Civic body polls: Thottathil Raveendran opts out of race

Mayor Thottathil Raveendran  

Mayor Thottathil Raveendran has decided not to run for the Kozhikode Corporation council polls slated for December this year.

However, the 74-year-old popular Mayor will not hang up his political boots, possibly hinting to be in the electoral race for the Assembly polls next year. “Certainly, it is for the party to decide on my candidature,” Mr. Raveendran, who had been elected to the council for a record five times since 1979, told The Hindu on Monday. Incidentally, the post of the Mayor will be reserved for women for the next five years.

Clean image

Known for his clean image, Mr. Raveendran was the first Mayor to complete the full five-year term in office (2000-2005) since the formation of the Kozhikode Corporation in 1962. He also had a stint as Deputy Mayor during the 1995-2000 period and for a brief term of one month as Mayor in-charge in 1998.

The CPI(M) chose him to hold office from June 2016 after V.K.C. Mammed Koya, who was the Mayor, had to step down following his election to the Assembly from the Beypore segment. In the 2015 civic body polls, the party was compelled to field many leaders after facing anti- incumbency.

Mr. Raveendran was also the chairman of the Guruvayur Devaswom Board from 2007-11. It was during his time the management changed the centuries-old dress code, allowing women to wear churidars to enter the Sree Krishna temple. Previously, the custom insisted that only women clad in saris or traditional ‘mundu’ and ‘veshti’ could enter the shrine.

‘Radical changes’

He said that his five-year tenure had made some radical changes in the functioning of the corporation including a facility to obtain building permits without having to physically visit the office and also the smooth online payment of property tax. “These e-platforms have to go full- fledged enabling citizens to secure the services of the civic body,” Mr. Raveendran said. The Kozhikode Corporation, the Mayor said, had been able to achieve several milestones such as the full utilisation of the Plan fund. Apart from infrastructure development, the corporation had given top priority to prevent waterlogging during the monsoon. Some of the projects were implemented under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Rural Transformation (Amrut) project.

The newly constructed foot overbridge with escalator linking indoor stadium and the Kozhikode moffusil bus stand was the first of its kind in the State. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan would inaugurate the project, constructed under the Amrit Nagaram scheme at a cost of ₹11. 35 crore, on November 1, he said

Quality of governance

Mr. Raveendran claimed that the corporation had improved the quality of governance and municipal services to a great extent. “The city should have a perfect sewerage system as well as a waste treatment plant. These would come up in the near future. Also, corruption in the office has been reigned in, ” he said.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 1:48:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/civic-body-polls-thottathil-raveendran-opts-out-of-race/article32947532.ece

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