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Mayors should be empowered, says Fadnavis

Devendra Fadnavis

Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has made a pitch for decentralising power by empowering Mayors for better administration of the cities.

“I am in favour of empowering Mayors, whether they are elected by the people or councillors,” he said during the ‘Mumbai Moments’ Excellence-in-Photography Awards 2015 and panel discussion on ‘Transforming Mumbai’ last night at the Mumbai Press Club.

“The basic problems in our way of functioning are that nobody wants to give away his/her power. We talk of decentralisation, but we do not (implement it). Whether it is Mumbai or Nagpur, Chandrapur or any other small city, Mayor should be empowered as one expects so many things from Mayor. For any menace in the city, one blames the Mayor, but when it comes to decision making, the post is absolutely powerless,” he said.

Fadnavis was responding to a question on if he was in favour of directly elected Mayors in the cities, especially in Mumbai to carry forward the legacy of the metropolis.

“If a Mayor is empowered by legislature, he/she may not deliver on the same day. It may take 5 to 10 years to get results,” Fadnavis said.

On migration to developed cities, especially to Mumbai, he said, “We are creating new cities…there will be cities bigger than Mumbai to accommodate people. I have sanctioned 33 development plans so that the pressure can be reduced on Mumbai, which cannot sustain any further burden.”

The government is trying to develop areas falling under the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) at par with Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) here, he said.

“Mumbai earlier used to be a manufacturing hub. Now it has turned to accommodate service industry. However, due to high rentals in Mumbai, even service industries are moving to the cities in other states such as Bengaluru, among others. Hence, we are also keeping in mind what needs to be done to retain all industries in Mumbai,” he said.

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