After taking over as the DC, what was the first initiative that you took?
The first thing I did was, I directed all of my officials to behave kindly with the people who come for their works. It is the basis to start with.
I plan to tie up with the Mahatma Gandhi State Institute of Public Administration (MAGSIPA) where my officials will undergo training in behavioural management. It’s a very important thing — if the officials will attend the people well, there will be fewer complaints.
When you joined you emphasised on making women financially independent. Do have any special plan for this?
Of course. I am in touch with some NGOs and some self-help groups. I am meeting the representatives of all NGOs to start some programmes for rural women who can get benefits of welfare schemes initiated by the state and central governments. These self-help groups will help the women to set up their small businesses so that they can improve their income. It will give them confidence too.
Is there any such group or any NGO which has started working in this direction in the district?
No, not yet, but in the coming few months, many NGOs will come here to start many programmes.
The state government has initiated a crackdown on the illegal drug rehabilitation centres. What is the district administration doing to keep a tab on such rehabilitation centres?
I have directed the health authorities to update the record of all the drug de-addiction centres and the rehabilitation centres being run privately in the district. We have planned surprise raids on these centres. Recently, we sealed a centre in Kharar. We will continue this practice in the future, too.
A lot of emphasis is laid in making the working at your office transparent. Is any new initiative taken in this direction?
Yes, in fact it’s also a very important area where we are working hard nowadays. First, I have started keeping a track on the working of patwaris and kanugos through a new tracking system added in one of our softwares. The result is good. Now there is a decrease in pendency of registration of mutations and other land records.
Recently, the board examinations were concluded. Why does Mohali always fare badly in the results despite having better teacher-student ratio in the schools as compared to other districts?
This is a serious problem. I held the meeting with the district education office and asked him to take the necessary steps to improve the results.
During your meeting what problems did you figure out which are responsible for the bad results?
I told the officers very clearly that they should not come to me saying that there are no funds. There is no connection of funds with the results. Wherever it’s needed we will spend the funds to improve the infrastructure but I felt this is an excuse which always works against producing good results. I told everyone clearly that if the teachers will not improve results now action will be taken against them.
Last year, there were a surge in dengue cases in the city. It was the highest in the Tricity. What is the administration doing to deal with it?
See, if there are more dengue cases, it does not mean that it is a problem, I see it from other side. I feel the department might have created more awareness so they took it seriously and the cases were reported more correctly than previous years. This year, we are soon going to start an awareness drive against dengue. We have a comprehensive programme this time and we will make maximum people aware of the fever.
This time around you are going to monitor the stubble burning with the satellite. Is there any case reported yet?
This is the first time that we are going to do it. Our concerned officers are looking after it but there is no case of stubble burning reported yet. In the coming days after the farmers will complete the work of reaping their crops there will be cases.
What initiatives you have taken to reach out to the people of the district?
I have created an email id, firstname.lastname@example.org, and I have urged the people to send me their suggestions and complaints if they have any.