The Rajasthan Cabinet on Monday decided to conduct indirect election for the post of mayor and chairperson in corporations and municipalities in the State.“The Cabinet today (Monday) took a decision for indirect election of mayor and chairperson. Ward councillors will now elect them,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shanti Dhariwal told reporters after the meeting. First direct elections of mayor and chairperson were conducted in the State in 2009.“A mayor or chairperson elected by public usually ignores councillors and development works get affected. When a directly elected mayor or chairperson is from one party and the majority in the corporation or municipality is of the other party, it also stalls development,” he said. BJP blamedAccusing the BJP of creating an atmosphere of hate and violence, Mr. Dhariwal said that it was necessary to return to the old mode of indirect elections of mayors and chairpersons to counter the divisive policies of the BJP.
The Government has reiterated its dedication to strengthening the capacity of Jamaica Fire Brigade to effectively carry out its tasks in fire prevention and ensuring public safety, despite budgetary constraints. “We are taking it step-by-step in working towards expanding the fleet, refurbishing fire stations island-wide and increasing the number of officers,” said State Minister for Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Colin Fagan. He was speaking at the Diamond Jubilee Awards ceremony for officers of the brigade held on Wednesday, January 30 at the Girl Guides Associationof Jamaica headquarters in St. Andrew. Citing the brigade’s community outreach activities, Mr. Fagan said these were vital in fire prevention and pledged the Ministry’s commitment to providing the necessary support to continue initiatives in this regard. “We are extremely proud of the progress that has been made and of the commitment of the men and women, who, through volunteering their time and skills and forging partnerships with the community, have found innovative ways of addressing some of the challenges that face the brigade. These actions make the awards even more deserving,” he said. The State Minister congratulated the awardees for their sterling contribution to the nation and the development of the brigade over the years. “I am proud to share this moment with you. It goes to show that your hard work and commitment have not gone unnoticed. I encourage you to remain steadfast in your aim and to maintain your high standards as you continue to save lives and protect property,” he said. “I applaud, particularly, the focus you have brought to the numerous accident scenes to which you have been called, your patience and compassion in dealing with the victims have not gone unnoticed,” he added. Mr. Fagan also commended the Diamond Jubilee Committee for recognising those who have made invaluable service through their fire fighting, public education and rescue activities. During the ceremony, approximately 40 officers were presented with the medals for dedicated service, commitment and loyalty to the brigade, in celebration of the Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.