After attaining independence from British rule, in 1947, India adopted the federal system of governance under which, responsibilities were demarcated between the central (federal) and State governments. Hyderabad, being the capital city of the state Andhra Pradesh, houses the different wings of State government as well as those of civic administration.
Over time, Hyderabad has continued to grow but the Central Government has yet to officially accord it the status of a metropolitan city; the Indian government currently recognises only four cities as metropolises.
At present the city comprises of one administrative unit called the district, which is administered by Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad (MCH). The members of the corporation are elected on the basis of adult franchise. The elected councilors choose a Mayor, which is normally chosen from among the members of the political party that attains a majority in the house (Corporation). The Mayor is the nominal head with very little executive powers. Executive powers rest with a civil servant, Municipal Commissioner, appointed by the Government of Andhra Pradesh.
The Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad is committed to provide the following:
- Sufficient and effective sanitary arrangements
- Sufficient and safe drinking water
- A well maintained road network and drainage system
- Street lighting
- Sufficient Number of parks providing fresh breathing air
- Registration of births and deaths<
For the purpose of providing effective administration, Hyderabad has been divided into 100 municipal wards that elect one councilor each. The overall development of the ward is the responsibility of this councilor.
A revenue official, District Collector, is charge of all property records and revenue collection. At the times of election, the Collector is deputed to supervise all elections that are held in the city. Hyderabad elects thirteen members for the State Legislative Assemble and two for the Lok Sabha (the lower house of the Central Parliament).
The state of Andhra Pradesh undertook an ambitious plan to digitise all records for the convenience of the public. Nearly all records like land records, revenue details, vital statistics and criminal records are covered in this plan and are at different stages of completions. This has made it possible for the authorities to comply with the state directive that requires them to attend to and respond to all applications in a time bound manner. Since May 14, 2001 the corporation has opened service centers to receive and ensure compliance for each activity within the prescribed time limit.
While discharging the above duties the Corporation is bound by a directive that it ensures:
- Commitment for quality and standard of service
- Courtesy, time bound and helpful attitude
- Objectivity and transparency
- Promptness and efficiency
- Procedural leaflets are provided for obtaining permissions/certificates.
The Estate Department oversees all construction activity to ensure that builders comply with the legal norms set by the planning department. It is also responsible for the upkeep of parks, lakes, and other public areas.
According to the Indian Constitution, law and order is a State subject and thus the police department falls under the Government of Andhra Pradesh. There are five Deputy Police Commissioners for each of the fives zones that Hyderabad is divided into for policing convenience. Traffic maintenance has been segregated from the police department and falls under a semi autonomous body so that enough manpower is available to ensure proper traffic management during normal and rush hours.