Rajesh Deshmukh is appointed as Pune district collector
Deshmukh was previously the district collector at Yavatmal where he was credited with reducing the number of farmers suicide.Updated: Aug 17, 2020, 21:29 IST
The state government on Monday appointed Dr Rajesh Deshmukh as the new district collector of Pune, according to an order issued by Sitaram Kunte, additional chief secretary.
Deshmukh, a 2008 batch Indian Administrative officer, comes as Pune district collector from Haffkine institute in Mumbai where he is currently managing director. In his order, Kunte asked Deshmukh to take charge as Pune district collector on immediate basis. Kunal Khmenar, another IAS officer, will replace Deshmukh at Haffkine.
The new district collector is likely to take charge by Tuesday in Pune, which is one of the worst affected district due to Covid pandemic. On Sunday, Pune crossed Mumbai to become the district with highest number of total Covid positive cases in the state. Pune’s tally as on Sunday was 130606 while Mumbai reported total 128726 cases.
“Currently I have two responsibilities here including Haffkine institute and Haffkine bio pharmaceutical. I am hoping to join as collector by Tuesday once I handover these responsibilities,” said Deshmukh over phone from Mumbai.
On the Covid front in Pune, Deshmukh isn’t oblivious to the situation. “I have been monitoring the situation in Pune since the beginning. As Managing Director at Haffkine, I am involved in so many Covid related activities including setting up testing centres.”
Deshmukh was instrumental in setting up two labs in March when state government together had only six laboratories across Maharashtra. He was also associated with procurement and assembling of equipments for various medical colleges.
On controlling Pune’s covid spread, Deshmukh said, “The golden rule to control this pandemic is trace, track and test,” indicating that the administration has to trace more contacts, track them and finally carry out their tests. “Early intervention is the best strategy to tackle this crisis,’ he said.
Deshmukh was previously the district collector at Yavatmal where he was credited with reducing the number of farmers suicide.
He was also chief executive officer at Satara Zilla Parishad.
Deshmukh’s order came two weeks after Naval Kishore Ram was transferred in Prime Minister’s Office as deputy secretary. Following Ram’s transfer, Pune Zilla Parishad Chief Executive Officer Ayush Prasad was given additional charge as collector.
The main reason for delay in appointment of new collector, according sources, was because names considered by deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar were not approved by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. However the appointment of Deshmukh indicates that Pawar finally convinced chief minister of his choice.