It was first constituted as Municipal Committee in December, 1851, under the provisions of Act XXVI of 1850. Initially appointed Municipal Commissioners were Government officials. The first elections were held on August 26, 1855 following the first meeting of the committee composed of the Deputy Commissioner; Senior Assistant Commissioner; Medical Officer; and an Executive Engineer; together with house proprietors.
Shimla Municipal Committee was declared as Class I Municipality on July 31, 1871. In 1874, it was brought under the Punjab Municipal Act ( IV of 1873) but there were grave objections to this constitution. In 1884, with the introduction of the Punjab Municipal Act, XIII of 1884, the town was divided into two wards viz.- the Station and the Bazaar. The Committee passed through different reconstitution procedures till the Independence. After Independence there was demand from the Public for extending franchise to the whole population. Then Shimla was divided into fourteen single member wards and one double member ward. All the members were to be elected and the president was in turn to be elected by the members amongst themselves. Elections in 1953 and 1960 were held on the basis of this system. In view of the substantial increase in population of the town, advisors to the Committee were appointed and subsequently membership was raised.
As a result of re-organization of Punjab, Shimla became a part of Himachal Pradesh. Even the case between the Committee and Punjab Government was set aside by Court and reinstated the Committee in June, 1967.
In 1968 arrangements for holding first elections were made and as a prelude the government ordered the delimitation of wards of the Municipal Committee into ten wards. In the meanwhile the passing of the Himachal Pradesh Development & Regulation) Act 1968, (Act No.22 of 1969) converted the Committee into Corporation w.e.f. June 29, 1969. The Committee thus witnessed its liquidation after a long history. With the passing of the Himachal Pradesh Municipal Corporation Act., 1994.
FUNCTIONS OF THE MUNICIPAL CORPORATION
The Municipal corporation Shimla is entrusted with the development related matters of the MC areas and providing basic civic amenities. The services provided by the MC Shimla are innumerable, however, some of them are listed hereunder.
1. OBLIGATORY DUTIES
(a) the construction, maintenance and cleaning of drains and drainage works and of public latrines, urinals and similar conveniences;
(b) the construction and maintenance of works and means for providing supply of water for public and private purposes;
(c) the scavenging, removal and disposal of fifth, rubbish and other obnoxious or polluted matters.
(d) the reclamation of unhealthy localities, the removal of noxious vegetation and generally the abatement of all nuisances;
(e) the regulation of places for the disposal of the dead and the provision and maintenance of places for the said purpose;
(f) the construction and maintenance of cattle pond;
(g) measures for preventing and checking the spread of dangerous diseases;
(h) the construction and maintenance of municipal markets and the regulation thereof;
(i) the regulation and abatement of offensive or dangerous trades or practices;
(j) the securing or removal of dangerous buildings and places;
(k) the construction, maintenance, alteration and improvements of public streets, bridges, culverts, cause ways and the like;
(l) the lighting, watering and cleaning of public streets and other public places;
(m) the removal of obstructions and projections in or upon streets, bridges and other public places;
(n) the naming and numbering of streets and premises;
(o) the maintenance of municipal offices;
(p) the laying out of the maintenance of public parks, gardens or recreation grounds;
(q) the maintenance of monuments and memorials vested in a local authority in the municipal area immediately before the commencement of this Act or which may be vested in the Corporation after such commencement;
(r) the maintenance and development of the value of all properties vested in or entrusted to the management of the corporation;
(s) the fulfillment of any other obligation imposed by or under this Act or any other law for the time being in force;
(t) Planting and care of trees on road sides etc. and
(u) Survey of buildings and lands.
2. FUNCTIONS ENTRUSTED BY THE GOVERNMENT
(a) the preparation of plans for economic development and social justice;
(b) the performance of function and implementation of schemes which my be entrusted to it including the functions in respect of the following matter, namely:-
i. Urban planning including town planning;
ii. Regulation of land use and construction of buildings;
iii. Planning for social and economic development;
iv. roads and bridges
v. water supply for domestic, industrial and commercial purposes;
vi. Public health, sanitation, conservancy and solid waste management
vii. Fire services;
viii. Urban forestry, protection of the environment and promotion of ecological aspects;
ix. Safeguarding the interests of the weaker sections of the society; including the handicapped and mentally retarded;
x. Slum improvement and up-gradation;
xi. Urban poverty alleviation;
xii. Provision for urban amenities and facilities such as parks, gardens and play grounds;
xiii. promotion of cultural, educational, and aesthetic aspects;
xiv. burials and burial grounds, cremations and crematoriums grounds and electric crematoriums
xv.cattle pounds, prevention of cruelty to animals;
xvi. vital statistics including registration of births and deaths;
xvii. public amenities including street lighting parking lots, bus stops and public conveniences;
xviii. regulation of slaughter houses and tanneries;
3. DISCRETIONARY FUNCTIONS
i. the furtherance of education including cultural and physical education;
ii. the establishment and maintenance of and aid to libraries, museums, art galleries, botanical or zoological collections;
iii. the establishment and maintenance of and aid to stadia gymnasia, akharas and places for sports and games;
iv. the civic reception to persons of distinction;
v. The providing of music or other entertainment s in public places or places of public resort and the establishment of theaters and cinemas;
vi. The organization and management of fairs and exhibitions;
vii. The construction and maintenance of ---
1. rest houses;
2. poor houses;
4. children’s homes;
viii. houses for the deaf and dumb and for disabled and handicapped children;
ix. shelters for destitute and disabled persons;
x. asylums for persons of unsound mind;
xi. the building or purchased and maintenance of dwelling houses for corporation officers and other corporation employees;
xii. Any measures for the welfare of the corporation officers and other corporation to such officers and employees or nay class of them for construction of houses and purchase of vehicles;
xiii. The organization or management of chemical or bacteriological laboratories for the examination or analysis of water, food and drugs for the detection of diseases or research connected with the public health or medical relief;
xiv. The provision of the relief to destitute and disabled persons;
xv. Public vaccination and inoculation;
xvi. The organization, construction, maintenance and management of swimming pools,
xvii. The organization and management of farms and dairies within or outside the municipal area for the supply, distribution and processing of milk and milk products for the benefit of the residents of the municipal area.
xviii. The organization and management of cottage industries, handicraft centres and sales emporium;
xix. The construction and maintenance of warehouses and godowns.
xx. The construction and maintenance of garbage, sheds and stands for vehicles and cattle beires;
xxi. The provision for unfiltered water supply;
xxii. He improvement of the municipal area in accordance with improvement schemes approved by the corporation;
xxiii. The provision of housing accommodation for the inhabitants of any area or for any class of inhabitants;
xxiv. The establishment and maintenance of hospitals, dispensaries and maternity and child welfare centres and the carrying out of other measures necessary for public medical relief;
xxv. Any measure not hereinbefore specifically mentioned likely to promote public safety, health, convenience or general welfare.