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Ahmedism: A people-centric LMC

Former top cop and administrator Manzoor Ahmed is hitting potholes, steering past garbage dumps and reaching out to voters with his trademark smile ? all for the sake of the coveted mayor?s post. But will the Congress candidate make it to the top post? For that we will have to wait till the ballots are counted. For the moment, Ahmed shares his vision and plans for the city in a tete-a-tete with Venugopal Pillai.

india Updated: Oct 17, 2006 01:41 IST

Former top cop and administrator Manzoor Ahmed is hitting potholes, steering past garbage dumps and reaching out to voters with his trademark smile — all for the sake of the coveted mayor’s post. But will the Congress candidate make it to the top post? For that we will have to wait till the ballots are counted. For the moment, Ahmed shares his vision and plans for the city in a tête-à-tête with Venugopal Pillai.

HT: What is you vision of Lucknow?

MA: I hope to make the city clean, prosperous, progressive and green. The civil society will have a major role in implementing my plan.

HT: What are the burning problems of the city?

MA: Lack of cleanliness, water scarcity, contaminated water, no streetlights, no infrastructure in the municipal schools and unhygienic colonies.

HT: How do you assess the performance of the previous political regime in the LMC?

MA: They have been very poor and irresponsive. They lacked vision and as a result they did not have concrete schemes to ameliorate the woes of the Lucknowites. Another important aspect that I intend to highlight is the utter failure in encouraging residents’ association.

HT: Do you think the city has a balanced development?
MA: No. Unfortunately, the city has been distinctly divided into have facility zone and have-nots facility zone. This imbalance needs to be removed.

HT: Which are the priority areas for you?

MA: To tackle water shortage and improve quality of water. I will also focus on greenery and cleanliness.

HT: What is the solution to illegal construction?
MA: Government employees responsible for encouraging illegal constructions has to be punished.

HT: How do you propose to tackle the problem of slums?
MA: Firstly, illegal colonies should not be allowed. And secondly, there is an urgent need to develop satellite colonies with all basic facilities.

HT: Do you think Mayor has enough powers to deal with above said problems? And role do you propose for a Mayor?

MA: First, mayor needs moral authority. He is like the ‘father of the city’, and should lead all sections in imbibing and executing his vision. The 74th Amendment will help mayors.

HT: What is your manifesto? What are the issues in the current election?
MA: I have already said it. I will work for a cleaner and greener city that will also be prosperous and progressive. The citizens will be central to this vision.

HT: How do you plan to increase the resources and finances of the LMC?

MA: The LMC has in the recent years increased all kinds of taxes, especially House Tax. The revenue collected should be sufficient. But it is not being properly spent.

HT: How will you implement your promises?
MA: The present resources are sufficient. The only thing required is the LMC’s will to reach out to the people with innovative schemes.