An important landmark in the annals of the Mysore City Corporation (MCC) went practically unnoticed but for a small programme conducted recently by the authorities to mark the occasion. The landmark was the completion of 150 years of the local body!
Not many local bodies in India can claim to have such a hoary past and this historic legacy should weigh heavily on the future councillors as they would be judged by posterity for their role in making or marring of modern Mysore.
Established as a municipal committee in 1862 on an experimental basis, it was upgraded as a town municipality in July 1892 and had 20 councillors. In 1918-19, it became a city municipality and the number of councillors was increased to 30 and then to 35 in 1964. The local body received another upgrade in 1977 when it was accorded the status of a corporation.
With the city witnessing horizontal growth, the area of the MCC is poised to grow further with the enunciation of the Greater Mysore concept which will bring in 41 villages under 18 gram panchayats under the jurisdiction of the MCC and the area will increase from 128 sq. km to nearly 298 sq. km. Though the proposal has been put on the backburner for now, it is likely to be revived in future. From a population of nearly 25,000-30,000 in 1850s, Mysore is one of the few cities with a million-plus people now and hence the challenges before the local body will be immense.
R. Krishna Kumar