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Town Panchayats Administration


Tamil Nadu is the first State to have introduced a classification in the status of local bodies as Town Panchayat, which was planned as a transitional body between Rural and Urban Local Bodies.

The Town Panchayats were conferred with individual administrative powers and unique functional characters have been in existence for over a century. The Town Panchayats adopt well devised accounting and auditing procedures and the service delivery to the public has been better.

Town Panchayats are under the administrative control Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department, at Govt. level.

The Town Panchayats are places of importance such as Division / Taluk headquarters, Tourist Spots, Pilgrim Centers and Commercial/Industrial towns. This has necessitated special attention to the civic needs of the Town Panchayats.

District Municipalities Act

The Town Panchayats are governed by Tamil Nadu District Municipalities Act 1920. There are 490 Town Panchayats in the state which are classified into four grades, based on the income criteria :

[Grades of Town Panchayats as per the present Reclassification notification issued vide Tamil Nadu Government Gazette No.9 Dated.2.3.2016 (Ordinary)]

Sl. No Grades Average Annual Income No of Town Panchayats (As per Reclasiffication)
1 Special Grade Exceeding Rs.200 lakh 62
2 Selection Grade Exceeding Rs.100 lakhs but not exceeding Rs.200 lakh 179
3 Grade - I Not exceeding Rs.50 lakhs but not exceeding Rs.100 lakh 190
4 Grade - II Not exceeding Rs.50 lakh. 59
Total: 490
Organisational Setup
Government Hon'ble Minister For Municipal Administration
Secretary to Government Municipal Administration And Water Supply Department
Head of the Department Director of Town Panchayats
District units District Collector Assistant Director of Town Panchayats (17 Zonal Office) (Assistant Executive Engineer)
Town Panchayat Executive Officer
Chronological Developments

Till 1981, the Town Panchayats were under the administrative control of Directorate of Rural Development. During 1981, the Government vide G.O. Ms. 828 Dated 7.5.1981, constituted a separate Directorate for the Town Panchayats with the nomenclature of ‘Directorate of Town Panchayats’. However the administrative control of the Directorate of Town Panchayats continued to be with the Rural Development Department at the Secretariat as they were governed under the Tamil Nadu Panchayats Act 1958.

Following the introduction of 73rd and 74th amendments to the Constitution of India in the year 1993, all the Town Panchayats were reconstituted under the Tamil Nadu District Municipalities Act, 1920 and treated as transitional area. i.e. an area in transition from rural area to an Urban area. Necessary amendments were brought on to the Tamil Nadu District Municipalities Act, 1920 for this purpose and a separate chapter in respect of Town Panchayats was inserted in the said Act. Consequently though the nomenclature ‘Town Panchayat’ remained unchanged, the administrative control of the Directorate of Town Panchayats was brought under the Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department at the Secretariat.

1950 The Madras Panchayats Act 1950

Class I Panchayats Status Health, Education & Local Administration Department


Tamil Nadu Panchayats Act 1958

Town Panchayat Status Rural Development & Local Administration Department (RD & LA)


Tamil Nadu Panchayats Act 1958

Creation of Directorate of Town Panchayats Status continued under the control of RD & LA Department.


Bifurcation of Rural Development and Local Administration Department into Rural Development Department & Municipal Administration and Water Supply Dept.

Town Panchayats continued under the control of RD Department.


Tamil Nadu District Municipalities Act 1920 (as amended in 1994) (under 74th constitutional amendment effect from 31.05.1994)

Town Panchayat Status changed to and brought under the control of MA&WS Department.


Tamil Nadu Panchayat Act 1994

98 Town Panchayats were identified as financially unviable - 25 Town Panchayats where reclassified as Village Panchayats with their consent.


Introduction of Section 4-A under Tamil Nadu Panchayat Act 1994

To accommodate the existing council and the non provincialised staff.


Tamil Nadu Panchayat Act 1994

561 Town Panchayats reclassification as Special Village Panchayats and brought under RD department.


Amendment to Section 3 B of the Tamil Nadu District Municipalities act 1920

50 Town Panchayats reclassified as Third Grade Municipalities)


Tamil Nadu Panchayat Act, 1994

Separate chapter under the caption of "special provision relating to Special Village Panchayats" in the said Act and the same was notified by an ordinance vide Government Gazette Extraordinary No: 251 dt. 1.10.2004 Further, the Act enacted was notified vide Government Gazette Extraordinary No: 309 dt. 13.12.2004. For administrative purposes separate orders were also issued vide G.O.Ms.No.150 RD Department, Dated 01.10.2004. 561 reclassified as Special Village Panchayats 


Tamil Nadu District Municipalities Act, 1920

Reconstitution of Special Village Panchayats as Town Panchayats G.O.Ms. No.55 MA&WS Dt. 14.7.2006 and brought under MA&WS Dept.

