Thursday, August 4, 2011
A powerful mayor is the need of Hour
Video of a Lihtuanian Mayor crushing an illegally parked vehicle shocked generated lots of interest in the last few days. I do believe that parking is not Government's problem but that of vehicle owners. A new orientation is required at the Government level to tackle the issue of parking. when cities are trying their best to give housing, sanitation and drinking water to the citizens, local governments should not venture out to lease the city space for parking. More orientation at this level is very much needed in Indian cities and especially at the level of city administrators.
The video also explicitly describes the mighty power of Lithuanian Mayor. I am a little shocked the way he crushed the vehicle. wish that his tendency is not a habit outside the parking issues as in the times of former Soviet era. At the same time, i am strong supporter of a powerful Mayor for a city. Mayor cannot be a clerk or a glorified signing officer. He should be a powerful persona with powers for execution and administration. All the major departments shall be directly responsible to him. Since the Mayor is a democratically elected position, he shall be able to rule the city as a chief executive officer.
A study conducted by Vinod for Centre for Public Policy Research on Mayoral system shows that Cochin mayor has not many at his disposition. This needs to be changed. All the para statal agencies shall come under him. Even if it is not same interest as the crushing effect shown by the Lithunaian Mayor, Cochin Mayor can deal with fundamental issues of the city by having such power. Why should he be at the mercy of state Government for each and every act in Cochin. This will also ensure that the mayor is responsible to the people and he cannot cite excuses.