On Monday, a bill was submitted in the legislature to amend the Assam Municipal Act, 1956, in order to increase the tenure of administrators in the state's municipalities.
According to Ashok Singhal, Minister of Urban Development, the Bill seeks to empower deputy commissioners or sub-divisional officers (civil) or officials nominated by them to take over municipal boards for a period not exceeding 24 months, rather than the present requirements of 12 months.
Municipal boards in the state's general regions finished their full five-year terms in March 2020, and elections to these bodies could not be placed on time owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and countrywide lockdown, Singhal stated while tabling the Assam Municipal (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
The present provision in the Assam Municipal (Amendment) Act, 2020 allows government officials to run municipal boards for a maximum of 12 months. This clause went into effect on April 1, 2020, and will expire on March 31, 2021.
The government issued the Assam Municipal (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021, which extended the administrators' tenure by six months till September 30, 2021.
When the Bill is enacted, the administrators will be able to continue ruling over the towns.