‘I am fortunate to get a chance to shower flower petals on Goddess Chamundeshwari’
Star of Mysore (SOM): You have become the Mayor of Mysuru when Dasara is just around the corner.
Shivakumar: I am fortunate for getting a chance to shower flower petals on Goddess Chamundeshwari during Mysuru Dasara, the time when the Goddess is most powerful and worshipped as a Goddess of Shakthi. Not many people get a chance like this and I am lucky.
SOM: As the Mayor, you will get a chance to ride a horse during Vijayadashami. What’s the feeling?
Shivakumar: I am really excited and the horse riding will be momentous and will be a cherished memory. I will begin the training tomorrow and I have been already informed that the training will be provided by the Mounted Police staff. I am looking forward to the training session by experienced horsemen.
SOM: Did you ever think that you would be Mysuru’s first citizen?
Shivakumar: I was neither a candidate nor did I nurse any such ambitions. This is unexpected development and JD(S) has expressed confidence in my rule and has voted in my favour. There is a special place for Mysuru’s Mayor and this is a distinguished post. This position has an illustrious history and I will ensure that the position is not sullied in any way when I am occupying the chair.
SOM: What will be your priorities for Mysuru — development and cleanliness?
Shivakumar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given us the concept of Swachh Bharat and the system is being adopted across India as a mass movement. I will strive to work toward achieving the goals of the Swachh Bharat Mission. Already, Mysuru has won the Cleanest City distinction twice. I will strive to regain the Numero Uno spot in coordination with officers, Pourakarmikas and the people in general. The roads that have turned worse due to rain and vehicle pressure will be repaired immediately.
SOM: You have worked as a Corporator, Opposition Leader and the leader of the ruling party. Will these experiences help you effectively discharge your Mayoral duties?
Shivakumar: Yes, definitely. All the experiences will help me as the Mayor. I have also been the head of the Finance and Taxation Standing Committee and also the Town Planning Standing Committee. I am aware of how administrative and routine decisions are taken in the MCC. With these experiences, I want to plan the overall development of Mysuru and take citizen-centric decisions.
SOM: What will be your plan to develop revenue layouts of Mysuru?
Shivakumar: The MCC Council has already taken a decision to issue B-Khata for all the revenue land properties so that they too come under the tax bracket and the properties can get civic facilities. After the Council’s approval, the proposal has been sent to the State Government for approval. Once we get the go-ahead, the revenue layouts will be developed into proper layouts with all the civic amenities.
SOM: What is the mood of your Ward 47 residents as you are a Mayor now?
Shivakumar: The people of my Ward are jubilant and expect good work from me and I will not let them down. I am born and brought up in Sunnadakeri and was elected as the Corporator from there. I have my own set of people there. Also, my father was a Group-4 employee in the MCC. He respected Corporators very much and had a deep desire for his son to become a Corporator. Today, his dreams have been fulfilled.
SOM: You are the first from Nayaka Community to be Mysuru Mayor. What do you have to say?
Shivakumar: In fact, for the first time, the Mayor’s Post was reserved for a general category candidate. But it was the BJP that chose an ST candidate and as a result, the Nayaka community got representation. I don’t think anyone in any other party could have accomplished this chance. I am indebted to my party. Henceforth, I will work with all parties and strive for the overall development of Mysuru. — MK & RK