Majitha Municipality


[ Area : 0.21 sq. km. Population (1961) : 6973]


            The municipal Committee, Majitha, was constituted in 1924, as a second-class municipality. Even though Majitha had a previous municipal history, the bye-laws were introduced in 1957. A list of these is given in Appendix V on page 449.


            The Committee has 11 elected members, out of which one is elected President and another Vice-President.


            The municipality has employed 12 scavengers for the cleanliness of the town. For removing the refuse and night-soil, a bullock-cart and five wheel-barrows are maintained. The night-soil is deposited in the compost pits and later sold by auction which fetches an annual income of Rs. 3000 to 4000.


            Majitha was electrified was electrified in 1957-58. For street-lighting, 136 lighting-points have been installed.


            Most of the streets of the town still have central surface drains. The new streets and the bazaars have side surface drainage. The sullage water is not properly utilised and is released into low-lying lands outside the town.


            The Municipal Committee has also introduced underground drainage in the bazaars of the town, but it has not yet started functioning.


            The Municipal Committee runs a library. It also maintains one kilometre of metalled roads.


            The income and expenditure of the municipality are as under:



Income (Rs)

Expenditure (Rs.)





























Ramdas Municipality


[ Area : 1.30 sq. km. Population (1961) : 3153]


            Constituted in 1924 as a small-town committee, it was converted into a second-class municipality in 1954. it has six wards, three of which form double-member constituencies. The Remands Municipal Committee has, thus, nine elected members.


            The streets and bazaars of the town have been paved with old-type small bricks. More than half of the streets have central surface drains and the rest side surface drains.


            Previously, there was no proper street-lighting arrangement in the town. Kerosene lamps were fixed at different points. Subsequently, on the electrification of the town, 35 electric bulbs were fixed.


            The municipality runs a reading-room in the premises of the municipal office.


            The Committee has employed seven part-time sweepers for the cleanliness of the town and one whole-time cart-man for the removal of rubbish. Night-soil is deposited in the compost pits and sold by auction, which fetches about Rs. 1000 a year.


            The taxes levied by the Committee are octroi, toll tax, house tax, etc.


            The income and expenditure of the municipality are given below:



Income (Rs)

Expenditure (Rs.)





























Chheharta Municipality


[ Area : 12.95 sq. km. Population (1961) : 13760]


            The only notified area in the district was Chheharta. It was constituted in 1938 from those parts of the revenue estates of Wadali Guru and Kala Ghanpur which had become urbanized as a result of industrial expansion. Its boundaries were fixed, vide Punjab Government Notification No. 6541-L.G. Bds.-38/34758, dated October 19, 1938. The boundaries were extended, vide Punjab Government Notification No. 921-C-44/20389, dated March 17, 1944, by which parts of the revenue estates of Hamidpur, Gumanpur and Kathanian were brought within the jurisdiction of the notified area. Its status was raised to that of a second-class municipality in 1952, vide Punjab Government Notification No. 1437-LB-57/11/957, dated March 13, 1952.


            The municipality has eleven wards, with 13 elected members, two wards forming double-member constituencies. The Executive Officer is elected from amongst the elected members. A list of bye-laws framed by the Chhcharta Municipal Committee is given in Appendix VI on page 449.


            Some streets in the Nanakpura and Hargobindpura abadis have been paved in the area beyond the railway crossing. In some areas, the drainage facilities have also been provided. Fifteen more streets had  been paved through piecemeal action by 1969.


            The town is electrified. Three hundred electric points have been installed for street-lighting.


            The municipality has employed 22 whole-time sweepers, including cartmen and 20 part-time sweepers for the cleanliness of the town. A Sanitary Inspector and a Sanitary Supervisor have also been employed by the committee. Arrangements have been made for depositing rubbish in compost pits. The compost is sold by auction which fetches an annual income of about Rs. 2500.


            The municipality runs a library and 6 reading-rooms.


            The taxes levied by the municipality are house tax, professional tax, licence fee, etc. Octroi has been imposed from 1969-70.


            A Children’s Park has been constructed by the municipality at a cost of Rs. 5000 at the crossing of the Subhash Roas and the Azad Road.


