After raising the hackles of the city’s builders by introducing stricter norms, the outgoing civic chief, Subodh Kumar, might now train his guns on errant telecom companies. While there is still speculation over whether the state government will rehabilitate him, Kumar has set his sights on the chairmanship of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai).
Kumar confirmed to Hindustan Times that he has applied for the post. The authority regulates, among other things, the telecom as well as the broadcasting industry, which includes DTH (direct-to-home), cable TV and radio.
The incumbent chairman, Dr JS Sarma, will retire by May 14 and the Centre has set up a committee comprising senior bureaucrats to select his successor.
Kumar said: “I have applied for the post as I have worked in the telecom sector earlier, and hence have the experience.” Before being posted as the civic chief, Kumar was working on deputation with the Centre as the additional secretary in the department of telecom, where he had authored a report on allocation of spectrum which recommended its auction, after the now-infamous method of first-come-first-serve basis.
Kumar had also supervised the auction of the third-generation (3G) spectrum and broadband wireless access that proved to be a financial windfall for the Centre. His aides in the civic body said that he has been interviewed for the post. “Kumar is a front-runner for the post. He also enjoys a good rapport with senior politicians and bureaucrats at the Centre,” said an aide.
Kumar, meanwhile, has dismissed the speculation of being offered a post by the state government.