‘Garbage issue, road repair on priority list'

I.P. Paul of the United Democratic Front (UDF) was sworn in as the third Mayor of the Thrissur Corporation on Tuesday. District Collector A.T. James administered the oath of office and presented the ceremonial garb to him at a swearing-in ceremony held on the Corporation office premises.

Mr. Paul, who was the opposition leader in the previous council, was elected Mayor by 47 votes to 6 defeating Left Democratic Front candidate P.A. Purushothaman. Two votes were declared invalid. The two rebel Congress councillors, Francis Therattil and Mukesh Kulaparambil, voted in favour of Mr. Paul.

The Cherur division councillor, Subi Babu of the UDF, was sworn in as Deputy Mayor. She secured 47 votes against her rival LDF's Saramma Robson, who received only 6 votes. The Mayor administered the oath of office to Ms. Subi.

Leaders of various political parties who offered felicitations pledged support to the Mayor for undertaking development activities. Later, Mr. Paul told reporters that he would adopt a consensus approach to address the development needs of the city.

“The Lalur garbage issue, inadequate drinking water supply and pothole-riddled roads will be some of the issues that are top on the priority list of the UDF council,” Mr. Paul.

The Mayor said that a master plan with a long-term vision would be chalked out for the city. Necessary steps would be taken to ease the traffic congestion in the city. Rehabilitation of slum dwellers would also be given utmost importance, he said.

A four-time councillor, Mr. Paul was elected from the Kalathode division of the city Corporation. He started his political career as the district secretary of the student wing of the Socialist Party and joined the Congress in 1978. Congress leaders Benny Behanan, Therambil Ramakrishnan, K.P. Viswanathan and C.N. Balakrishnan, former deputy Mayor M. Vijayan and CPI(M) district secretary Baby John were present to witness the swearing-in ceremony.