            The municipality maintains about one kilometer of metalled road and one and a half kilometer of kachcha road within the municipal limits.


            The municipality runs a dispensary, a branch dispensary, a family planning centre and 3 child-welfare centres.


            The income and expenditure of the municipality are as under:



Income (Rs)

Expenditure (Rs.)





























© Town-Planning and Housing


            In the Punjab, till very recent times, people resided within the city walls on security grounds. They constructed houses abutting one another and the locality generally consisted of mohallas with narrow streets, each mohalla having its own security arrangements. The only vacant space left was the courtyards of the houses. With the passage of time and with the increase in population, further construction was made in the courtyards, most of which disappeared, resulting in the growth of slums. Moreover, with the introduction of heavy and fast moving traffic, the small streets. The compelling need of security within the walled city gradually disappeared with the prevailing peaceful conditions.


            In the opening decades of the twentieth century, it was felt imperaative to have proper town-planning for the developing towns. Necessary provisions were, as such, made in the Punjab Municipal Act, 1911.


            The town-planning schemes are regulative and, as and when the owners construct or reconstruct houses, they are obliged to leave space for streets. These streets develop very slowly, their development depending on the quickness with which new houses come up. Open spaces for gardens and public buildings are also provided for to avoid the growth of slums.


            The Amritsar Municipal Committee first took up the preparation of the town-planning schemes in 1935 and, since then, 32 schemes have been sanctioned for the various areas, mainly outside the walled city. Out of these, the areas falling under the remaining schemes have not yet been developed to the desired extent. The width of the roads kin the localities under these schemes varies from 20 to 60 feet.


            To avoid haphazard development, causing congestion in urban core and sporadic development on the outskirts, confused land use, acute shortage of housing, overcrowding, slums and blighted areas, traffic bottlenecks, sluggish drainage and poor sanitation, and inadequate public amenties and utility services, the need for the planned development of the city was urgently felt. For this work, the office of the Assistant Town-Planner, Amritsar Division, Amritsar was established in March 1960. In 1963, it was replaced by the Divisional Town-Planner’s Office. Its jurisdiction, inter alia, covered the Amritsar District. From November 1, 1966, the jurisdiction of the Divisional Town-Planner, Amritsar, was extrended to the Amritsar and Gurdaspur District, but from December 2, 1968, its jurisdiction has again been limited to the Amritsar District alone.


            The Divisional Town-Planner is entrusted with the preparation od a comrehensive master development plan of the Amritsar urban and its environs. The master plan covers 10522 hectares, including the Amritsar city and the Cantonment areas, Chheharta and villages of Sultanwind, Kala Ghanpur, Ganda Singh Wala, Tung Bala, Mustafabad, Verka, Tung, Tung Paien, Mohkampur, Bharaiwal, Kot Khalsa, Dhabhai and Dhupsari. The population of the planned areas was 4.42 lakhs in 1961.


            The major works entrusted to the Divisional Town-Planner, inter alia, are the creation of a city centre and the widening and improving of the approach roads to the Golden Temple and the Jallianeala Bagh Memorial. The areas outside of the municipal limits have been declared as controlled areas and a development plan for these areas has also ben included in the framework of the master plan. The Divisional Town-Planner also prepares development and town-planning sschemes for the improvement trusts and the municipal committees of the district and also sdvises them on all matters relating to building controls and town-planning. He also advises all the departments of the State/Central Government as well as the local bodies in the district on matters relating to siting and detailed planning of their building projects and also co-ordinates the activities of the various departments in the connection. He also tenders advice on defence projects, road alignments, the location of new grain markets, the sitting of hospitals, colleges, schools, resedential colonies, industrial areas, etc., whenever proposed to be set up in the district.


            Amritsar Improvement Trust, Amritsar :- It was formed in 1945-46 It was formed in 1945-46, but was suspended later on. It was reconstituted in 1949.


            The trust comprises seven trustees, including a Chairman, appointed by the Government for a period not exceeding three years at a time. Of the remaining six trustees, three are appointed by the State Givernment for three years and three are elected by the Municipal Committee, Amritsar. Their term as trustee also for three years, subject to their holding office as members of the Municipal Committee.


