Logo of Howrah Municipal Corporation
|Formation||1858 (Municipality), 1980 (Municipal Corporation)|
Howrah Municipal Corporation (abbreviated as HMC) is a governmental body, that controls the civic infrastructure and administrative managements of Howrah city, West Bengal, India. This civic administrative body administers an area of 63.55 square kilometres (24.54 sq mi) now.
The introduction of the East India Railway in 1854 caused an influx of people in Howrah city. As a result, public nuisance and threat of epidemics got arises. So, the Howrah Offence Act was founded in 1857, an Act that ensured prevention of local nuisances. The district magistrate was empowered to prosecute the law breaker with a fine of Rs 200 or rigorous imprisonment of one month. But nothing changed much. Ultimately, the governor general vouched Section No 12 of the Act of 1858, by which the Howrah Municipality was formed with the legislative council’s due approval. However, the municipal committee was dissolved after a few years. In 1862, Howrah Municipality was reorganised. On May 2, 1864, by the Municipal District Improvement Act III (1864), the Howrah Municipality Board was formed and from August 2, 1864 it started execution vide Gazette Notification. As per the Howrah Municipal Corporation Act of 1980, Howrah became a municipal corporation,
Bally Municipality was formed, separating it out from Howrah on 31 March 1883 in 1984. In July 2015 Howrah Municipal Corporation and Bally Municipality were merged. 35 wards of the Bally Municipality were decreased to 16 under the Howrah Municipal Corporation.
The first board comprised Mr E. C. Craster as the District Magistrate and chairman and Mr N. Macnicol as vice-chairman. The first board also comprised D. R. Bird as managing director, C. H. Denham as chief engineer, R. W. King, W Stalkartt, R. N. Barges, D W Campbell, Babu Gopal Lal Chowdhury, Babu Rajmohan Basu and Babu Kshetra Mohan Mitra as other members. The first board meeting was held on May 6, 1864. The first municipal election in Howrah took place on December 1, 1884 declaring the following commissioners from their respective wards.
Kedarnath Bhattacharya was the first Indian elected vice-chairman and chairman. In 1886, when Mr. E C Craster stepped down, Babu Upendra Chandra was elected as chairman and Baboo Kedarnath Bhattacharya was selected as vice-chairman. But due to some discrepancy in his election, Upendra Chandra’s chairmanship was cancelled and Kedarnath Bhattacharya had to officiate in his position for a few years. After some years, nearly from 1990 the district magistrate was appointed as chairman up to 1916 when Babu Mahendranath Roy won the election with a huge majority.
Dr. Rathin Chakravarty is the Mayor of Howrah Municipal Corporation. Sri Arabinda Guha is the Chairman of HMC.
The corporation area is divided into sixty six wards. Each ward elects a councillor and each borrow elects a chairman. The Mayor-in-council, which is led by Mayor and supported by Commissioner and officers, is responsible for administration of the corporation area. Currently, the trinamool congress is controlling the municipal corporation board.
The HMC is responsible for administrating and providing basic infrastructure to the city.