The Sonipat Metropolitan Development Authority Bill, 2023
The Sonipat Metropolitan Development Authority Bill, 2023 was introduced in the Haryana Legislative Assembly on August 28, 2023. The Bill provides for the declaration of the Sonipat metropolitan area. It establishes the Sonipat Metropolitan Development Authority to oversee the developmental aspects of the notified area.
Sonipat metropolitan area: The state government may declare any area within the Sonipat district as notified area having the potential for urban expansion. This could include areas under any or all of the following local governments: (i) Municipal Corporation, Sonipat, and (ii) panchayats in Sonipat district.
Sonipat Metropolitan Development Authority (SMDA): The state government will establish SMDA to oversee the developmental aspects of the notified area. Key functions of SMDA include: (i) planning, implementing, and maintaining infrastructure and urban amenities, (ii) taking measures for social, economic, and industrial development, (iii) advising the state government on the overall development of the notified area, and (iv) assisting the local authorities through capacity building.
For these purposes, SMDA may recommend to the state government to acquire land in the notified area. It may undertake transactions involving land and other movable or immovable property including acquisition, purchase, exchange, transfer, lease, and sale.
Development plans: SMDA will formulate the following plans: (i) infrastructure development plan, outlining infrastructure and urban amenities for the notified area including roads, water supply, and waste management, (ii) mobility management plan, providing for mobility-related concerns including public transport, traffic management, and improvements of road junctions, and (iii) plan for sustainable environmental management, including provisions for urban forestry and water conservation.
Composition of SMDA: The Chief Minister of the state will be the chairperson of SMDA. Other members include: (i) ministers in-charge of departments of town and country planning, urban local bodies, and transport, (ii) legislators representing constituencies in the notified area, (iii) representatives of local governments including Mayor of the Municipal Corporation, Sonipat and Chairperson of Zila Parishad, Sonipat, (iv) officers of the state government including principal secretaries of the departments of town and country planning and urban local bodies, and the Divisional Commissioner and the Police Commissioner of Sonipat, and (v) experts in areas such as urban infrastructure, governance, and finance. A state government officer not below the rank of secretary will be appointed as the Chief Executive officer (CEO) of SMDA.
Executive committee: SMDA may constitute an executive committee consisting of at least three of its members. It may delegate its functions to the committee except: (i) preparing and publishing the infrastructure development plan, (ii) approving the mobility management and the plan for sustainable management of environment, (iii) approving budgets, and (iv) making regulations.
Residents Advisory Council: A Residents Advisory Council will be constituted to advise the SMDA. The Council will provide recommendations and monitor the implementation of the annual plans of action. The CEO of SMDA will preside over the meetings of the Council. Other members of the Council include: (i) Commissioners of Police and the Municipal Corporation, and Deputy Commissioner, (ii) Chief Administrator of the Haryana Shehri Vikas Pradhikaran, (iii) four members of the Authority, (iv) three officers of the state government and (v) at least 10 residents from the notified area.
Funds of SMDA: The Authority will maintain its own fund. It will include funds from: (i) provided by the state government as an initial sum, (ii) a share in funds of the Municipal Corporation, Sonipat, as may be determined by the state government, and (iii) rents, profits, fees, and user charges raised by SMDA for the usage of amenities. The funds will be used to meet expenditures towards infrastructure development, maintenance of assets, and administrative expenses. The accounts of SMDA will be audited by the Accountant General of Haryana.
Review committee: Within three years of the Bill's enactment and every five years thereafter, the state government will establish a committee to assess SMDA's performance.