in G.O.Ms. No. 142 MA dated 29-10-2015 and the Act became the Telangana Municipalities Act, 1965.
In the erstwhile Hyderabad State, there were two municipal corporations, one at Hyderabad and the other at Secunderabad and they were governed under the Hyderabad Municipal Corporations (HMC) Act, 1955. The two corporations were merged in 1960 and Hyderabad Municipal Corporation was created. Subsequently, in 2007, 12 municipalities around Hyderabad were merged in the corporation limits and the merged entity was known as Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation and the Hyderabad Municipal Corporations Act, 1955 (HMC Act) has been renamed as Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation Act, 1955 (GHMC Act).
During 1994, the then Government of Andhra Pradesh desired to constitute more municipal corporations in the State and the Legislature of the State has passed Andhra Pradesh Municipal Corporations Act, 1994. The Act empowered Government to constitute municipal corporations, whenever it desires and prescribed certain criteria for the purpose. The Act is brief, and it stipulates that all provisions of the HMC Act/GHMC Act, 1955 are extended to and shall apply mutatis mutandis to the municipal corporation constituted under the Act.
After the State of Telangana was formed, the Andhra Pradesh Municipal Corporations Act, 1994 was adopted in the State in G.O.Ms. No. 143 MA dated 29-10-2015 and the Act became the Telangana Municipal Corporations, 1994.
Currently, while the municipalities in the State are governed under Telangana Municipalities Act, 1965, the municipal corporations are governed under Telangana Municipal Corporations Act, 1994 (with GHMC Act, 1955 as the mother Act).
As per Art. 243 Q of Constitution of India which has been introduced through the 74th Amendment of 1992, Municipalities include Municipal Councils and Municipal Corporations.
The Government of Telangana desired to bring forth an integrated Act, covering municipalities and municipal corporations excluding GHMC. Accordingly, Telangana Municipalities Act, 2019 was introduced in both Houses of Legislature on 18 and 19 July 2019 and the Legislatures have considered and passed the Act. The Act applies to all municipal councils and municipal corporations (other than GHMC) without any reference to GHMC Act. When the Act was sent to Governor for assent, he suggested certain changes in the Act. The suggestions made by the Governor were incorporated and were sent to him. By that time, the Legislature was not in session, and an Ordinance under the title ‘Telangana Municipalities Ordinance’ was promulgated by the Governor on 21 July 2019 in terms of Art. 213 (1) of the Constitution of India and was published in the Telangana Gazette as Ordinance No.6 of 2019. Further, The ordinance has come into force on 23 July 2019 in accordance with GO Ms.No.211 dated 23 July 2019 of the MA&UD Department and it was published in Telangana Gazette on the same day.
As per Art.213 (2) of the Constitution of India, any ordinance promulgated by Governor has to be translated into an Act within a period of six months. As such, the Telangana Municipalities Act has been introduced in the Legislative Assembly on 17 September 2019. After due deliberations, the Legislative Assembly has passed the Act on 21 September 2019. Later, the Act has been introduced in the Legislative Council on 22 September 2019, and on detailed discussions, the Act has been passed by the Legislative Council also on the same day. The Governor gave his assent to the Act on 8 October 2019 and it has been published in the Telangana Gazette on 9 October 2019 as Act. No. 11 of 2019. Since the Act is the replacement of the Ordinance, the Ordinance is repealed. The Act came into effect with effect from 23 July 2019 as per GO Ms. No.258 MA dated 25-10-2019.