Kolkata: Senior TMC leader Firhad Hakim took oath as the Mayor of Kolkata on Tuesday promising to provide better civic services and ensure the city’s overall development.
Hakim was administered the oath of office by pro-tem chairman Ram Pyare Ram at a function at the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) headquarters on S N Banerjee Road.
“My goal is to ensure that Kolkata becomes the best city. I will work as its ‘pradhan sevak’ (main servant. We promise to provide better civic services and ensure the overall development of the city,” he said after taking charge for the second term.
He is the 39th mayor of the 145-year-old KMC, a position once graced by nationalist leaders like Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Bidhan Chandra Ray, who was later the chief minister of the state .
Hakim, also transport and housing minister in the Mamata Banerjee government, is the first Muslim Mayor of Kolkata since Independence. He was first appointed the Mayor of Kolkata in December 2018 after Sovan Chatterjee’s abrupt exit.
He was appointed the civic body’s administrator after the earlier board’s term expired in May 2020, but elections could not be held due to the pandemic.
Along with Hakim, Atin Ghosh took oath as the deputy mayor and Mala Roy as the KMC chairperson.
The members of the mayor-in-council were also sworn-in.
Hakim said the KMC will soon develop a ‘Show Your Mayor’ system through which any citizen of the city can take a video of any civic related issue like poor road conditions, waterlogging and Whatsapp it to a helpline number for the problem to be addressed at the earliest.
“The citizens can take pictures or videos and can Whatsapp it to the helpline number. Those videos will come on the screens in my chamber. The issues will be addressed at the earliest,” he said.
The KMC already has a mechanism – ‘Talk to Mayor’ once a week, where citizens can directly speak to the incumbent about civic issues.
On tackling the problem of environmental problems and worsening air quality, he said steps will be taken to ensure more greenery and fogging systems in areas where there id high probability of air pollution.
He also said all taxation and building clearance services will go online
TMC won the KMC elections by clinching 134 of the total 144 wards. The BJP managed to win just three wards, Congress and CPI(M)-led Left Front bagged two each. Three Independents won too.
The TMC has been in power in the civic body since 2010.
Hakim is the first Muslim Mayor of Kolkata since Independence.