            The functions of the trust are twofold. The trust acquires the land outside the minicipality, develops it according to the plan and thereafter hands it over to the municipality. The more important functions, however, is to develop certain areas within the city. As the city was considerably affected by the large scale arson dring 1947, the trust got ample scope for remodelling the burnt out and demolished  buildings. This was done for developing the areas properly, beautifulying the city and checking haphazard construction leading to overcrowding. Normally, the development of the areas within the city is the function of the municipality, but, owing to one reason or another, it is unable to do so or the pace of development is slow. The trust has, on the contrary, greater powers to develop the areas more speedily. Anothere important work i.e. of face lifting undertaken by the trust, is the widening of the various roads and crossing as part of different schemes. This project will eliminate serious traffic hazards and bottlenecks.


            In the last 20 years, the trust prepared 126 schemes, of which 68 were sanctioned and 3 were deferred. Out of the remaining schemes, the trust has completed 23 projects.


(d) Panchayati Raj


            Gram Panchayats and their Historical Background :- The Panchayat system has been quite popular in the Punjab from early times. The village enjoyed full autonomy for administering its own affairs. Even after the advent of the Muslims, the panchayat system continued, though it ceased to have the State patronage. The Muslim rulers were essentially urban by nature. Their main interest in the rural sphere lay in the collection of land revenue and ensuring general peace. The problems of ordinary nature were amicably settlerd by the sarpanches. A new lease of life was given to these bodies under the Sikh rulers who recognized them as competent bodies for rural administration.


            With the advent of the British in the Punjab in 1849, the parreys practically went into oblivion. Under the District boards Act, 1883, steps were taken for the revival of local self-government. The subject was also reviewed during 1907-1909 by the Royal Commission on Decentralization. The Village Panchayats Act, 1912, was enacted to establish panchayats to assist the Government in the administration of civil justice. However, the panchayats did not take root, as these had neither the administrative and executive powers nor the funds to meet the expenditure. Under the Punjab Village Panchayats Acts,1921,the panchayat were assigned specific administrative abd judicial functions. This Act was repealed by the Punjab Village Panchayat Act, 1939,whereby the panchayats were given administrative, crminal,judicial and civil judicial functions. Their revenues were to be derived from the grants made by Government or the local bodies and the sums other than judicial fees and fines. The panchayats were allowed to levy taxes with the prior approval of the provincial Government. Even under the Provincial Autonomy (1937-47), the working of the panchayats continued to be more or less the same, as during the period of dyarchy(1919-1937).


            The above types of panchayats existed in the Amritsar District at the time of the partition of 1947. Universal suffrage was introduced in1953. In pursuance of the all-india policy, the State Government enacted the Punjab Gram Panchayats Act, 1952, which replaced the Punjab Village Panchayats Act, 1939. Amended from time to time, this Act forms a landmark in the history of the panchayat system in the State.


            The Gram panchayat forms the base of the pyramidal structure of the panchayati raj. Its jurisdiction extended over a village or a group of contiguous villages, generally with a minimum population of 500. All person, entered as voters on the electoral rolls for the Vidhan Sabha, are members of the Gram Sabha. The Sabha has all the attributes of a municipal corporation. The institution of the Gram Sabha and the role assigned to it are calculated to secure popular identification and participation not only the village local government but also with the general economic planning in the rural area.


            A Gram Sabha elects from among its members a chairman, called Sarpanch, and an executive committee, called the Gram Panchayat, consisting of 5 to 9 members (including the sarpanch), called Panches. Provision has been made for the repersentation of women and members of Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes in the Gram Panchayat. The term of office of the Panches and Sarpanch is 5 years.


            The functions of  Gram Panchayat may be grouped under two broad categories, viz. Administrative and executive, and judicial, both of which are discharged by the same body.


            There are 1,011 panchayats in the Amritsar district. The main sources of the income of panchayat are Government grants, income from the village common (shamlat) lands, assignment of 10 percent of land revenue and voluntary contributions. They are also empowered to impose a variety of taxes, e.g. house tax, professional tax, etc. and raise fees. The Sarpanch is responsible for maintaining the Gram Sabha funds. The income of the panchayat in the district, during 1963-64 to 1967-68, was as under.

