Formation and empowerment of slum, area and ward committees to strengthen urban governance

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India was a country based in villages. However with modernization and development many people have been moving into the cities, in search of employment, livelihood, and education. Cities throughout India have been growing at an exponential rate.

In the villages there is the structure of a Gram Panchayat to govern the development, in conjunction with a Gram Sabha or people’s assembly. In cities there is a provision of a Nagar Palika, or municipality, to govern and in cities bigger than 3 lakha population they have Ward Committees that are much like people’s assemblies. Unfortunately for cities smaller then 3 lakh population there is no people’s assembly to be able to communicate and work with the local government.

In 1993 the Indian Government enacted the 74th Amendment, which helps strengthen urban local governance. It has provisions for cities over 3 lakh population to have Ward Committees and Area Committees which are made up of the constituents in the specific wards. That also works as a bridge between the constituents and the municipality of the city. HiC has taken the aspect of these committees and is implementing the same concept in Bhuj. Though it is a city smaller then 3 lakh it still has need for the people to have a bigger voice in the development of their city.

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