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Great expectations from new mayor

The vacant mayor’s chair at Ranchi Municipal Corporation will get a new occupant this week.

Shouldering the expectations and hope of the residents of the state capital, Asha Lakra will be assuming office on Thursday.

BJP-backed Lakra, who has come to power riding on the Narendra Modi wave and good governance pledge, is expected to get down to business from the very first day and lend an impetus to pending works and clear backlog of the past 14 months.

At least four projects that have either been a non-starter or running slow are likely to get her intervention soon.

The civic body officials, on their part, are also ready.

Expecting madam mayor to be strict, they have already prepared a ready reckoner about the ongoing projects.

These include works done under basic services to urban poor, integrated sewerage and drainage, revamped water supply and solid waste management.

Of all, the top two agenda are basic services to urban poor and sewerage projects.

“We hope she (Asha Lakra) holds a board meeting as soon as possible so that we can assess the progress of the projects and also question the officials for the inordinate delay. If everything goes well, we will hold a board meeting on July 10,” said RMC deputy mayor Sanjeev Vijayvargiya.

If sources at RMC are to be believed, Lakra will use the first two days — Thursday and Friday — to meet officials, ward councillors and others. As the next two days (Saturday and Sunday) are official holidays, the new mayor may begin actual work on July 7.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Lakra said, “All issues plaguing the city are important for me — be it cleanliness or sewerage. We will prefer to hold a board meeting to decide which work needs what kind of attention and take up the tasks on a priority basis.”

But what about daily cleanliness and garbage disposal that continue to remain a headache for scores of Ranchi residents?

“City cleanliness has to be discussed. But, it is an issue that needs a different kind of attention. Immediately, we need to focus on the centrally-funded schemes for which largesse have been sanctioned,” the deputy mayor said.

The corporation had announced in January that a global tender would be floated to choose an agency to keep the city clean.

Asked whether the civic guardian would still go for the global tender or stick to the old system of cleaning as was done by NGOs, Vijayvargiya refused to comment.