Sir Josiah Child, one of Directors of the East India Company was responsible for the formation of the Corporation on the model of the Dutch Government in the East Indies. On 29th September 1688, the Corporation was Inaugurated with powers to decide petty cases, levy rates upon the inhabitants for building of schools, a Town Hall and a Jail. Mr. Nathaniel Higginson was nominated as First Mayor with 12 alter men and sixty burgesses.
The Parliamentary Act of 1792 gave the Company. the power to levy the municipal taxes, in the City and the Acts of 1836, 1841, 1856, 1863, 1867, 1878, 1884, 1892, 1904 and 1919 introduced many changes in the Constitution and powers of the Corporation. The Amendment Acts of 1936, 1947, 1956, 1958, 1962, 1968 and 1973 gradually increased the number of divisions to 150 and in 2011, increased as 200 divisions and provided various statutory Committees.
The Office of the Corporation was functioning in a building in ErrabaluChetty Street. It was only in 1913 that the Corporation moved its offices to lits present imposing building, the Ripon Buildings, named after Lord Ripon, the Viceroy, who introduced local self-government in India in the last quarter of the nineteenth Century.
Till 1974 the responsibility for planning of the city was vested with the Municipal Corporation. After the formation of the Madras Metropolitan Development Authority in August, 1974, under the Town and Country Planning Act, 1972 the task of Planning for the City and the greater Metropolitan area has been taken over by the said Authority.
The Council ceased to function under elected body with effect from 01.12.1973 and a Special Officer was appointed by the Government of Tamil Nadu to exercise the powers and functions of the Council and the Standing Committees. The executives authority was then vested with the Commissioner who is assisted by Deputy Commissioners various Heads of Departments and 10 Circle Officers.
After a long spell of 23 years, the Council was formed again, during October 1996 with a directly elected Mayor and 155 Councillors. The tenure of office of Mayor and Councillors is 5 years. Now, the Chennai City Corporation limit has been extended vide G.O.Ms.No.256, Dt.26.12.2009 the area 174 Sq.Km. has been extended to 426 Sq.K, and consisting the 200 wards by including 42 Local bodies adjoining the City of Chennai. Further the Government has announced the Corporation of Chennai “Greater Chennai Corporation” vide G.O.Ms.No.152, Dt.26.10.2015 and now it is called as “Greater Chennai Corporation”
The population of Chennai Corporation as per 2011 census is 66.72 lakhs, for Administrative convenience, Greater Chennai Corporation has been transformed with 15 Zones, having 200 Divisions. These Zones are organized in to 3 Regions, namely Regional Deputy Commissioner Office (North), Regional Deputy Commissioner Office (Central), and Regional Deputy Commissioner Office (South).
Council is a body consisting of Mayor, Deputy Mayor and elected councilors of Chennai City. The Greater Chennai Corporation Council consists of Mayor and 200 Ward Councillors one among the councillor will be elected Deputy Mayor who will act in the absence of the Mayor.
The elected Mayor will assume office for a period of 5 years. The Mayor is the Presiding Officer in the Council Meeting. He will assume office for period of 5 years.
The Mayor shall have full access to peruse all records, of the Corporation and may obtain reports from the Commissioner, on any matter connected with the administration of the Corporation. The Mayor will act as an intermediary between the Government and the Commissioner. The Mayor shall be the ex-officio member of every Standing Committee, ward Committee and Joint Committees constituted under the provisions of the Act, but shall not be eligible to be elected as the Chairman of any Committee. Besides this he is also the Chairman of the Appointment Committee. Appointment and Standing Committees are convened every month and conduct it’s meeting.
Deputy Mayor is elected from one among the Councillors, who tenure will be 5 years. Deputy Mayor will attend the meeting along with Mayor. When the office of the Mayor is vacant or if the Mayor is continuously absent from the city or is incapacitated shall devolve on the Deputy Mayor. The Mayor may, by an order in writing delegate any of his functions to the Deputy Mayor.
The Greater Chennai Corporation consists of 15 Zones, Each Zone have a Ward Committee, the Councillors of respective zones shall be the members, among them one councillor will be elected as Chairman of Ward Committee. The tenure of the Members as well as Chairman of all the Committees shall be 5 years from the date of election. The Ward Committee shall pass resolution and send to Council meeting for approval.
As per the C.C.M.C. Act (1919) 6 standing Committees were constituted for efficient performance and functions of the Corporation.
All these Committees are functioning at Head Office, Ripon Buildings.
Taxation and Finance Committee
Health and Family Welfare Committee
Town Planning Committee
Education (Parks and Play fields) Committee.
Accounts and Audit Committee.
Every Standing Committee shall consist of 15 members, They are elected by the Councillors in meeting specially convened for that purpose and the Chairman of each Standing Committee shall be elected from among the members of such Committee. The Standing Committee is convened a meeting every month, and pass Resolution and send to Council for Approval.
Hon’ble Mayor is the Chairman of Appointment Committee, two elected Councillors and Commissioner are members of this Committee. This Committee is convened every month and deals with all Establishment and Administration matters of Greater Chennai Corporation.
Every month the Council Meeting is being convened and conducted by Hon’ble Mayor as per Chennai City Municipal Act, schedule-II, para (3) of C.C.M.C.Act 1919. The Council Department is arranging to convene the meeting conducted by the Hon’ble Mayor.