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Iran: Daily urges Tehranis to give newly appointed mayor a chance

`Iran Daily' on Monday praised the appointment of Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad as the new mayor of Tehran Municipality and asked local residents to give him a chance to prove himself as he starts the formidable job of moving forward this metropolis, IRNA reported from Tehran.

Tehran Municipality, because of its size and peculiar conditions, has been regularly facing serious challenges, it said.

Its mayors, one after another, have been subjected to all kinds of accusations--inefficiency, corruption, influence peddling, among others.

But "social concepts and conditions plus the never-ending political rivalry have more often than not affected the performance of this huge enterprise," the daily pointed out.

Alluding to the mistakes of the past, it said what the metropolis needs is "a long-term strategic plan with no political strings attached."

It said civic and related services in the capital is presently handled by 25 different organizations and to keep the city running an annaul 40 trillion rials is needed.

The new mayor has announced his priorities, namely, "expanding the subway system, utilizing urban trains and developing highways," praised the daily.

But big projects require proper planning and effective management and the sad experience is that many ambitious urban development projects in the past have been stalled because of budget constraints, it reminded.

It pointed to some 10 trillion rials worth of joint ventures that would have to shelved until the private sector comes to the rescue.

Moreover, it underscored the fact that the Tehran Municipality's management will soon undergo a major overhaul and, consequently, new people in charge.

It may reasonably be expected that "implementation of major projects will be further delayed because the newcomers will need enough time to settle down and take stock of the situation," it said.

But the real issue is "not the availability of funds but the competence of managers and their teams," it stressed.

Urban planning, civic progress and improving the quality of life in a mega city like Tehran clearly demands foresight, expertise, experience and some high dozes of realism, which the new mayor undoubtedly has, assessed the daily.

But, it pointed out, quality planning and effective management alone will not guarantee success.

It expressed the hope that this time around there would be greater understanding and closer collaboration between the private and public sectors to move this municipality forward.

... Payvand News - 5/5/03 ... --

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