On empowering the Mayor

When you think of Kochi city, what comes to your mind? If you are a tourist on a day’s visit, you will definitely have something nice to say about the city.

But if you are a resident, images of whizzing mosquitoes, potholed roads, traffic snarls and the lousy city administration might pop up in your head. Plus, the reality that nobody is accountable for the sad state of affairs. One reason for this, according to the Centre for Public Policy Research, could be the systemic weakness of the office of the mayor.

The CPPR, informed by a study that pinpoints the weaknesses of the office of Kochi mayor to make a substantial change, proposes that the mayor needs to be empowered. For this, the process of electing the mayor should change: as in a few other cities in the country, the mayor should be elected directly by the electorate for a term of five years. The CPPR, at a seminar on ‘the role of the mayor in the development of Kochi city’ to be held on June 30 at Chavara Cultural Centre, is posing the question: ‘how can we empower our mayor sufficiently for the betterment of the city?’

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