Gagandeep Singh Bedi, a senior IAS officer in the rank of Principal Secretary with many years of experience in disaster management, has been posted as the Commissioner of the Greater Chennai Corporation, replacing G. Prakash. Mr. Bedi, who took charge on Sunday, will conduct an inspection of fever surveillance in areas like Kodambakkam on Monday.
Mr. Bedi, of the 1993 batch of the IAS, was formerly Agricultural Production Commissioner and Principal Secretary, Department of Agriculture. He has a degree in engineering. He has vast experience in the implementation of agriculture, urban and rural development and water supply projects.
While working as the Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation of Madurai from 1999 to 2001, he completed the ring road project, the second phase of underground sewerage, over-bridges and parks.
He also served as the Collector of Kanniyakumari and Cuddalore from 2001 to 2007. His role in handling the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami brought accolades not only from the Indian government but also UN agencies and the World Bank.
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton spent a day with him in Cuddalore, overseeing the tsunami relief work, and lauded these efforts while writing in The Washington Post in December 2006.
As a secretary to the government, Mr. Bedi has overseen policy-making in agriculture, animal husbandry, dairying, fisheries and rural development for the past 10 years. He has handled the 2005 and 2015 floods and the subsequent floods and cyclones in Cuddalore, Nagapattinam and Kanniyakumari. He has been honoured with various awards by the State as well as Central governments for his work in agriculture and rural development.
In the order, the government has said the post of Principal Secretary/Commissioner, Greater Chennai Corporation, will be equivalent in status and responsibilities to the cadre post of Principal Secretary-cum-Commissioner.
Mr. Prakash headed the Greater Chennai Corporation for more than two years, having taken charge on February 21, 2019. During his tenure, projects such as the ₹150-crore command and control centre, installation of smart poles with facial recognition cameras and privatisation of solid waste management in many zones were implemented. He also initiated decentralised waste management in 200 wards.
During the pandemic, Mr. Prakash initiated a project for providing oxygen beds at Nandambakkam, Manali, Injambakkam and Tondiarpet. These beds will be launched on Monday. Last year, Mr. Prakash increased the testing and focused on isolation and treatment to contain the spread of COVID-19. This approach helped to bring the active cases down. A post for Mr. Prakash has not been announced yet.
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