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‘I want to build a mall in Bhatkal’, says new municipality chief officer

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Hailing from Magdi in Bengaluru, Aysha Khanum is on her first posting in Bhatkal as the town municipality Chief Officer. In a free-wheeling conversation with Bhatkallys.com correspondent Maryam Hira Ekkeri, the young officer shared her priorities for Bhatkal during her tenure. Excerpts below:

Bhatkallys.com: Tell us a bit about yourself ….  

AK: I come from Magdi which is in the Ramnagar district near Bengaluru. I completed my schooling, pre-university and graduation from Bengaluru. After completing further studies, I received a notification from Karnataka Administrative Services and that’s what brings me to Bhatkal.

Bhatkallys.com: The Bhatkal Town Municipality posting is an important one to start your career with. What are your priorities over the next few months?

AK: I want to ensure provision of all essential civic facilities like drinking water, provision for street lights and other amenities which can improve the quality of life for everyone living in Bhatkal.

Bhatkallys.com: Are there any specific goals that you would like to focus on?

AK: It would make me happy to see Bhatkal among the top 50 Swachh Bharath clean cities’ list by the end of my tenure. A Swachh Survekshan will be conducted in January 2018. I would also like to see that Bhatkal is declared Open Defecation Free (ODF).

Bhatkallys.com: Who has played the most important role in your career?

AK: Both my paternal and maternal uncle played important roles in my life and they have always helped me reach my goals.

Bhatkallys.com: Do you find the job stressful?

AK: Pressure situations – especially when the public puts us under pressure as these moments can be very stressful.

Bhatkallys.com: What is important to you in this new position?

AK: Everything is new for me right now! It’s a fresh posting and I’ am not used to this. I will get used to this after spending some time on the post. Again, this is very early to comment. Those things come with time.

Bhatkallys.com: Do you have any updates on the population of Bhatkal?

AK: The last census counted Bhatkal’s population at 32,000 and it would have increased by now. I am hopeful that the Bhatkal Town Municipality can turn into a City Municipal Corporation by 2021.

Bhatkallys.com: What kind of development would you like to see in Bhatkal?

AK: Good roads, of course. I just don’t want to merely lend an ear to public complaints without being able to address their issues. Also, I would like to address the power connectivity issues faced by people of Bhatkal.

Bhatkallys.com: Your journey can be an inspiration to other women in Bhatkal. What do you have to say?

AK: I would like to motivate every woman. Every person should get out and face the competitive world. I believe women should not put their careers on hold after they get married. I have observed the girls of Bhatkal are talented and they should be encouraged to reach their goals.

Bhatkallys.com: Do you have any plans to develop the market areas of Bhatkal town?

AK: I am working towards building a shopping mall and large scale supermarket in this town to make shopping even more convenient.

Bhatkallys.com wishes the new officer good luck and hopes to see inspiring reforms and policy decisions to improve civic and infrastructure facilities in Bhatkal.

(Bhatkallys News Bureau)

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