IMC facing acute shortage of permanent employees, 46 per cent of sanctioned posts lying vacant: Report

The Praja Foundation released the ‘Urban Governance Report on Manipur’ on Saturday in Mumbai.

The Imphal Municipal Corporation (IMC) is facing acute shortage of permanent employees. As per the latest data shared by IMC as on July 2019, 46 per cent of the total sanctioned permanent posts of the IMC remains vacant, said report of a study conducted by Praja Foundation in Manipur.

Praja Foundation released the ‘Urban Governance Report on Manipur’ on Saturday in Mumbai. The report is based on Praja’s Urban Governance Study conducted in Imphal, Manipur during March 2019 and February 2020, according to a release from the foundation. 

The study has mapped the status of implementation of 74th Constitutional Amendment Act and the various urban governance challenges through interviews with key stakeholders namely elected representatives, city administrators and civil voluntary organisations, it said.

The report also pointed out that there is a lack of mechanism to facilitate the coordination between the IMC and other multiple agencies such as Public Works Department (PWD), Public Health Engineering Department (PHED), Town Planning Department (TPD), Planning and Development Authority (PDA), Manipur Urban Development Authority (MUDA) operating in the city on overlapping functions.

Besides, out of the 18 functions mandated under the 74th Constitution Amendment Act, 1992, only three functions are completely devolved to IMC, while over 11 functions are under multiple agencies and the rest of the four functions are under state government’s control, it said. 

It also said that Ward Development Committees constituted in each ward of Imphal city to look after development activities have become inactive with irregular meetings.

 “During the Urban Governance Study, the councillors had mentioned that they do not have the necessary powers and authority to render their service to solve various issues in their constituency although they are given various trainings and receive remuneration and allowances,” said the foundation.

According to the release, the administrators have also expressed that frequent transfer of officials in the IMC is affecting the course of execution of projects and service delivery.

 “Apart from the above issues, the IMC has also been facing shortage of revenue.  Although a Manipur Municipality Tax Board has been constituted as per the amendment of the municipal act in 2012, the IMC is yet to be authorised to levy property taxes in the city,” it said. 

While maintaining that the city governments are neither authorised to revise the tax rates of the existing taxes being levied nor hold the authority to introduce taxes, it stated that the IMC is completely dependant on the state government for funds due to these stated issues.

 “The city governments in the state are dependent on the state government for funds, functions and functionaries. Therefore, it is imperative that the state government take these into consideration and act accordingly to ensure that the city governments are empowered with authority and powers to enact local governance systems in the state,” it added. 

Regarding public participation, it said that even though local traditional governance systems are practised at a community level referred to as ‘Singloops’, the practice has not been formally recognised and has not been integrated into the city governance structure. 

Besides, the current city governance system does not have provisions for any form of citizen participation in the city, the release said.  

It went on to say that Praja has been working towards enabling accountable governance over the last two decades. 

PRAJA's goals are simplifying people's lives, empowering the citizens and government with facts and creating instruments of change to improve the quality of life of citizens in India. PRAJA is committed to creating an accountable and efficient society through people's participation, it added.

First Published:Sept. 19, 2020, 11:33 p.m.

Leave a comment