The 1985-batch AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram-Union Territories) cadre IAS officer Parimal Rai, who took over as the adviser to the UT administrator on Monday, termed Chandigarh a “sangam” (confluence) of the three states —UT, Punjab and Haryana — and said he would maintain a balance of officials from three states.
Rai’s statement comes in the backdrop of his predecessor Vijay Dev’s policy of giving undue importance to UT cadre officials by ignoring Punjab and Haryana officials.
Referring to Chandigarh as a special union territory with a different set of administrative structure, Rai said: “Chandigarh is the heart of three states as it caters to UT, Punjab and Haryana. We have an efficient team of officials who will continue to work for city’s development.”
Addressing his first meeting with UT officials, he enquired about the current ratio of officials from UT, Punjab and Haryana and said a balance would be maintained.
Dev was accused of giving plump postings to UT cadre officials and during his stint as the UT adviser. As a convention, the Chandigarh administration used to draw its officers in 60:40 ratio from Punjab and Haryana, but for the past couple of years, UT cadre officers were dominating the scene.
Talking to the media, the new adviser said: “I am new to the city and I am getting feedback from officials about important projects being undertaken here.” He said the smart city and the heritage project would be his top priorities.
Rai reached the city at 10am and headed straight to his government accommodation in Sector 7. He also called on the UT administrator and Punjab and Haryana governor Kaptan Singh Solanki.
He reached UT Secretariat at 11.30am and had an introductory meeting with officials and took a briefing about ongoing projects in the city. He showed keen interest in metro project and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
The work on metro project will be expedited as it will improve connectivity within the tricity.
The first impression of City Beautiful failed to impress the adviser. He said: “We need to make the city clean and need to set up high standards. We have to make efforts to make Chandigarh the cleanest city in the country.” Mysore won the race for the cleanest city in The Swachh Survekshan-2016, while Chandigarh was declared second.
I will like to interact with the media through the public relations department. On being told that Dev was in touch with the media through WhatsApp, he said: “All five fingers are not same. Every officer has his own way of functioning.”
Toilets in schools
“I will carry out inspections in schools to see the condition of toilets,” he said. He also directed the director school education (DSE) to make sure that all schools have toilets.