Being a Ward Corporator or Councillor in Karnataka - Roles , Powers and Benefits

A Corporator or a Councillor is a representative of the people of a ward in the municipal corporation. A municipal corporation is a local self-government body that administers the urban areas of a city or a town. Karnataka has 11 municipal corporations, namely Bengaluru, Hubballi-Dharwad, Mysuru, Mangaluru, Belagavi, Kalaburagi, Davanagere, Ballari, Tumakuru, Shivamogga and Vijayapura. Each municipal corporation is divided into wards, each electing one Corporator by the first-past-the-post electoral system. The number of wards varies from corporation to corporation depending on the population and area. For example, Bengaluru has 198 wards, Hubballi-Dharwad has 67 wards and Mysuru has 65 wards. The Corporators are elected for a term of five years, unless the corporation is dissolved sooner. The elections are conducted by the State Election Commission. The party or coalition that has the majority of Corporators forms the ruling party and elects the Mayor and Deputy Mayor among themselves. The Mayor is the ceremonial head of the corporation and presides over the meetings of the council. The Deputy Mayor assists the Mayor in his/her functions. The Commissioner is the administrative head of the corporation and is appointed by the state government. The Corporators play an important role in the governance and development of the city.

In Bengaluru , a ward Councillor or a Corporator is a representative of the people of a ward in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the municipal corporation that administers the city of Bengaluru. Bengaluru has 198 wards now which is expected to increase to 243 , each electing one Councillor by the first-past-the-post electoral system. 

Being a Ward Corporator or Councillor in Karnataka - Roles , Powers and Benefits


What are the job and powers of Corporator in an assembly ward in Karnataka?

The job and powers of a Corporator in an assembly ward in Karnataka are:

  • To serve the people: One may have a passion and commitment to serve the people of their ward and address their issues and problems. One may want to be a voice for their ward residents in the council and to the Commissioner. One may want to provide various services and assistance to their ward residents such as issuing certificates, recommending scholarships, facilitating pensions, etc.
  • To develop their ward: One may have a vision and plan to develop their ward and improve its infrastructure and amenities. One may want to allocate funds from various sources such as Local Area Development Fund (LADF), Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (CMRF), etc. for various development works in their ward such as roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, water supply, sanitation, parks, etc. One may also want to coordinate with various departments and agencies of the corporation and the state government to ensure timely completion and quality of these works.
  • To make bye-laws: One may have an interest and expertise in making bye-laws for various matters such as public health, sanitation, water supply, drainage, roads, markets, parks, etc. One may want to participate in the bye-law making process by introducing, debating and voting on bye-laws and amendments in the council.
  • To approve budget: One may have an understanding and knowledge of financial matters and budgeting. One may want to scrutinize and approve the annual budget and other financial matters of the corporation. The budget shows the estimated income and expenditure of the corporation for a financial year.
  • To oversee administration: One may have an experience and skill in administration and management. One may want to oversee and monitor the administration and functioning of various departments and agencies of the corporation such as engineering, health, revenue, education, etc. One may also want to appoint various committees to look into specific matters such as taxation, accounts, works, etc.

What are the benefits of being a ward Councillor

The benefits of being a ward Councillor are:

  • Recognition and respect: Being a ward Councillor gives one recognition and respect from their ward residents and other stakeholders. One becomes a leader and an influence in their ward and beyond. One also gets access to various platforms and forums where they can interact with other Councillors, Ministers, Officials, Experts, Media, etc.
  • Salary and allowances: Being a ward Councillor entitles one to a salary and various allowances from the corporation and the state government. The basic salary of a Councillor in Karnataka is Rs. 7,500 per month. In addition, they also receive various allowances such as constituency allowance (Rs. 5,000 per month), telephone allowance (Rs. 2,000 per month), daily allowance (Rs. 500 per day for attending council meetings), travel allowance (Rs. 1 per km for road travel within or outside the city), medical allowance (Rs. 50,000 per annum), etc. The total monthly salary of a Councillor in Karnataka is around Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 20,000 depending on their attendance and travel expenses. For Mayo, receives a higher salary than a Councillor. The basic salary of a Mayor is Rs. 15,000 per month.
  • From Karnataka government: The Councillors in Bengaluru are entitled to various facilities from the state government such as free accommodation in Councillor quarters or house rent allowance (Rs. 10,000 per month), free electricity (up to 5,000 units per annum), free water supply (up to 20 kilolitres per month), free telephone calls (up to Rs. 25,000 per annum), free internet connection (up to Rs. 15,000 per annum), free furniture (up to Rs. 1 lakh per term), free vehicle (up to Rs. 10 lakh per term), free petrol (up to 200 litres per month), free driver (up to Rs. 10,000 per month), free security (up to one police constable), free health insurance (up to Rs. 2 lakh per annum), free railway pass (second class AC for self and spouse), free air travel (up to Rs. 1 lakh per annum), pension (Rs. 20,000 per month after retirement or death), etc
  • From central government: The Councillors in Bengaluru are also entitled to some facilities from the central government such as free entry to national parks and monuments, free access to central government libraries and museums, free membership of various clubs and associations, etc