The West Bengal Assembly today amended the Howrah Municipal Corporation Act to separate Bally Municipality which was a part of the corporation since 2015.
A Bill in this regard was tabled and passed in the House during the day, the last day of the winter session, around a month before the proposed date of election to the municipal corporation, December 19.
Minister of State for Urban and Municipal Affairs Chandrima Bhattacharya said the idea behind the bifurcation is better development of the Bally area and to provide improved services to people.
Opposition BJP, however, claimed that Bally Municipality was separated from the Howrah civic body because of political reasons.
State Election Commission officials recently said the panel has accepted the West Bengal government's proposal to hold the polling to the Howrah Municipal Corporation and Kolkata Municipal Corporation on December 19. However, the notification is yet to be issued.
The BJP has moved the Calcutta High Court with a prayer that election to all municipal bodies where it is due be held on a single day. The case is now pending.
The five-year term of elected representatives who run West Bengal's 112 municipalities and corporations ended in the last two years, but elections could not be held due to the Covid-19 pandemic. These civic bodies are being run by administrators appointed by the state government.
On November 12, the assembly passed a resolution to carve out the area under Bally Municipality in Howrah district from the jurisdiction of Howrah Municipal Corporation.
The number of councillors of Howrah Municipal Corporation will come down to 50 from 66 following the bifurcation.
Howrah Municipality was established in 1862, and it was upgraded to the status of a municipal corporation in 1984. Bally Municipality, which was formed in 1883, was merged with the Howrah Municipal Corporation on June 26, 2015.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)