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London gets another Indian-origin deputy mayor

London: Indian-origin philanthropist Shirley Rodrigues has been appointed as London mayor Sadiq Khan’s deputy for environment and energy and she will be responsible for setting up a not-for-profit company aimed at boosting recycling rates and producing low carbon energy.

“Shirley Rodrigues brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience and is the perfect person to deliver my agenda to make London a cleaner and greener city. Shirley will drive forward the urgent action needed to ensure Londoners no longer have to fear the air we breathe and will address the failure to tackle the problem by the previous mayor and government,” Khan said in a statement last week.

Rodrigues will be responsible for setting up a not-for-profit company, to be called Energy for Londoners, aimed at helping the British capital boost its recycling rates and produce more of its own, low carbon energy.

“I am sure she will be a fantastic addition to my top team, taking on a crucial portfolio that has become an issue of life and death,” he noted.

Rodrigues becomes the second deputy mayor of Indian origin to join Khan’s team, after Indore-born Rajesh Agarwal was appointed to the business portfolio last month.

She said:”I am delighted to be working with Sadiq on his ambitious plans to make London one of the most environmentally friendly cities in the world.”

“Sadiq has already proposed a radical and wide-ranging approach to clean up London’s dirty air and I feel privileged to be able to lead on this vital piece of work that will boost the quality of life and health for millions of Londoners,” she said.

Rodrigues, who was born in Kenya but traces her family roots back to Goa, is currentlythe Acting Executive Director for Climate Change atthe Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF),an independent philanthropic organisation that works to transform the lives of poor and vulnerable children in developing countries, where she oversees a 155-million-pounds global strategy and portfolio.

She will now take charge on finalising Khan’s proposals for tackling London’s poor air quality, for which a consultation has already been conducted.

The consultation results are to be published in September, followed by two further, more detailed, stages addressing plans for an initial 10 pounds a day emissions surcharge on polluting vehicles entering central London and the forthcoming Ultra Low Emission Zone as a whole.