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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Gazettes issued elevating five UCs to MC status

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The Gazettes Extraordinary declaring five Urban Councils representing main cities in five districts as Municipal Councils has been issued by the Ministry of Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Councils and Local Government led by Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena.

A Cabinet Paper presented in this regard by the Prime Minister was approved by the Cabinet on August 8. The particular Cabinet Paper sought permission to elevate seven Urban Councils to Municipal Councils and three Pradeshiya Sabhas to Urban Councils.

“According to the Gazettes Extraordinary 2296/05 and 2296/37, the elevated Urban Councils are Vavuniya, Kalutara, Kegalle, Puttalam and Trincomalee. The Gazette on the other two Urban Councils namely Ampara and Mannar will be issued in the near future,” the Ministry said.

The changes made to the scope of these Local Government bodies through this Cabinet Paper are a timely need as most of them have not been developed to address present day needs of the population in those areas. The Kalutara Urban Council was formed in 1923 and it remained in the same position until this Gazette notification was issued after 99 years from its inception.

Commenting on this initiative by the Prime Minister, the former Municipal Commissioner of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) V.K. Anura said that it is a timely decision by the Premier as these local government institutions are further empowered by the Municipal Council Ordinance.

Former CMC Municipal Treasurer K.D. Chithrapala said that he considered this initiative by the Prime Minister as a national endeavour. Such changes are essential to the Local Government institutions as the areas covered by them have been subjected to rapid urbanization over the past decades. The functions of the new Municipal Councils will come into effect from March 20, 2023.

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