Kottayam: The Kottayam municipality turns 100 years old on Saturday. Kottayam was among the 19 towns that were declared as municipalities on August 16, 1920 (Chingam 1, 1096, as per the Malayalam calendar), according to the Thiruvittangottu municipal regulation.
Prior to this, it was known as the town improvement committee. The town improvement committee came into existence in Kottayam in 1894.
After the conservancy department was established in Thiruvananthapuram in 1877, the town was classified into five divisions. In this, Kottayam was part of the northern division with Cherthala as headquarters. The headquarters of the northern division was shifted to Kottayam from Cherthala in 1880. With this, the division was named Kottayam.
The population of the municipality then was around 17,000 people. The first Budget allocation was Rs 13,000. And the main tasks were to install street lights and keep the roads clean.
The municipality was under the direct control of the government from 1920 to 1927.
Not chairman, but president
The chairman of the administration council was referred to as president then. P T Thomas Palambadam was the first president of the municipality. He was succeeded by C J Kurian. After two years, P T Thomas became the president again.
Electricity from 1927
The electrification of the town was carried out in 1927 with the help of the municipality. This was in during the term of K K Thomas as the municipality president. The municipality gave loans to Vayaskara Aryan Narayanan Mooss for starting a private electric supply agency.
The municipality was divided into wards in 1934. Election was held in each ward and Dr A T Mathew became the president. In 1937, A V George became the president. The municipality's building was constructed during this time. Sir C P Ramaswami Iyer inaugurated the municipal office on December 18, 1943. The municipality now has 52 wards.
Kottayam is the first town in India to achieve cent per cent literacy. Union Minister N P Sahi declared Kottayam as the country’s first 100% literate town on June 25, 1989.