If I were the Mayor…


Four mayors

They had been there and done it all their way.

Watching Tony Chammany’s five years as the first citizen of the city from the sidelines, four former Mayors of Kochi shared with The Hindu what he should have done, or rather, what they would have done if they were to hold the mantle in his place.

Garbage menace

Finding a solution to the vexed garbage menace and the city’s traffic woes would have been our top priorities, they said.

“Setting up a modern solid waste treatment plant at Brahmapuram would have been my top priority,” said C.M. Dinesh Mani, CPI(M) leader, who was elected Mayor in 2000.

“The last five years of UDF rule failed to realise the ambitious project of setting up the headquarters of the Kochi Corporation at the Marine Drive.

The foundation stone for the building was laid during my tenure. We would complete it once voted to power, elevating it as the city’s landmark,” he said.

K. Balachandran, who had served as the city’s Mayor in 1979-80 and 1983-84, said that resolving the severe traffic problems in the country would have topped his agenda.

Mobility hub

“Utilising the full potential of Vyttila mobility hub would have eased the traffic snarls in the region, besides ensuring the development of Eroor.

Kochi Corporation has little or no role to play in key institutions and agencies like the Cochin Port, Kochi Metro Rail Ltd and Cochin International Airport Ltd.

I would have worked towards enhancing the local body’s presence in these bodies,” he said.

K.K. Somasundara Panicker, who had a long stint as Mayor from 1992-93 and 1995 to 2000, pointed out that resolving the garbage menace would have been his first task.

“The UDF wasted a chance to clear the piled up solid waste in a city like Kochi. My second priority would have been on evolving a scientific system to collect, segregate and transport the solid waste from various parts of the city and its outskirts,” he said.

Mathew Pylee, who was Mayor in 1980-81, said that he would have initiated steps to eradicate corruption from the civic body.


“People now fear that they have to shell out bribes for getting things done in the Corporation.

I would have also have taken the lead for setting up the local body’s headquarters, which the outgoing council led by UDF failed to implement,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 11:43:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/if-i-were-the-mayor/article7816612.ece

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