ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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More Mayoral Power

In “Revisiting the 74th Constitutional Amendment for Better Metropolitan Governance” (EPW, 30 March 2013) K C Sivaramakrishnan’s analysis of the governance deficit of emerging megacities in India has been more in the nature of how the 74th constitutional amendment could not empower the emerging cities adequately and how these constitutional inadequacies have disempowered the urban local bodies. The greatest bottleneck however is the non-empowerment of the urban bodies with adequate funds, functionaries and functions.

Why is the mayor of these cities elected for just one year? We hear a lot about the great work done by mayors of New York and London. Why should not Indian mayors function for a five-year term? Some years ago the idea of Bangalore Agenda Task Force to rope in the skills and technology of the corporate leaders was floated. Sivaramakrishnan’s analysis is confined to the constitutional provisions of managing megacities like Bangalore and others rather than tapping the skills of technology leaders around the world. Today all cities have to tap the emerging technologies to make metropolitan regions human and liveable. Look at IBM smarter cities project in Rio De Janeiro, Berlin, Beijing, Dublin, Singapore and New York where they have used the knowledge of technology for crime detection and road safety issues. The IBM Real Time Crime Centre in New York has brought down the crimes in the city of New York to a great extent (Scott Anthony: “The New Corporate Garage”, Harvard Business Review, September 2012).

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