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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

Pune on my mind: Land for ring road, airport my top priority, says Naval Kishore Ram

I have been conducting several meetings with the government agencies and officials to expedite the process of land acquisition

pune Updated: Jun 26, 2019 14:36 IST
Naval Kishore Ram
Naval Kishore Ram
Hindustan Times, Pune
Naval Kishore Ram
Naval Kishore Ram (HT PHOTO)

Pune is a district which has an inherent quality of being in quietude. At the same time, people are highly motivated intellectually. This combination makes Punekars very inquisitive in nature and, from the administrative perspective, I am fortunate to be in the vicinity of such citizens. I take a lot of advantage of this intellectual motivation of residents and translate the same into the work that I do for them as the district collector of Pune.

However, while doing so, I have to ensure that the administration is equally proactive as we are required to keep pace with the people’s aspirations. I have had a wonderful experience of working with the residents in Pune.

It was indeed a golden opportunity as well as a moment of pride when I was transferred to this beautiful city. The appointment as the district collector of Pune was a very good departure for me from where I had worked earlier. Previously, I keenly focused on rural development. However, with my arrival in Pune district, the scale of work that I do here increased multifold. The magnitude of projects here has a national as well as state-wide significance.

Bigger the city, bigger the challenges

Every city has its own problems and so does Pune. However, the resolution of these issues is my top priority as the district collector. Amidst major ongoing infrastructure projects in the district such as the Pune ring road, Purandar international airport or Dehu-Alandi palki road, land acquisition in a manner which ensures complete justice is one of my top most priorities. One of the basic hindrances for major infrastructure projects is land acquisition.

I have been conducting several meetings with the government agencies and officials to expedite the process of land acquisition. All these infrastructure projects have the potential to solve the traffic issues in the city in a significant manner. Be it the ring road proposed by the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA), the Shivajinagar to Hinjewadi metro corridor or the Purandar International Airport; as a facilitator, it is my priority to complete the process of land acquisition so that the governing agencies begin their work on ground at the earliest.

I have always believed that proper and honest communication always leads to a better solution. The message has to be very clear that it is not only about acquiring land, but also about ensuring justice to our farmers.

We are not anti-farmers or antiland owners. If we are working on an infrastructure project, we want to ensure basic amenities, good business hubs and good opportunities to rural as well as urban people. If we are acquiring the land of a farmer or a villager, it is our priority to give them good returns.

There are some problems, but we are dealing with it efficiently and I am confident of resolving all these issues very soon. We must accept the challenges so that we can eventually feel the exhilaration of the completion of a difficult task.

I have been in this office for over an year now. I had previously written in Hindustan Times about the capacity-building of officers who work in Pune.

While the best of officers come to Pune for their services, a sense of complacency among them is evident. This level of ease is achieved in a very short time. This should be avoided as it leads to procrastination. This attitude must be changed.

A year later, I take pride in saying that my team has motivated me to work harder. Also, I express my gratitude towards them as they have successfully met my expectations of work.

I am not at all disappointed with them as in most of the areas I have been getting good results. It was for the good work of the entire team that we could fast track the work of projects such as Bh mashankar, Bhama Ashkhed.

I follow the basic principle of persistence, perseverance and continuous improvement along with conviction, and expect my team to do the same.

I come from the school of thought where I believe people’s participation along with the efforts of the administration has the potential to completely change society. Citizens also have an important role to play.

Having said so, I reiterate my commitment to reach out to people for the betterment of the city.

With all the pros and cons, one thing is certain that the city has come a long way and still has a long way to go. I will be working in a positive direction to the best of my capacity to make Pune a place even more beautiful.

I urge the people of my district to walk along with the administration as we will create Pune as a paradigm for others to follow. Let us all continue the love and respect for each other perpetually.

State of Pune today: Ten years back, the traffic situation in the city was very different as compared to what it is today. Also, the expansion of the city has been exponential. I can certainly see a visible difference in these two aspects.

One change that I want to see:

Except for the betterment of infrastructural facilities in the city leading to passenger convenience, I do not want the city to change at all. Pune has a unique and exquisite cultural identity and we must preserve it at every cost. Amidst the overall development of the city in every sector, we must never lose our historicity.

First Published: Jun 26, 2019 14:31 IST

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