VIJAYAWADA: Municipal Commissioner Natarajan Gulzar, who has been transferred to Visakhapatnam as CMD of Eastern Discom at the end of an eventful two-year-nine-month-long tenure here, is a contented man.
“I have enjoyed my stint in the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation, though it would have been wonderful to leave the post after overseeing the completion of the road works that are still in progress,” he said speaking to The Hindu on Monday.
He also expressed satisfaction over being posted in a “core infrastructure” area like the power sector. Until his successor is named by the Government, Sub-Collector Gaurav Uppal is likely to be kept in-charge of the post.
Mr. Gulzar, who joined as VMC Commissioner in July 2005, has been able to leave his mark on the city with his distinctive style of functioning and the grounding of a number of developmental works.
Even his detractors will agree that he will be remembered singularly for the massive allocations he got from the Centre for Vijayawada under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). Projects of a value of nearly Rs.1,000 crores have been sanctioned for the city, thanks to the scores of visits he made to the national capital and effective presentations he made before the members of the central sanctioning committee.
Mr. Gulzar also ensured that the coffers of the VMC swelled, as he plugged the loopholes in collection of property tax. The serving of notices on government departments and agencies and various other private institutions, along with the threat of seizure, resulted in many recalcitrant payers coughing up the dues.
However, he had his share of brickbats too. The hasty demolition of some properties on Bandar Road during its widening led to the HC admonishing him and ordering the re-construction of the properties.
Mr. Gulzar also had to go back on the decision to fix water meters to domestic connections in the face of stiff opposition from political parties, including the ruling Congress.