Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis acknowledged the need to give more powers to the mayor, on Monday. He also promised to set up a dedicated team to maintain the general cleanliness in Mumbai.
“I am completely in favour of an empowered mayor. Democratically electing a mayor does not ensure empowerment because the real problem is that other people do not want to let go of their powers,” said Fadnavis, at an award ceremony at the Mumbai Press club on Monday.
The CM stated while the shortcomings of a civic body are blamed on the mayor, he or she rarely has any real powers.
The chief minister, who was the chief guest of Mumbai Moments, an award ceremony for photojournalists organised by the Mumbai Press Club, joined the panelists for a discussion on Transforming Mumbai. Several pressing issues such as solid waste management, urban-rural migration and the city’s failing local railway system were raised. The panel comprised film director Mahesh Bhatt and Sanjay Ubale, CEO of Tata Realty and Infrastructure and former secretary of special projects.
Encouraging every resident of Mumbai to participate in the Swachh Bharat campaign, he said, “The health officer of every municipal ward is usually in-charge of maintaining general cleanliness. I will ensure a dedicated senior official is assigned to look into the cleanliness issue. The largest problem we are facing now is the lack of dumping grounds to dispose of or treat solid waste,” he said.
According to the CM, spaces that have been earmarked as dumping grounds in the existing land use (ELU) survey of 2008, are now completely encroached upon by residential buildings.