He was unlucky not once but twice to make it to the coveted post. But this time out, for all the hard work he put in over the years, no one could stop M J Ravi Kumar from becoming the Mayor of Mysuru for a period of one year.
As he puts it, as a teenager with a degree in commerce, Kumar had dreamt of becoming the first citizen of the heritage city some day. This JD(S) corporator’s dream did come true on December 7, much to the delight of his supporters and family alike.
This is the fairy tale of Nammu Mysuru’s new Mayor. A quintessential Mysurean, who does what he loves and loves and what he does, Kumar, despite missing the bus twice, knew his time would come.
Chinni Ravi as he is referred to, by his supporters, stood and lost the corporation election in 1996 when he garnered just 25 votes. He fought back gamely and won the elections in 2007. Four years later, he won the MCC elections on a JD(S) ticket and became Deputy Mayor. This time out, though there was a tough fight, party high command had to give green signal to Kumar.
Chinni Ravi spoke to City Today on his plans for the city for the next one year.
What are your plans to implement new public schemes?
First of all, I have plans to introduce Mayor’s fund. I am going to place the matter before the council members shortly. We have CM’s fund, MP’s and so on. If my proposal gets the nod, this scheme will benefit the poor during medical emergencies.
After Cauvery row, there has been drinking water problem. What are your plans?
Yes, there is drinking water problem in the city. It needs to be tackled carefully. Yesterday, I visited to KRS dam and collected important details. With the available sources, we can definitely manage the supply of water. First of all we need to keep track of water and monitor the requirement. If we can balance availability and supply, we should be able overcome crisis.
Mysuru has been crowned as the cleanest city in the country. Do you think there is need for improvements?
Although our city has been crowned as the cleanest city, there are a few areas we need to look into. I will visit every ward and make the officials look into it. When we have coordination with the officials then it will not be a problem.
Do you think there is lack of coordination between corporators and officials?
Of course! We need to value the perception of others and compromise on certain differences for the cause of development. I will definitely take officials into confidence for the developmental works.
MCC claims to have banned plastic which is far from truth. What is your take on it?
I have already visited the plastic management unit in the city. We are looking at converting plastic into tar. We will take all the necessary steps to make this possible.
Devaraja Market’s demolition is in the news for some time now. It assumes significance, it comes in your ward. What can the Mysureans expect from you?
There are shop keepers operating their business since times immemorial. I will not allow injustice happening to them. The government will soon give clear picture. Old shop keepers need about their ownership.
Lastly, do you think that the one-year term for a mayor is enough?
One-year term is not sufficient for any mayor to work effectively. If we have more time, then it will definitely help us to prioritise things. Madras Municipal Corporation has 5-year term for mayor now. The government is thinking on these lines. Hopefully, something will come through.
By Manoj N Sharma