The municipal bodies of India are vested with a long list of functions delegated to them by the state governments under the municipal legislation. These functions broadly relate to public health, welfare, regulatory functions, public safetypublic infrastructure works, and development activities.

Public health includes water supplysewerage and sanitation, eradication of communicable diseases etc.; welfare includes public facilities such as education, recreation, etc.; regulatory functions related to prescribing and enforcing building regulations, encroachments on public land, birth registration and death certificate, etc.; public safety includes fire protectionstreet lighting, etc.; public works measures such as construction and maintenance of inner city roads, etc.; and development functions related to town planning and development of commercial markets. In addition to the legally assigned functions, the sectoral departments of the state government often assign unilaterally, and on an agency basis, various functions such as family planning, nutrition and slum improvement, disease and epidemic control, etc.