Four months after Majid Hussain of MIM took over as the Mayor at the age of 31, the young man is busy interacting with citizens and inspecting municipal offices. V. GEETANATH tries to unravel the Mayor's mind on some of the issues dogging the city and its residents.

Citizens first

People do not have high expectations from the municipal corporation. They want a clean and green city with adequate basic amenities. It is our prime responsibility. Eighty per cent come for birth/death certificates or electoral photo identity cards and property tax assessments not just to get building permissions.

Improving citizen service centres

We have to affix deadlines for processing applications and complaints. Service centres should become one-stop offices and we are planning software where all such centres are connected to the head office and my desktop so that any grievance/application taking undue time pops up. We need a total revamp of our IT department.

Sanitation takes a beating

We are trying out small seven member teams using self-help groups breaking the contractor nexus saving Rs.100 crore. We have 16,000 personnel in place and by weeding out bogus personnel we can engage 3,000 more, bringing them above the poverty line ensuring regular income with other benefits. We can put in more groups in the bylanes and introduce modern machines on main roads as 14 people were killed sweeping roads last year. I have told Deputy Municipal Commissioners and medical officers that they are responsible for cleanliness in their respective circles in terms of garbage clearance/sweeping.

Construction debris

Construction activity and subsequent result of debris has become a problem because some people are dumping it illegally on roadsides or near bins during nights. Our emergency squads are scouring the city checking but we are also thinking of collecting it from the doorstep charging a nominal fee.

Sewer issues

Choked sewerage is a chronic problem and I have decided to enhance spending Rs.10 lakh -15 lakh in each division as against Rs.1 lakh as the Water Board has no money. The Chief Engineer is working out the modalities.

Targeting youth

I am really serious about urban community development wing. It can do wonders in tackling unemployment through training rather than be obsessed with bank linkages to SHGs alone. We will soon conduct job melas in each of the five zones so that 500-700 youngsters get jobs in each zone.

Greenery & parks

What's amazing is funds were not cut but state of parks is deplorable. We will soon come out with proper measures to improve greenery and parks besides concentrating on three big ones.

Global event

Conference of Parties on bio-diversity is the biggest international event ever hosted in the country. GHMC can spend Rs.50-60 crore of the Rs.400 crore needed to deck up the city. We are hopeful of the Centre and State governments chipping in.

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