Now there are 490 Town Panchayats in the 17 Zones and classified as below:
Sl.No. Nameofzone Sl.No. Districtcovered No.of TownPanchayats
SpecialGrade SelectionGrade GradeI GradeII Total
1 Kancheepuram 1 Kancheepuram 2 1 3
2 Chenglepet 3 3 6
2 Thiruvallur 3 Thiruvallur 1 4 3 8
3 Vellore 4 Vellore 1 3 4
5 Ranipet 1 3 4 8
6 Thiruppathur 1 1 1 3
7 Tiruvannamalai 2 2 3 3 10
4 Dharmapuri 8 Dharmapuri 1 7 2 10
9 Krishnagiri 5 1 6
5 Salem 10 Salem 6 9 12 4 31
11 Namakkal 2 8 8 1 19
6 Erode 12 Erode 4 11 19 8 42
13 Tiruppur 1 6 5 3 15
7 Coimbatore 14 Coimbatore 11 8 12 2 33
8 Udhgamandalam 15 TheNilgiris 1 8 2 11
9 Cuddalore 16 Cuddalore 2 7 4 1 14
17 Villupuram 1 3 2 1 7
18 Kallakurichi 1 3 1 5
10 Thanjavur 19 Thanjavur 10 6 4 20
20 Mayiladuthurai 2 2 4
21 Nagapattinam 1 3 4
22 Thiruvarur 4 3
11 Thiruchirapalli 23 Thiruchirapalli 2 4 8 14
24 Perambalur 1 3 4
25 Ariyalur 1 1 2
26 Pudukkottai 5 3 8
12 Dindugal 27 Dindugal 4 12 6 1 23
28 Karur 1 1 4 2 8
13 Madurai 29 Madurai 1 3 5 8
30 Virudhunagar 4 3 2 9
14 Theni 31 Theni 12 7 3 22
15 Sivaganga 32 Sivagangai 4 6 1 11
33 Ramanathapuram 1 6 7
16 Tirunelveli 34 Tirunelveli 8 6 3 17
35 Tenkasi 2 4 8 3 17
36 Thoothukudi 1 10 4 3 18
17 Nagercoil 37 Kanyakumari 2 10 27 12 51
Total 62 179 190 59 490

Importance of the Department

Town Panchayats are drivers of economic growth and offer opportunities for social and cultural development of people. The Total population of the Town Panchayats is 69,24,178, which accounts for 9.59% of the total population of the State as per 2011 Census and 19.24% in Urban Population. There has been huge flow of floating population to all these towns from adjoining rural areas. Many of the Town Panchayats are of Tourism, Pilgrim importance and heritage towns and also the economic, industrial clusters. It is therefore, necessary to provide adequate infrastructure facilities such as water supply, sanitation, roads, street lighting and other public amenities such as Slaughter houses, Burial / Cremation Ground, bus stands, Shanties. The Government proposes to adopt a holistic approach covering all civic amenities and infrastructure to these towns.

Activities of the Department

Town Panchayats Department formulates and implements responsive programmes, services and activities to facilitate urban communities to bring about positive change and strengthen their social and economic fabrics. In this effort the department has very effectively used all the available resources, funds and grants that have been provided under various schemes by Government of India, besides adding State Financial resources wherever needed, and funds and financial resources are ploughed into the developmental efforts of Town Panchayats for better delivery of cure amenities.

Objective and goal of Town Panchayat Department:

Administrative set up

  1. State level

    The Secretary to Government, Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department is in charge of Town Panchayats, as Administrative head at Secretariat and the Director of Town Panchayats is the Head of Department (HOD) at State level and he is also Inspector of Town Panchayats, to review and monitor the activities relating to the development programmes implemented through Town Panchayats.

  2. District Level / Zone level

    The Collectors are the administrative head of Town Panchayat Administration at District Level and he is assisted by a Zonal Assistant Director of Town Panchayats.

  3. Town Panchayats Level

    Executive Officer of the Town Panchayats is the Executive authority of the Town Panchayat. He is assisted by Head Clerk, Junior Assistant, Bill Collector, Typist for the maintenance of records, Collection of taxes, maintenance of assets and in ensuring the publicity and propaganda and in implementation of Government Programmes.

Functions of Town Panchayats

The Town Panchayats are responsible in delivery of the following civic services:

Sources of Revenue of Town Panchayats

The revenue of the Town Panchayats is derived from the sources as below: