Urban Governance is Assam started way back in 1836 while the then District Magistrate, Kamrup constituted the Town Improvement Committee with Civil Surgeon and a few other Members to improve the sanitary condition of Guwahati Town. The successful working of the Guwahati Town Improvement Committee had prompted the formation of similar committees in the towns of Nagaon, Mangaldoi, Dibrugah, Golaghat, Goalpara, Barpeta, North Lakhimpur, Silchar and Syllet (now in Bangladesh).
However, the statutory Municipal Governance started with the enactment of the Town Improvement Act, 1850 and for continuous reforms in legal provisions Acts like District Town Improvement Act 1864, the District Town Act, 1868, the Bengal Municipal Act, 1876, the Municipal Act, 1884, the Assam Municipal Act, 1923 were adopted from time to time and finally the Assam Municipal Act, 1956 is presently in force as amended in 2012.
The Directorate of Municipal Administration was set up in the year 1969. The main aim of the Directorate of Municipal Administration is to support the urban local bodies by providing financial assistance in terms of loans and grants for creation of civic amenities, improvement in urban environment and for up-gradation of the living condition of urban poor and to guide the Urban Local Bodies in performance of their functions smoothly, exercise control- over the Budgets of the Urban Local Bodies of Assam, act as coordinator between the Government in Urban Development Department and local bodies in respect of their needs and problems and putting those before the Government.