Does any one think that the Mayor of any City Corporation in the country can perform meticulously in the present context of politically stage-managed panel-based selection and election process? Is it necessary to provide more statutory executive powers to the Mayor? In such case shall we specify at least graduation level of education to the Mayor who requires skill in handling files etc as the Chief Executive of the City with powers of control in civic administration, transportation, health services, water supply, electricity etc? Can the voters of the city elect their Mayor, instead of the present system of Councilors electing Mayor? Can we take lessons in this regard from some western countries where the system of Mayor with executive powers works well
These were some of the points discussed in the Seminar organized jointly by the Centre for Public Policy Research and the Chaavara Cultural centre in Kochi on Saturday, 30th June, 2012.
Mr. S.Madhu, Team Lead of CPPR presented the topic in the session chaired by Dr. Gopinath Panangad, Former Executive Director, Kerala State Literacy Mission, as Moderator.
Former Kerala Minister Dr.Thomas Issac, Former Speaker Mr. A.C.Jose, Kochi City Town Planning Committee Chairman Mr. K.J.Sohan, Federal Bank Chairman Mr.P.C.Cyriac IAS (Rtd) and CPPR Advisor Prof.K.C.Abraham were the panelists.
Dr.Thomas Isaac said that most city corporations have a very low level of efficiency. He added that the Mayor could bring more changes in the administration by functioning within the present framework; and decentralization is necessary to ensure people’s participation in a better way.
Ex Mayor Mr. A.C. Jose was of opinion that the effectiveness of each Mayor depends on his individual ability. He explained how he used to visit each ward, issue directions to officials and see that they are implemented. Each Mayor can function better if the existing powers are utilized properly with integrity and honesty.
Mr. P.C. Cyriac said that it is the statutory right of people and representatives of Residents’ Associations to participate in ward-level meetings. Ward-level projects will get a fillip if the Mayor and Corporation Secretary carry out frequent inspections of each ward.
The functioning of Kochi Corporation can be streamlined more effectively once e-governance is launched, said former Mayor and the present Chairman of the Corporation’s Town Planning standing committee Mr. K.J. Sohan.
CPPR Advisor Prof.K.C.Abraham also spoke in the Seminar. Chaavara Centre Director Fr.Robby Kannanchira welcomed the audience and CPPR Programme Coordinator Mr. Jiyad K.M. vote of thanks.