Metropolitan Governance in India: Legal-Institutional Challenges and Prospects
Metropolitan governance in India is fraught with intricate institutional relationships, which become particularly significant in situations of expanding urban areas and populations. A wider definition of ‘governance’ here involves looking not just at the manner in which governments function and exercise authority but also the relationships and interface between the state, institutions and various actors being governed. Twenty-three years after the 74th Amendment to the Indian Constitution (that sought to empower urban local bodies), ‘the management of urban affairs, in India, as elsewhere, is characterised by a multiplicity of actors, levels of action and interactions’. This paper lays out some key institutional and legal challenges that typically characterise governance in metropolitan areas, and also illustrates possible approaches, drawing from some comparative experiences of institutional structures across a handful of prominent metropolitan landscapes around the world.