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Updated: March 27, 2010 12:42 IST

Absence at the helm putsbrakes on ongoing works

L. Srikrishna
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N. Mathivanan
N. Mathivanan

The long absence of Collector N. Mathivanan from office has resulted in slow pace of development works, according to various stakeholders and officials.

The Collector took charge on May 29, 2009, soon after the Lok Sabha elections were over, succeeding P. Seetharaman.

Despite Madurai Lok Sabha constituency being represented by a Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam strong man, M.K. Alagiri, also the Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers, absence of the top officer of the district for almost two months has put the brakes on many development works.

Madurai, the gateway of southern districts, had to set an example in expediting development works, at a time when many projects were under way at various stages and require the direct attention of the Collector, officials told The Hindu here on Friday.

For instance, regular review of works in progress at the Tidel and IT parks by the Collector would give an impetus to swift execution of these projects. With regard to airport expansion, the top officer of Airports Authority of India had categorically stated during his recent visit to Madurai that the State government had to acquire the required lands and hand them over to them. The Collector had to coordinate with the DRO and other officials and initiate steps. In the absence of the Collector, the project was at a standstill, informed sources said.

On completion of his 100 days as the Lok Sabha MP, Mr. Alagiri had disbursed welfare assistance worth over Rs 100 crore to the poor and needy. “All this was possible only under the systematic coordination of the Collector and his team of officers,” a revenue official in the Collectorate explained.

The government schemes — both of the Centre and State — would have clear directions from a Collector than an officer holding additional charge, an official said and added that the presence of a Collector at a review meeting made all the more difference than an officer holding additional charge.

Access to Secretaries

As the chief executive of the district, the Collector directly had access to Secretaries on matters that required on-the-spot sanction, an officer in the District Rural Development Agency said.

District Revenue Officer Dinesh Ponraj Oliver, who is officiating as Collector in-charge ever since Mr. Mathivanan went on leave, is also holding the post of DRO (Kallar Reclamation Board), officials said.

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