Governing our cities

The next logical step should be directly elected mayors in major cities such as Mumbai and Pune that have municipal corporations


Photo: Bloomberg
Photo: Bloomberg

The states are gradually taking the lead in reforms. Rajasthan has already been a trailblazer. Maharashtra has now decided that the presidents of municipal councils will be directly elected by citizens. The state government has in effect revived an experiment that was abandoned about a decade ago. It is hoped that this will make urban governance more accountable to voters.

The next logical step should be directly elected mayors in major cities such as Mumbai and Pune that have municipal corporations. That is how it is done in most important global cities. The recent election of Sadiq Khan as the mayor of London attracted a lot of attention.

Most Indian cities are poorly managed. There was a time when the best national leaders such as Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhas Chandra Bose cut their teeth as mayors of their cities. The Chinese leadership often has men who have moved up from city governments. India needs more of this as well.

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