Posted on June 3, 2010 by gvk2
Going by a Deccan Herald newsreport, a US-based technology firm is willing to set up a 50 MW solar plant in Karnataka, if the govt. is interested. A sales guy from the company is quoted as saying they would even arrange institutional loan covering 85 percent of the project cost. Which means the govt. has to chip in upfront just about Rs.11 crores for a Rs.750-crore solar project.
The offer appears tempting. The company got no response when it first made a proposal for 20 mw solar plant to the UP govt. Now they are willing to do a deal with Karnataka. I view this as an opportunity for Mysore to lobby for a solar plant. An earlier move by the government to put up a thermal power plant at Chamulpura, near Mysore, got shot down by agitationists. Here is a chance for them – NGOs and environmental care-takers – to get something done. Here is a green alternative to Chamulpura.
Mysore has a mayor in Sandesh Swamy, who is out and about on the streets of the city every other morning, listening to public grievances. He goes about his padayatra with a platoon of supporters and municipal officials. Dry municipal taps, choked drainage, uncleared garbage in street-corners, and unannounced power shutdown are the issues residents come up with.
Mr Swamy may not be able to clean up the mess, but he makes headlines in the local media, on a daily basis. Would the city mayor use public support and media goodwill to take up the case of solar power plant for Mysore? He is chairman of the city corporation’s solar cell, tasked to review a master plan for energy conservation and promotion of renewable energy among residents in the city. Karnataka Renewable Energy Dept. is reported to have santioned Rs.50 lakhs for preparing a master plan and running a campaign. The civic body has outsourced drafting of a master plan to Mumbai based firm (Is it Darashaw ?). A solar power plant fits in with such scheme of things.
Agreed. The city mayor can’t bring a solar plant home, even if he has political clout. But he can surely move party leaders and the bureaucracy in Bangalore. He can take intiative to write to shakers and movers in the government. He can Google, and connect with the company executives for details on the proposal, locational and land requirements, terms of funding, timeline of the solar power plant and its employment potential.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: City Corporation, Mayor, Mysore, Solar | 1 Comment »
Posted on May 8, 2010 by gvk2
We have an energetic young man for mayor in Mysore. And he takes his job seriously. Mayor Sandesh Swamy starts work at 6 a m - doing padayatra of municipal wards. He intends doing two wards a day, working four mornings a week. When he is through with all 65 municipal wards, Mr Swamy would start all over again, revisiting the wards ‘to ensure the instructions given by me during earlier visits is carried out by the authorities concerned’. On a visit to Nazarbad municipal ward yesterday Mr Swamy expressed annoyence at the sight of a garbage pile-up near the zoo’s tonga stand. He pulled up a traffic cop for allowing haphazard parking of tourist vehicles; he ticked off accompanying officials for failure to curb the cattle menace caused by milk vendors in the locality. The mayor ordered cleaning of a clogged drain near Doddakere Maidan.
‘Mayor’s padayatra for Clean City‘, said the lead story in the evening paper. Such morning rounds help Mr Swamy keep himself physically fit, and politically visible. I doubt if it can accomplish much else. Anyway, is this the sort of thing a mayor should really be doing ? Quite a few of our elected representatives have a penchant for ‘inspection’. They want to make surprise visits to a hospital or corporation office, carry out a lightning check at fair price shops or municipal market
What is conveniently overlooked is that a corporator or mayor lacks executive authority. A mayor’s indirect election and his/her short one-year tenure in office makes him no more than a figurehead. To put it in perspective, all executive powers are vested in the Municipal Commissioner, usually an IAS or provincial administrative service officer appointed by the government. And yet, we read media report of mayor ‘pulling up’ someone here, ‘taking to task’ someone else there, and threatening disciplinary action against yet another official elsewhere.
Mayor, local MLAs and other elected representatives in a local government setting can play a meaningful role, within their administrative limitations, and still can stay visible publicly. It is not anyone’s case that our mayor should not go on padayatra, if he does it without official banda. People contact programme helps politicians to feel the public pulse and stay in touch with their constitutency. Modern communication technology enables Mayor Swamy to add value to his padayatra programme. I don’t know if he is on Twitter ? He can create a web page through which he can interact with people. Mr Swamy can write a column in local media, offer to appear on Q & A show for a city TV channel.
I would suggest one more thing. As mayor of this garden city Mr Sandesh Swamy can push the ‘green’ agenda. He could plant a sapling at every ward to mark his visit and encourage his supporters in every locality to do so to celebrate his visit.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: Mayor, Media, Mysore, Padayatra | Leave a Comment »