Vijayakumar was second longest serving Commissioner
CHENNAI: Chennai Corporation's new Commissioner Rajesh B. Lakhani took charge at the Ripon Buildings on Thursday.
The outgoing Commissioner, M.P. Vijayakumar, the second longest serving Commissioner with three-and-half years in office, handed over charge.
Mr. Lakhoni told reporters that he would ensure that the government schemes were implemented successfully. The new Commissioner, an engineer by training, is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai. He has also served as Collector of Perambalur, Kanyakumari and Theni districts.
The Ripon Building is not new to him, for he has served as Deputy Commissioner (Works) during the previous DMK regime.
Mr. Lakhoni's first day started with conducting elections to the posts of members of the Corporation Appointments Committee. Councillors M. Velayutham (Congress) and T. V. Muthukrishnan (DMK) were elected.
Employees bid a fond farewell to Mr. Vijayakumar, who has been posted as State Project Director for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.
Many of them were all praise for his efficiency and simplicity. The duration of his term is second only to J.A. Ambasankar (who was commissioner from December 1964 - 68).
Mr. Vijayakumar had brought innovative programmes such as activity-based learning in corporation schools. He improved child and maternal care services. He supervised the transformation of corporation maternity clinics at Saidapet and at Perumalpet near Purasawalkam into emergency obstetrics centres in July 2003. He also worked to revive green spaces in the city by developing parks. There was a lot of media attention on his standoff with the former Deputy Mayor, R. Thiagarajan, who had made several allegations against him. However, on his last day as Deputy Mayor, Mr. Thiagarajan hugged Mr. Vijayakumar and bid him adieu.