Kochi Pays Its Final Respects to Former Mayor Mercy Williams

Former Mayor of Kochi Mercy Williams passed away at the age of 65 on Wednesday.

Published: 20th November 2014 06:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th November 2014 09:00 AM   |  A+A-

KOCHI: A silence blanketed Thekkumveettil House on Shantipuram Road at Palarivattom here as a sea of crowd swept to the residence of Mercy Williams, the former Mayor of Kochi, who passed away at the age of 65 on Wednesday.

Kochi Mayor Tony Chammany was among the first to pay tributes to the first woman Mayor of the city.

Mercy-Williams.jpgSenior LDF councillor M Anilkumar, Deputy Mayor B Bhadra, Corporation standing committee head T J Vinod Kumar and GCDA chairman N Venugopal also rushed to the spot to pay respects.

Mercy, who was born and brought up in Fort Kochi, studied at St Teresa’s. After securing an MA degree in Sociology with first rank and gaining a gold medal from the college, she joined St Teresa’s College as a lecturer and served there for over 25 years.

She joined politics after retiring   as the head of Sociology Department from the college. The move surprised many. But the LDF independent candidate not just swept votes to become a first-time councillor, but also became the first woman Mayor of Kochi city.

“Known for her sincere and straight-forward approach, babus were afraid of her. Consequently, corruption allegations were comparatively low during her tenure,” said Anil Kumar.

Mercy was sworn in as Mayor when Kochi was gripped by an absolute crisis on waste management front. The dumping of waste at Willington Island had to be stopped due to complaints from the Navy.

A similar situation emerged at Cheranalloor owing to public agitation. Heaps of waste remained on roads with no place to dump.

 It was for the Mayor to face the heat, remembered senior journalists.

“Mercy issued a bylaw for waste management, a first in the state,  which gave buckets to every house for decentralised waste segregation. Kochi was announced a ‘binless’ city.

“Spadework was started for Brahmapuram plant and plastic bouquets were abhorred even in public functions,” said a veteran journalist. Mercy could also effectively liaison with the Delhi circle to get funds pumped in for big ticket projects in Kochi, including ADB loan and JNNURM funding.

Altogether, the city received `900 crore for projects during her tenure. When she left the chair, it was not without begetting ‘the most clean city award in India’ for Kochi from the then Union Minister Jairam Ramesh.

Stay up to date on all the latest Kerala news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp