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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Getting Chandigarh to Number 1 spot on swachhta ranking my priority, says Anindita Mitra

The 2007 batch IAS officer, who assumed charge on Monday, spoke to The Indian Express about her priorities and challenges.

Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh |
Updated: August 24, 2021 5:48:21 am
Also, number one rank of Chandigarh as city beautiful will be ensured at all costs. Maximum use of technology will be made to further make the city clean, green and pollution-free. (File)

Chandigarh’s new Municipal Commissioner Anindita Mitra claims she will accord top priority to fulfill aspirations of citizens besides striving to make Chandigarh the city beautiful and help secure it the first position on the swachhta rankings.

The 2007 batch IAS officer, who assumed charge on Monday, spoke to The Indian Express about her priorities and challenges.

What is the first file you called for today or something that we can say is your priority?

The garbage management will be on my priority since the same has run into certain issues. Though waste collection is 80 per cent in the city, the management is not being done on a daily basis.

So that will be my priority to ensure that the waste processing is being done because garbage management is not a sanitation issue but an environmental issue and it needs to be addressed.

Secondly, I have asked officers to brief me about the administration part like even when I was the Deputy Commissioner, I tried to make the system citizen-centric. I want to know what citizens’ aspirations are because there are things that I want to do but I want to know what is it that they want improvement in, the grievance redressal part as well. My main focus will be to provide clean, effective, efficient, transparent and citizen-centric administration to people. I have asked the officers to perform their duty zealously for ensuring that citizen-centric services to people are provided in a hassle-free manner. I will ensure people walk hand in hand with the administration to maintain the ethos of the historic city.

Then there are multiple projects of the smart city that my predecessor had begun, so I will be following them up. It includes the bicycle-sharing project to pedestrian safety. Such initiatives are on my priority list.

Also, number one rank of Chandigarh as city beautiful will be ensured at all costs. Maximum use of technology will be made to further make the city clean, green and pollution-free.

Anything about the financial condition of the civic body?

I would first want to assess the situation before commenting on it, like there are projects which are short-term, medium-term and long-term. So we have to assess what we need in immediate future, what is required in five years and what is to be implemented keeping in view the vision for the city. So for immediate projects, finances are important.

Like, as you know Chandigarh corporation has 13 more villages under its ambit apart from nine other villages, thus providing urban facilities in those sub-urban areas is also going to be my priority.

Would you mind going ahead with imposing taxes if there is any such move?

As I said since it is my first day, without understanding and assessing the situation, I wouldn’t be able to comment on it.

What in waste management you feel is a challenge for you at the moment?

As I discussed, in the waste management, collection is one part and management is the other. We need to reach the optimum capacity in the processing of it. My priority is to ensure that we process more than the collected waste. Efforts will be made to ensure scientific management of garbage, thereby giving a reprieve to people.

Any other issue in the MC that you feel is a big challenge?

I feel it will be too premature to speak on anything as of now. However, any system built always has a scope for improvement.

New Commissioner’s background

Besides being the Deputy Commissioner of important districts of Punjab like Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar and Hoshiarpur, Mitra has remained Director Information and Public Relations, Punjab, twice during which she played an important role in organising 550th Parkash Purab of Sri Guru Nanak Dev, thereby boosting the image of Punjab government across the globe.

She was also one of the longest serving directors of Department of Food and Civil Supply, Punjab, during which she not only broke the backbone of transport cartel but also ensured smooth and hassle-free procurement operations for four consecutive years. The strenuous efforts made by her for procurement of grains and presenting the right image of government during the COVID times was also lauded by one and all.

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