The Shinde Fadnavis government on Wednesday tabled the bill to amend the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act and The Maharashtra Municipal Corporations Act to revise the number of wards. As per the proposed amendments to the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, the number of BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) wards will be reduced to 227 from 236. The government has proposed amendments to the Maharashtra Municipal Corporations Act the number of wards will be proportionate to the population of the respective civic bodies.
The state cabinet on August 3 scrapped the Maha Vikas Aghadi government's decision to increase the number of BMC wards to 236 from 227 citing the 3.8 percent increase in the civic body’s jurisdiction and fast-growing urbanisation. The cabinet decided that the upcoming BMC elections, which are expected to take place in October-November, will be held as per the 2017 ward structure.
In view of the government’s proposed move, a fresh exercise of delimitation of wards, reservation of wards and up-dation of voters’ list will be done in these civic bodies.
The MVA cabinet held on November 10 last year had approved an increase in the wards to 236 from 227 in a bid to give more representation to the elected representatives. The previous government had argued that the number of corporators, which was fixed at 227, was done as per the 2001 census and the number of wards was not revised after the 2011 census. The nine wards were increased mainly in the Shiv Sena strongholds including Mumbai city 3, Mumbai eastern suburbs 3 and Mumbai western suburbs 3.
However, the government in a bill said, ‘’The number of councillors in the BMC and minimum and maximum number of elected councillors of other municipal corporations had been increased considering growth in urban population and the speed of urbanization, on the basis of figures of Census of 2011 ad hypothetical calculation of population in 2021-22 respectively. However, it was considered expedient to specify the number of councillors of corporations on the basis of population as per Census 2021 after it is completed.’’