Bengaluru: I'm happy with 1-year stint, says Mayor G Padmavathi

Meals for pourakarmikas, clean-up of KR Market biggest achievements.

Bengaluru: Ms G. Padmavathi, a four-time Congress corporator from Prakash Nagar, who took charge as the 50th Mayor of Bengaluru last year, will step down this September. She was the seventh woman to assume the coveted post. In an interview with DC, she spoke at length about her one-year stint as Mayor, her achievements and more.

Tell us about your experience as 50th Mayor? How did you feel to be the seventh woman Mayor?

The journey was quite challenging. Both as a corporator and my tenure as Mayor, I did not feel any discrimination being a woman. For a city in which I was born and brought up, it was a proud moment to become its 50th Mayor. During my tenure, except for national holidays, I did not take a single day off and worked round the clock.

What were your goals and what did you want to change? Are you satisfied with what you have achieved?

My areas of concern were improving solid waste management and segregation. Through our micro-plans, segregation percentage has considerably increased from 33 percent to 55 percent. We came up with the concept of 'Compost Santes' to convert wet waste into compost at home. Illegal hoardings which had become an eyesore across the city were brought down.

How was the cooperation of the BBMP officials including commissioner Manjunath Prasad? We heard complaints from chairmen of standing committees that there is no cooperation and officials do not listen to them...

Officials have been very supportive. When it rained heavily last month, many officials did not go home and worked relentlessly. As far as the complaints of standing committee chairmen, I did not find anything major. Some of the complaints which I received have been set right after the issue was raised with the BBMP Commissioner. He was very cooperative and we did not have a single day of friction at work.

Some of the significant projects that were launched during your tenure, for which you wish to be remembered for...

Pourakarmikas leave their homes before sunrise and clean streets till afternoon without any food. We launched the hot meal programme under my tenure and the BBMP is one of the first civic bodies in the country to start such a programme. We have initiated the process of regularising contract pourakarmikas and paying them directly through banks, eliminating contractors. Indira Canteens were launched and they have been filling the stomachs of the poor and needy.

That apart, historic K.R. Market which was reduced to a mini-dump yard was cleaned up and painted in association with NGOs and Ugly Indians. I used to personally visit the market every Saturday to monitor the cleanliness driver. It has reformed a lot under my tenure.

Are you happy with one-year term for the Mayor?

According to the Karnataka Municipal Council Act, the term of Mayor cannot be more than one year. If the term has to be extended, the KMC Act has to be amended. I do not regret the one-year term as I have the satisfaction of delivering whatever I could in the limited tenure. I have managed with whatever powers I was vested with.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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