BANGALORE: Bangalore’s new Mayor N Shanthakumari will spend just seven months in office, although the regular mayoral term lasts a year.
“Managing my time is going to be my biggest challenge,” she told Express. Elected unanimously on Friday, Shanthakumari said she would draw up a time table and work to it.
“Between 7 and 11 am, I will go on city rounds. After 11 am, I will be available at the BBMP office to listen to public grievances and direct officials,” the new mayor said.
Shanthakumari will also consult elders to make the best of the time available. “I don’t even have the time to sleep. I will discuss my priorities with senior councillors and former mayors and draw up a time table,” she said.
On garbage, Bangalore’s biggest municipal problem, Shanthakumari emphasises the importance of spreading awareness. “I can’t visit individual homes to talk about segregation of waste at source. But I will call a meeting of zonal commissioners and health and other officials,” she said.
She plans to direct them to go on a door-to-door campaign and distribute handbills on waste disposal. If segregation at source is enforced effectively, the garbage problem will come down drastically, Shanthakumari believes.
“In my ward, at least half the households practise segregation at source and the number of garbage autos has come down to half,” she said. This practice should be followed across the city, she suggested.
Chance for Women
Of 198 councillors, more than 60 are women. They usually complain about not being given time to speak during council meetings.
Shanthakumari said she would address this concern. “After two male councillors talk, I will allow a woman member time in the council,” she said.
Asked what she planned to do to bring her party back to power at the municipal council, the BJP leader said she would work for the city’s development.
“We need to provide basic infrastructure and I am confident of winning people over by working for them,” she said.