NEW DELHI, Feb 6 � Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today opposed the framework of the model municipal law pleading that it should not be binding on the State.
The Chief Minister was participating in the second meeting of Sub-Committee of National Development Council (NDC) on Urbanisation held at Vigyan Bhavan here today. The conference was attended by Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Kumari Selja, besides the Chief Minister of Haryana.
Evolution of 18 functions, funds and functionaries under the 12th Schedule of the Constitution have been carried out through recent amendments of the Assam Municipal Act. Gogoi, however, said he did not agree to the framework model municipal law under Article 252 of the Constitution. �It should not be binding upon us. We want only a framework law containing the key features to be incorporated in the State laws but not under Article 252,� the Chief Minister said.
The State government is already in the process of amending the existing Town and Planning Act, Gogoi said, adding that he was in agreement with the recommendations of the expert group regarding strategic planning.
The Chief Minister stressed the need for at least 10 per cent of allocation for north-eastern States under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission � II (JNNURM). �For all future programme, at least 10 per cent of the resources of Government of India should be spent on the north-eastern States according to Government of India�s commitment. This would, to some extent, bridge the huge urban infrastructure gaps that exist in the North-east,� he said.
Underlining the need for recognising the huge gaps in urban infrastructure and administrative capacities of urban local bodies (ULBs) in the region, Gogoi said while formulating the policies and plans on urbanisation, special and differential treatment provisions should be made for the NES.
Stressing that ruralisation was more important than urbanisation, the Chief Minister said that more thrusts should be given on building infrastructure of small and medium towns to prevent migration.
�Our thrust all along has been on ruralisation, as majority of our people live in rural areas. Providing the facilities available in the cities in small towns would prevent further migration of people,� he said.
Accepting the recommendation of the sub-committee on creation of municipal cadre, the Chief Minister described it as a step in the right direction. �We have already brought the councillors and officers of ULBs under the purview of the Lokayukta for better accountability,� he said.
The Union Urban Development Minister said that the problems of urbanization in the country is an unprecedented one and of great dimension and magnitude.
Stressing on the need for capacity building of ULBs, he said lack of capability of ULBs has been stumbling block. If we have to improve urban development then the capacity of ULBs will have to be increased. There is no other way out,� he concluded.