Punjab Engineering College alumna Archana Thakur first woman to head Himachal PWD
Bringing transparency in public works department and expediting projects are her priorities as she takes charge
The Himachal Pradesh government has appointed Archana Singh Thakur, 55, as engineer-in-chief of the public works department. She is the first woman engineer to head the key department responsible for the construction of roads, bridges and buildings in the hill state.
“The job is challenging. My priority is to bring transparency in the department. I will focus on expediting projects and accelerate the pace of work,” Archana said after assuming charge on Monday.
Archana joined the state public works department in 1988 after graduating from Punjab Engineering College. Her first posting was at Palampur as assistant engineer, designs, in 1988.
She was promoted as an executive engineer (XEN) in 2004 and posted as XEN, Shimla, Division 2, from 2006-07. She worked as the executive engineer of PWD, Solan division, from 2007-08 and was posted as the superintending engineer under the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana in 2015. She also worked as AE and XEN, PWD design, in Palampur, Nurpur, Bilaspur, Solan and Shimla.
“Engineering was a rare field that women opted for in the early ’70s, but I was inspired by my father. It’s a great feeling to have made it to the top,” she said. Her father, Devender Singh Parmar, retired as chief engineer from Chaudhary Sarwan Kumar Agricultural University, Palampur, in 1990.
Her husband, Diljit Singh Thakur, is an inspector general of police. Their son, Ajitesh, is an MBA from Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata, and daughter, Devina, is studying at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.