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Tuesday, August 03, 2021

On first day in office, Chandigarh’s new mayor greeted with bouquets & brickbats

With much hope, people flooded his office. From young advocates to resident welfare associations, they were all there. He did not meet the garbage collectors protesting outside his office.

Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh |
January 12, 2021 8:39:29 am
old system of waste collection, chandigarh waste collection, Mayor Ravi Kant Sharma, chandigarh mayor, chandigarh CRAWFED, Hitesh Puri, chandigarh news, indian expressChandigarh Mayor, Ravi Kant Sharma. (Express Photo by Jasbir Malhi)

Dressed in a grey suit and sans a mask, newly elected Mayor Ravi Kant Sharma arrived at his office in his official vehicle at 10.30 am on Monday. He was not just welcomed with bouquets but also protests by garbage collectors.

Unlike the reign of Sharma’s predecessor Raj Bala Malik, the guard outside was told not to stop anyone. With much hope, people flooded his office. From young advocates to resident welfare associations, they were all there. Sharma, who was not wearing a mask, hugged and met everyone politely.

Even as he greeted everyone, he could hear slogans being raised by protesting waste collectors outside his office. He did not meet them.

Speaking to The Indian Express after being elected, Sharma, when asked what would be his first priority as mayor, had said last Friday: “The issue of garbage collectors would be my first priority. Whatever their demands are, the issues they are grappling with, is going to be the first task I take up.”

Sitting on an ordinary office chair as opposed to the velvet chairs previous mayors sat on, he told a group of young advocates, “ Bass desh ki seva karni hai…”

At 12.15 pm, Municipal Commissioner K K Yadav came in to give him the status of all projects. As Yadav dropped in during the mayor’s public meeting hours, many visitors made a beeline and waited for about an hour to catch a glimpse of the new mayor.

“I have not even kept a PA till now as I have been busy with just the welcome meetings,” Sharma told a visitor.

During his meeting with the civic commissioner, Sharma spoke about the status of ongoing projects. He said that this year, the MC won’t face any shortage of funds.

“I asked the status of ongoing projects. We have funds for road re-carpeting and development work in villages too. Nothing at all is required,” Sharma said.

He added that he won’t be shifting into the Mayor’s official residence in Sector 24. He also refused a new phone.

From rollback of water tariff hike to ending the issue of street vendors, people are expecting it all from Sharma, who got elected on January 8 by defeating Congress candidate Devinder Singh Babla. While Sharma got 17 votes, Babla got five.

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