City mayor should be directly elected: Jairam

Former union minister and Congress leader Jairam Ramesh (C) releases the Kannada version of his book "Indira Gandhi -A Life in Nature" at a function in Bengaluru on Friday. PTI Photo

Bengaluru still does not have a directly elected mayor with a five-year term, said former Union minister Jairam Ramesh at an interaction organised by B PAC (Bangalore Political Action Committee) on Saturday.

At the interaction entitled 'Economic and Political policies in India, A conversation with Jairam Ramesh' which was moderated by T V Mohandas Pai, Chairman of Manipal Global Education, Ramesh touched upon various issues of politics, secularism, sanitation and environment.

He highlighted the need for every major metropolis to have a directly elected mayor with a five-year term. He also spoke about climate change and increasing air pollution.

Citing a personal experience, he said, "Thirty years ago, I could sleep in Chikkamagaluru without a fan, but today it is difficult to imagine such a scenario."

He referred to a study that says 15% to 20% of children in Bengaluru are susceptible to cardiovascular problems due to increasing air pollution.

He also highlighted the aspect of rural to urban migration in India. While India gets $70 billion external remittance, it receives over $10 billion of internal remittance sent by migrants to their families.

"Access to education and skills is still determined by birth in India," said Ramesh.

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