Income of Panchayats in the Amritsar District during 1963-64 to 1967-68


Serial No.






















House tax














Voluntary contribution















            Panchayat Samitis :- The most composite and effective units in the hierarchy of the Panchayati raj are the panchayat samitis, whose jurisdiction is coterminus with that of the Developnment Blocks. Each Block has at least 60 villages under it, with a total population of 60 to 70 thousands. Jthe block has, as such, become the principal unit of rural local government and administration. In the Amritsar District, there are 15 panchayat samitis, one in each of the 15 blocks.


            The constitution of a panchayat samiti is multiplex and broad-based. It comprises four distinct categories of members as under:


(i)                Nineteen primary members to be elected as follows:


(a)   Sixteen by Panches and Sarpanches of Gram Panchayats in the block from amongst themselves;


(b)   Two members elected by co-operative societies within the jurisdiction of the Panchayat Samitis, from amongst themselves; and


(c)   One member elected by the market committees in the block, from amongst producer members residing within the jurisdiction of the Panchayat Samiti.


(ii)               Associated members, viz. Every member of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha representing the constituency of which the block forms part, provided he is not a primary member; and such member(s) of the Punjab Vidhan Parishad as the Government may specify.


(iii)             Every Panchayat Samiti must have at least 2 women and 4 members of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes as its members.


(iv)             Ex-office members consisting of the Subdivisional Officer (civil), having jurisdiction over the block and the Block Development and Panchayat officer.


Every Panchayat Samiti elects its Chairman and Vice- Chairman from amongst its prmary and co-opted members. The normal term of office of primary and co-opted members as also of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman is 5 years.


            The Block Development and Panchayat Officer is the ex-offico Exexcutive Officer of the Panchyat Samiti. The executive power of a Panchayat Samiti is, however, divided between the Chairman and the Executive Officer, the residuary executive powers vesting in the former. The samiti exercises administrative control over the different categories of staff working under it. The Samiti has also dealing with the Deputy Commissioner and Commissioner who are required to exercise certain statutory powers of supervision and contol over it.


            The Panchayat Samiti plays an active role in the all-round development of the villages. Its functions may be grouped into the following three broad categories:


(i)                 obligatory functions relating to agriculture, animal husbandary and fishries, health and rural sanitation, communications, social education, co-operation and other miscellaneous and additional matters;

(ii)               optional functions which a Samiti may, with the approval or at the suggestion of the Zila Parishad, provide for any matter other than those set out above; and

(iii)              agency functions, i.e. functions entrusted  to Panchayat Samitis by the Government.


The Panchayat Samiti has wide administrative powers of which the most important are: power to frame bye-laws on a variety of subjects; power to acquire land or other immovable property; power to contribute to joint works and undertakings; powers under the Punjab Municipal Act, 1911, which the Government may authorize the Samiti to exercise; power to delegate to the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, the Executive Officer or any other Government servant, all or any power conferred upon the Samiti, except the power to frame bye-laws; and supervisory powers over the panchayats.


            The financial resources of the Samiti consists of a composite Samiti Fund which comprises:


(i)                apportionment made by the Government out of the balance of district fund at the credit of the Zoila Parishad concerned;

(ii)               all proceeds of local rate allotted to the Panchayat Samiti under section 63 of the Punjab Panchayat Samitis and Zila Parishad Parishad Act, 1961;

(iii)             the proceeds of all taxes, cesses and fees imposed by the Panchayat Samiti under the Act;

(iv)             all funds allotted to the Panchayat Samiti and income arising from all sources of income placed at its disposal under section 62 of the Act;

(v)              all rents and profits accruing from property vested in, or managed by, the Panchayati Samit;

(vi)             all sums contributed to the Samiti by the Central or State Governments or by any local authorith including Gram Panchayats or any private person,

(vii)           all sums received by the Panchayat Samiti in the discharge of the functions exercised by it under the Act;

(viii)          all sums paid by the Government to the Panchayat Samitis to meet the expenses for the performance of agency functions;

(ix)             all grants made by the Government for the implementation of Community Development Programme; and

(x)              the proceeds of all sources of income which the Government may order   to be placed at the disposal of the Panchayat Samiti.


