EVEN as outgoing district collector Naval Kishore Ram joined the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Sunday as deputy secretary, Pune district was left headless with the state government failing to announce his replacement.
“I joined PMO today. While leaving, I had handed over the charge to Zilla Parishad CEO Ayush Prasad,” said Ram, when contacted on Sunday afternoon. Ram, who was also chairman of the District Disaster Management Authority, relinquished the charge on Saturday. As chairman, Ram not only was in charge of the rural areas but also had to monitor the Covid situation in PMC and PCMC limits.
Prasad, however, said he had received no such orders from the state government. “I don’t know who the district collector is. I have not received any orders from the state government. I am ZP CEO…,” he said. Prasad said he was still not eligible to be a district collector as he did not have the seniority required for that post. “I will be eligible to be a district collector by next January,” he said.
When asked, Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao said the temporary charge of district collector has been given to Prasad. “Orders have been issued to the effect,” he said.
Prasad said he will have to check with his officials as he had not received the order on Saturday or Sunday.
The divisional commissioner, however, said the state government has indicated that by Monday afternoon, the name of the new district collector will be announced.
District officials said there are three contenders for the post. They are Rajesh Deshmukh, former Yavatmal collector and present MD of Haffkine, Latur district collector G Shrikant and Yogesh Mhase, MD, Maharashtra State Cooperative Marketing Federation. Mhase had already served as PCNTDA CEO in Pimpri Chinchwad.
“Yes, all the three names are doing the rounds. All the three are experienced officers…,” Rao said. Besides the three names, the name of Astik Kumar Pandey is also doing the rounds.
Rao said the appointment of Ram to PMO is significant as it shows that he performed well in Pune. “Appointment to the PMO is a certificate in itself of an officer’s outstanding performance. Ram worked hard in Pune…,” he said.
Meanwhile, district officials said the state government is also likely to announce the name of an additional municipal commissioner for PMC. PMC currently has two additional municipal commissioners.
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