To enable the local bodies to act as an effective third tier local government, the State Government constituted Municipal Administrative Reforms Committee for exploring avenues for good urban governance. It has already submitted its recommendations, most of which have been accepted by the Government in principle. A few recommendations have already been implemented.
The committee in its report has laid emphasis on people's participation, democratic decentralisation and introduction of information technology to ensure transparency and openness at the local government level. Recommendations also include measures for overall capacity building of the municipal bodies and support government agencies. It also recommended the mobilisation of financial resources by the urban local bodies.
Capacity Building of Urban Local Bodies
The municipal administration, which is supposed to meet the rising aspirations of the citizens, is yet to reach the expected level of efficiency. The State Government has taken every effort to improve their efficiency.
An organisation - Institute for Local Government and Urban Studies (ILGUS) - exclusively set up for catering to the needs of urban local bodies, organises training programmes regularly for elected representatives, officials and community based organisations to equip them with the latest techniques to deal with the ever- increasing urban problems.
Municipal Engineering Directorate (MED) & Directorate of Local Bodies (DLB) have been set up to extend technical & administrative support to urban local bodies throughout the state. West Bengal Valuation Board (WBVB) has also been set up for scientific valuation of lands & buildings within municipal areas.