Assembly Passes GHMC Amendment Bill 2020

“The Forest Research Institute released a report recently revealing that the green cover in the State increased by 6-7 per cent which can be attributed to various measures by the State government.”

Assembly Passes GHMC Amendment Bill 2020

Hyderabad: The Telangana State Assembly passed the GHMC (Amendment Bill) 2020 making the 50 percent reservation for women mandatory in GHMC Council. Though the State government had issued orders in this regard earlier and provided 50 percent reservation for women in the GHMC Council during the previous elections, the new Bill gives it legitimacy. The Bill brings four more amendments to the GHMC Act including allocation of 10 per cent of GHMC budget for Green Budget.

Introducing the Bill in the State Assembly here on Tuesday, Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister KT Rama Rao said the 50 percent reservation for women in GHMC Council was being implemented following an electoral promise made by Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao earlier. He pointed out that TRS had set an example for others by getting women won from 79 municipal divisions against reservation of 75 of 150 municipal divisions in GHMC. He stated that Telangana became the first State to provide 50 per cent reservation for women in all local bodies by amending the Panchayat Raj Act, the Municipal Act and the GHMC Act. He said the State had already achieved the feat even before the Centre started making efforts and sought the opinion of the States to provide 50 percent reservation for women in all legislative houses as per Article 243 (T) which mandates 33 percent reservation for women in all legislative houses.

Rama Rao said another amendment was making provision for setting aside 10 per cent of the total GHMC budget for the green budget being implemented across all local bodies in the State. He said the green budget of GHMC was only 2.5 percent which will be now increased to 10 per cent. “The Forest Research Institute released a report recently revealing that the green cover in the State increased by 6-7 per cent which can be attributed to various measures by the State government,” he added. He said the responsibility of ensuring 85 per cent survival of plants has been given to the elected representatives and the officials.

Further amendments have been proposed to promote citizen participation in municipal governance in GHMC area through constitution of four citizen committees for each division – youth, senior citizens, women and eminent citizens. “Put together, these committees will form a strong 15,000 citizens force who can be involved in increasing green cover, solid waste management, prevention of encroachment of public properties, discourage plastic usage, promote sports and other activities in the respective divisions,” the Minister said.

The GHMC (Amendments) Bill also provides provision to fix reservations for two terms in the local body to ensure continuity and responsibility. Similar provision was made in the Panchayat Raj Act and the Municipal Act. In another major amendment, the Bill mandates the State Election Commission to take its decision on conducting the GHMC elections only in concurrence from the State government. “Conducting elections in GHMC is a tedious task and the objective behind bringing this amendment is to consider all issues like natural disasters (heavy rains and floods), availability of staff, law and order, and other issues into consideration before conducting GHMC elections,” he said.

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