Zila Parishad :- At the apex of the structure of the panchayati raj stands the Zila Parishad. Before 1871, each district in the Punjab had a District Committee, which was merely an advisory body. Under the rules framed by the punjab Government in pursuance of Local Bodies Act, 1871, these committees were made administrative bodies, and consisted of nominated officials and non-official in the proprtion of 2/3 and 1/3 respectively. The District Committees were required to control the funds raised under the Punjab Local Rates Act, 1871, and certain land cesses imposed at the time of land settlements for expenditure on roads, schools and other sundary local purposes. In their actual working, these committees were not found very useful.


The District Boards Act, 1883, provided for the establishment of regular District Boards which were generally called upon to take measures for the safety, health and convenience of the people within their jurisdiction. The power of discretion, superintendence and control were vested in the Deputy Commissioner, and the Provincial Government. The main source of income of the District Board was the local rate, which was to be levied on the annual value of land.


The Local Boards were to be the agents of, and subject to, the control of the District Boards. They were required to perform specific functions entrusted to them by the parent Board.


The District Board, Amritsar, was constituted on February 17, 1885,-vide Punjab Government Notification No. 2020, dated August 13, 1884. It consisted of 40 members, of whom 30 were elected, 6 nominated and 4 (Deputy Commissioner, Civil Surgeon, District Medical and Health Officer, and Inspector of Schools) ex-officio.


The kposition and working of the district Board was reviewed in the Government of India resolution of 1897. The dictum of centralization and efficiency followed by Lord Curzon (1898-1905) proved a serious set-back to local self-government.


            The Government of India Act, 1919, contained specific provisions for the improvement of local self-government, both in the rural and urban spheres. The Punjab Legislative Council framed rules for the District Board under the Punjab Act XX of 1922, which were later replaced by the rules adopted in 1933. Under the Provincial Autonomy introduced into the Punjab kin 1937, the development of local government received fresh impetus, and legislation was enacted for its further democratisation.


On the eve of independence in 1947, the rural local bodies were far from being in a satisfactory position. Even though the parent Act of 1883 was amended in 1953 to provide for completely elected District Boards, the oldstyle organizations proved to be too stagnant to be revived for their proper working. The makeshift machinery, however, continued till the enactment of the Punjab Panchayat Samitis and Zila Parishads Act, 1961, which replaced the District Boards by the Zila Parishads.


The Zila Parishad consists of elected members (two members per block out of the primary members of all the panchayats in a block, elected by the Panchayat Samiti concerned); Chairman of every Panchayat Samiti in the district; the Deputy Commissiner; associate members (comprising members of the Lok Sabha, Punjab Vidhan Sabha and Punjab Vidhan Parishad, representing the district or any part of it); and co-opted members (confined to women and members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes). The term of Zila Parishad, like that of a Panchayat kSamiti, is five years. The Zila Parishad has a Chairman and a Vice-Chairman, elected by members (excluding associated members, i.e. M.P.s, M.LA.s, M.L.C.s and the ex-office member, i.e. the deputy Commissioner, who have no right to vote at any meeting of the Zila Parishad) from among themselves.


The total number of the members of the Zila Parishad, Amritsar, in 1968, was 68, comprising 45 elected member, 1 ex-officio member, 7 co-opted members, 11M.LA.s, 2 M.L.C.s, AND 2 M.P.s. the tenure of their office is 5 years.


The main financial resources of the Zola Parishad are Government grants, the share of the local rate and the funds allotted to it for implementing the department’s schemes. It has no independent powers of taxation. The income and expenditure of the Zila Parishad, Amritsar, during 1962-63 to 1967-68, were as under:



Income (Rs)

Expenditure (Rs.)




















