Call me disaster expert: New home secy | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Call me disaster expert: New home secy

Umeshchandra Sarangi, a 1977 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, who took over as the state's additional chief secretary (home) told Hindustan Times that he is not new to high-pressure jobs.

mumbai Updated: Dec 12, 2010 01:33 IST
HT Correspondent

A man who has handled some of the state's worst disasters will now be in-charge of the state’s security. Umeshchandra Sarangi, a 1977 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, who took over as the state's additional chief secretary (home) told Hindustan Times that he is not new to high-pressure jobs.

In state administration circles, Sarangi is known for handling disaster situations. He was sent to head rescue and relief work after the Latur earthquake in 1993. He has even handled relief work after Mumbai was submerged during the July 26, 2005, deluge.

“You can call me a disaster expert,” said Sarangi, who was also principal secretary in the chief minister's office.

Yet to complete preliminary meetings in his new department, Sarangi said he would be able to talk about his priorities as home secretary only after he meets his colleagues.

But, execution of security plans would be the key, he added. “Often, we in the administration think about execution of plans. I would like to insist on planned execution.”

Sarangi, however, avoided commenting on issues like factionalism in the police department and political interference.

A gold medallist in MSc Botany, Sarangi succeeded Chandra Iyengar, who retired on November 30, as the new addition chief secretary (home).

According to sources, home minister RR Patil was keen on getting Sarangi for the post.

Prior to his appointment, Sarangi was chairman of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard), a central government undertaking. Nabard has reached 85 million people and financed 7 million self-help groups through micro-finance project. The self-help groups are financed by the agencies like NABARD to start their own business.

“Today, these groups have an investment of Rs1,200 crore and are spread in 18 states. The poor people who are members of these groups have together saved Rs6,100 crore in the banks, which shows that they are doing well under the micro-finance scheme,” said Sarangi.