The duties of the Corporation are set out in the Bombay Municipal Act, first passed in 1872, and amended on various later occasions. It is responsible for Greater Bombay. The BMRDA coordinates between the BMC and CIDCO.
The Municipal Corporation is responsible for sanitation and health. In this connection it manages garbage collection, sewerage, public hospitals and the water supply. It is also responsible for setting up and enforcing building norms and for maintaining and repairing roads.
The city is divided into several municipal ward. Each ward elects a Corporator once every five years. These corporators in turn elect the mayor of Bombay annually. A sherrif is nominated by the chief minister of the state every year. The state government can overrule any decision taken by the Corporation.
* Heritage Conservation Cell: Set up in 1996, with an annual budget of Rs. 10 lakhs (1 million), is supposed to oversee the maintenance and restoration of publicly owned Heritage structures.
* Public Health Committee.
* Works Committee: one each for city and suburbs.
The Bombay Municipal Corporation (BMC) was created in 1865 and Arthur Crawford was appointed the first municipal commissioner of Bombay for five years.
Within a year, the Corporation had run up a debt of Rs. 140,000. This lack of financial responsibility continued, until, in 1871, the net deficit stood at Rs. 3,770,000. Concerned citizens, led by Sir Pherozeshah Mehta, drafted and supported a Municipal Act, which was passed in 1872.
The Act provided for a Municipal Corporation and a Town Council. Half the members of the BMC and three quarters of the members of the Council were to be elected by the people. The rest were to be government appointees.
The BMC was instrumental in the development of Mahim in 1913, the expansion of the capacity of the Tansa lake in 1916 and 1921, as well as the acquiring of agricultural land around the Vihar lake in 1923 as a sanitary safeguard.
During the freedom movement, the BMC was infiltrated by nationalists who took a consistently anti-government stand. In 1933 the City Improvement Trust was merged with the BMC.