(Source : Zila Parishad, Amritsar)





(Vide Page 421)

List of the Bye-Laws framed by the Municipal Committee, Amritsar


1.      Hawkers’Hand-cart bye-laws


2.      Country carts Bye-Laws


3.      Bye-Laws Fixing the Maximum Load for Cuntry Carts


4.      Bye-Laws for the Licensing of Private Horse-Drawn Vechiles


5.      Traffic Bye-Laws 


6.      Rickshaw Bye-Laws


7.      Bye-Laws kfor the regulation and control of Cycles


8.      Bye-Laws for Water-Supply


9.      Bye-Laws for the Inspection and Proper Regulation of Places Licensed under section 121 of the Punjab Municipal Act, 1911


10.   Bye-Laws for the Control of Discharge of Fire-Arms and Certain Kinds of Fireworks


11.   Dhobi Ghat Bye-Laws


12.   Building Bye-Laws


13.   Horse and Cattle Fairs Bye-Laws


14.   Bye-Laws for carrying and exhibiting Boards or Placards


15.   Bye-Laws for the Control of Sale of Milk, Butter, Cream, etc.


16.   Kite-Flying Bye-Laws


17.   Ice Factory, Ice Candy or Aerated-Water Factory Bye-Laws


18.   Bye-Laws for the Control of sale of Fruits, Vegetables or Sugarcane Wholesale or by Auction


19.   Cooked-Food Bye-Laws


20.   Bye-Laws for Licensing Premises Where Adulterated Ghee, Vanaspati Ghrbini and Ghee are Kept for Food and Sweetmeats Prepared with Them are Sold


21.   Bye-Laws for the maintenance and Management of Slaughter-House


22.   Meat Bye-Laws


23.   Bye-Laws jkfor the Control of Sale of Fish


24.   Bye-Laws for the Registeration of Births and Deaths


25.   Bull Bye-Laws


26.   Burial-ground and Burning-ground Bye-Laws


27.   Dog Registration Bye-Laws

28.   Bye-Laws for the Control of Tanks, Ponds, Wells and  Baolies


29.   Bye-Laws for the Registration of Nurses


30.   Bye-Laws regarding the Duties of Chief Sanitary Inspector and Inspectors


31.   Cinema Bye-Laws


32.   Garden Bye-Laws


33.   Compulsory Education Bye-Laws


34.   Copying Bye-Laws


35.   Piggery Bye-Laws







(Vide Page 427)

List of the Bye-Laws framed by the Municipal Committee, Patti


1.      Birth and Death Bye-Laws


2.      Weights and Measure Bye-Laws


3.      Areated Water Bye-Laws


4.      Prohibition of Two Persons on Bicycle


5.      Business Bye-Laws


6.      Building Bye-Laws


7.      Slaughter-House Bye-Laws


8.      Bye-Laws of Pure Food Act


9.      Kite-Flying Bye-Laws


10.   Bye-Laws for the Control of Fairs


11.   Bye-Laws of Nurses Registration Act, 1932


12.   Bye-Laws of Vaccination


13.   Municipal Committee, Patti, Servants Conduct Bye-Laws, 1950


14.   Bye-Laws for working as Sweeper within the Limits of a Municipality


15.   Vehicles or Tongas Bye-Laws


16.   Hand-carts Bye-Laws


17.   Bye-Laws regarding Regulating the Sale of Ice under Sections 188, 197 and 199 (1) of the Punjab Municipal Act, 1911


18.   Bye-Laws regarding Regulating the sale of Fruits, Vegetables and Sugarcane by Wholesale, Auction and Retail under sections 188, 197 and 199 (1) of the Punjab Municipal Act, 1911


19.   Bye-Laws regarding Regulating the Manufacturing and Sale of Articles of Food and Drink under sections 197 and 199 of Punjab Municipal Act, 1911




(Vide Page 427)

List of the Bye-Laws framed by the Municipal Committee, Jandiala Guru


1.      Business Bye-Laws


2.      Bye-Laws regarding theee Dangerous and Offensive Trades


3.      Bye-Laws regarding Permanent Enroachments


4.      Bye-Laws regarding the Sale of Fruits and Vegetables


5.      Building Bye-Laws


6.      Bye-Laws regarding Registration of Births and Deaths


7.      Hawkers’Hand-cart Bye-Laws


8.      Rickshaw Bye-Laws


9.      Swine Bye-Laws


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