The Department of Municipal Administration was formed in 1962 bifurcating the erstwhile Department of Local Bodies in to Department of Municipalities (Now Department of Municipal Administration) and Department of Panchayats. This Department is under the control of the Local Administration Department of the Government of Kerala.
This Department is concerned with the administration of Municipalities and Corporations in Kerala. There were 58 Urban Local Bodies including 5 Municipal Corporations. The details regarding the names, grade, area, population etc. of the urban local bodies in the State are furnished in Annexure.I. The Kerala Municipality Act 1994, a unified Act for the Municipalities and Corporations in the State was enacted giving effect to the 74th Constitution Amendment Act. As a result a Municipal Corporations also come under the Administrative control of the Department. Before the commencement of the Kerala Municipality Act, 1994 the Department was only the inspecting authority and the coordinating agency in respect of the three Municipal Corporations in the State since 1977.
The Director of Municipal Administration is the controlling and supervising Officer of the Municipal/Corporation Councils by virtue of the powers delegated to him by Government.
The Department of Municipal Administration with the Director as the head functions as the controlling authority of the entire urban local bodies in their working. The Director exercises the powers delegated to him by the Government. The Department is supervising the entire work in the urban local bodies. The Department is the coordinating agency as regards the implementation of schemes under Five Year Plan, Payment of grant-in-aid and execution of Developmental schemes etc. He is also the inspecting authority in respect of all Municipal bodies. The Director is the appointing and disciplinary authority of all staff in the Kerala Municipal Common Service, except a few categories such as Health Officers, Municipal and Corporation Engineers. The Department exercises statutory authority over the Corporations with regard to the administration of to enactments viz. Kerala Cattle Trespass Act 1961 and Kerala Hackney Carriage Act 1963.
The 53 Municipalities and five Corporations in the State levy and collect taxes and fees under the authority of various Acts. The role of urban local bodies is *****.
The Kerala Municipality Act, 1994 does not confer to the department any statutory authority but provides for delegations. The functions and authorities delegated by the Government were properly exercised by the department. This delegation is based on the Kerala Municipality Act, 1961. As per 1994 Act fresh delegation is not ordered. Various powers conferred upon the Director as per the provision in the Local Authorities Loans Act 1963 and Cattle Trespass Act 1961.
The urban local bodies are the real sense a Miniature form of Government undertaking the various services and functions for the welfare of the people.
The Department exercises supervision and control of the entire urban local bodies in the State. The activities, functions exercised by the local bodies are closely watched by the department. The works in the local bodies are monitored by the department. With a view to improve the administration in the local bodies a series of circulars covering various subject were issued. Detailed instruction as to the implementation of the new Act were issued from time to time.
Activities under the prevention of Food Adulteration Act and Rules made thereunder were reviewed every month. The Department continued the administration of the Municipal Common Service-Municipal Employees Central Pension Scheme and Central Provident Fund Scheme.
As provided for the section 30(3) of Kerala Municipality Act 1994, the Government have transferred the institutions schemes and functions whichever hither ***.
1. Agricultural Department - ***
2. Animal Husbandry Department - Veterinary Poly Clinic, Sub Centre, Dispensary.
3. Fisheries - One post of Fisheries Sub Inspector.
4. Industries - Industries Extension Officer
5. Social Welfare - Day Care Centres, Anganavadies etc.
6. Health Govt.Hospital, - Community Health Centre-
7. Ayurveda - Taluk Hospitals
8. Homoeopathy - Taluk Hospitals
9. Education - Govt. Primary Schools and High Schools.
10.Cooperation - Senior Cooperative Inspector.
Though the staff attached to these institutions are transferred to the urban local bodies they continued to draw their salary from the Department which they belongs.
The fund provided for in the State Budget under Plan and Non Plan for the programmes that are to be implemented through these institutions were also transferred to the urban local bodies to be initially credited to their general P.D. Account. Being at the initial state of transfer of powers the urban local bodies have reported problems in the running of these institutions both administrative and functional. In the years to come the problems in the infancy stage will gradually be reduced and these urban local bodies will be better placed to function as real institution of self Government.