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Created on Jul 23, 1995; last modified Feb 4, 1999.

The Civic Bodies

Till the end of the 18th century the President of the East India Company and his council were responsible for civic administration. In 1757 the council created the post of a Town Scavenger and levied regular taxes for cleaning the city. By the order of a Special Committee, in 1789, every house owner was made responsible for the cleanliness of the road fronting his property.

In 1792, an act of the British Parliament empowered the Governor-General of India to appoint Justices of the Peace in every Presidency town. They were to be responsible for the upkeep of the streets and the assessment of taxes. They were authorised to appoint scavengers to clean streets, order and supervise their repairs, and to levy a tax, not exceeding 5% of the gross annual value of houses and buildings.

In 1812 a "Rule, Ordinance and Regulation" by the President's council was promulgated for "good order and civil government of Bombay". This authorised the removal of encroachments and the registration of vehicles.

The Bombay Municipal Corporation was created in 1872, and the Bombay Port Trust a year later. Following the plague epidemics of the 1890's, the Bombay City Improvement Trust was set up in 1898.

In 1945, immediately before Independence, Greater Bombay was brought into existence by an act of the British parliament. Through the rest of the century a complex network of planning and service organisations have developed which coordinate with the BMC in the maintainance of basic services to the city.