Panchayat raj and Three TIER system
How do panchayat (village council), MPTC (Mandal Parishad Territorial Constituencies) and ZPTC (Zilla Parishad Territorial Constituencies) elections work?
Panchayat raj system is divided into three tiers. They are Village level, Mandal level and district level. It was empowered during the 73rd and 74th amendment of the Constitution of India. The panchayat raj or local self-government only deals with rural areas and all urban areas except census towns are ruled out.
Tier - I: Village-level -- The village is generally divided into 5-15 wards and they are directly elected by village voters. The Sarpanch is directly elected by voters. Every ward member is also directly elected by voters. It is called Gram panchayat. Here, every village may not necessarily have a gram panchayat. A group of small villages collectively have a Gram panchayat.
Tier-II: Mandal level --Each ‘gram panchayat’ in a particular Mandal elects an MPTC. A Mandal or tehsil may have 15 to 50 gram panchayats. The people directly elect the MPTCs who in turn elect a Mandal Parishad chairman who is also an MPTC in some states, while he/she is directly elected by people in some states according to the panchayat act in that state. The towns inside a Mandal are not considered. Small villages combinedly elect an MPTC.
Tier-III: DISTRICT LEVEL -- The rural voters of each Mandal elect a ZPTC. A district has a number of manuals. All the ZPTCs indirectly elect a Zilla Parishad chairman and Vice-chairman who are also ZPTCs. They form a District council. Some districts which are 100% urban-like Hyderabad district, Mumbai suburban district etc. have no District councils. Again, in some states, the ZP chairman and vice-chairman are directly elected according to the state acts. In some states, Chairman is directly elected while the vice-chairman is elected among the other ZPTCs.
Duties of these bodies:
- Providing drinking water facilities.
- Sewage management.
- Run libraries.
- Manage government schools in their respective areas.
- Construct village roads with central and state government funds.
- Maintain ponds for drinking in the summer seasons.
- Encourage Micro, Mini, Small scale industries in the primary sector.
- Collect respective taxes.
- Maintain graveyards.
States like Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Delhi have no Panchayat Raj.