FOR MORE powers and a statutory status for the mayor, the Shiv Sena has now demanded the status of a cabinet minister for Mumbai’s mayor citing various reasons, including his powers to take policy decisions in the civic body.
Senior Sena corporator Yashwant Jadhav has moved a notice of motion at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation that would come up for discussions and approval at the general body meeting next month.
“Mumbai is an international city and the richest civic body in Asia. Many senior officials from the Centre and the state, elected representatives and dignitaries from various countries come to meet the mayor for various works. So, it is necessary to get a statutory status for the mayor’s post and a cabinet minister’s rank should be given,” Jadhav said in the proposal.
He further stated that the state government should be requested to make appropriate provisions. “The mayor’s post is decorative and many times, his directions are not being implemented by the civic administration. If the mayor gets a cabinet minister’s status, he can call any bureaucrat for meetings or direct them on various policy decisions. Since Mumbai is an international city, it will help the mayor improve the civic body’s functioning,” Jadhav said.
He added that it would also help keep tabs on the civic administration as the cabinet minister’s rank would give the mayor rights to effect transfers as well. “This has been our demand for a long time. And we hope that the state government will take an appropriate call,” said Jadhav.
Currently, the municipal commissioner, who enjoys these powers, reports to the chief minister.
In the past, there had been a demand saying the mayor should be directly elected from the public and have more powers.
For several years, senior Congress leader Milind Deora has been advocating for a directly-elected, empowered mayor for Mumbai stating that it would bring more accountability in the civic body’s functioning.
Former mayor Snehal Ambekar had written to the chief minister seeking more powers for the mayor. The Maharashtra Mayor Council led by Ambekar had also passed a resolution seeking the same.