The new municipal commissioner of Ludhiana, Rakesh Kumar Verma, who joined here on Tuesday, has a tough road ahead. Many challenges have been laid before him - from sinking roads to delayed projects.
Having varied experience of different departments, Verma was appointed as the LMC commissioner recently after former commissioner of the MC MS Jaggi was suspended for having misused his powers to victimise a vegetable vendor.
However, Verma, who has a vision and vast experience, says Ludhiana has a lot of scope and the city would develop with time. "There are shortcoming in all cities. Ludhiana would develop gradually with time. The state government has already announced the metro rail project for the city that would improve the public transport system," said Verma.
A 1993-batch IAS officer, Verma has worked in many departments, including managing director, Punjab Information and Communication Technology Corporation Ltd, administrative secretary, local government department, and joint managing director, Punjab Municipal Infrastructure Development Board. Having worked in various departments would also help in taking decisions about infrastructure development.
"I am aware about the problems being faced by the residents of the city that include water accumulation during monsoon and road cave-ins. All these issues would be sorted with time," he said.
Having set stiff goals for himself, Verma said the problem of storm sewage was among other major issues that need to be redressed. "The work on storm drains is not even 10% complete in the city that results in accumulation of rainwater during monsoon. The work would be completed as soon as possible," said Verma.
He also said the work on 100% computerisation of the MC would be completed within one-and-a-half years. "Computerisation of records requires special attention. I assure that the process will be completed as soon as possible. The tendering process would soon take place and the computerisation process would start after that," he claimed.
The 41-year-old MC commissioner would also face the pressures of incomplete projects under the Ludhiana MC that have already attracted criticism from the media and society. These projects include indoor stadium on Pakhowal Road, Lakkar Bridge project, covering of Ganda Nullah and expressway along Sidhwan Canal among other projects.