AIADMK functionary’s daughter appointed Smart Cities CEO

This is her first exposure to urban governance or a government job

Published - August 15, 2017 07:54 am IST - COIMBATORE

The appointment of a 28-year-old person with limited experience as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the agency that is implementing several-crore-rupee worth Smart Cities project in Coimbatore has come in for criticism.

The appointee R. Suganya, daughter of former AIADMK MLA K.P. Raju, took charge on August 11. She was appointed a few days prior to that, after being interviewed by the Coimbatore Corporation Commissioner and Special Officer K. Vijayakarthikeyan, Deputy Commissioner P. Gandhimathi and city engineer.

Ms. Suganya, after completing her MBA in 2012, had worked as an assistant human resource manager in a manufacturing industry and the last six months in a leading private hospital, again in human resources.

This was her first exposure to urban governance or a government job.

Ms. Suganya would draw a salary of ₹1 lakh a month with another 10 per cent as performance linked pay. And, her tenure would be for three years.

The Corporation sources familiar with the developments said that even as per the revised Government guidelines, Ms. Suganya did not meet the eligibility criteria because she did not have two years experience in urban sector

The State Government had initially issued advertisements asking for people with 15 years experience and five of that in urban sector for a monthly pay of ₹2 lakh. It then watered it down to three years experience including two years in urban sector.

The sources alleged that even when the higher norms were in vogue (15 years), her candidature had heavy backing. Since she failed to meet the 15 years experience criterion, she was not selected. Now with the revised norms, she sailed through.

Mr. Vijayakarthikeyan, however, disputed the allegations and said that of the 21 applicants, none met the eligibility criteria and only Ms. Suganya did. This could be easily verified from the records.

Commissioner for Municipal Administration G. Prakash said that the Government revised the norms only after realising that for the eligibility criterion it had set for the CEO, it was difficult to find people outside the government establishment.

And it also did not want to delay the appointment for a long time.

Political parties, however, have taken exception to the dilution in eligibility criteria and the appointment of persons close to the ruling party. BJP’s State vice president Vanathi Srinivasan said it was unfortunate that Coimbatore city administration had gone in for a political appointment.

The party would take it to the notice of the Central Government, for Smart Cities was one of the Prime Minister’s flagship schemes.

Having missed the bus by not fully capitalising on the JNNURM (Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission) scheme, the city cannot afford to lose the Smart Cities project, said former Mayor P. Rajkumar of the AIADMK.

Merit should have been the criterion for appointment and not other considerations, he said.

DMK MLA N. Karthik too took exception to the Coimbatore Corporation’s appointment. This only went on to show the level of interference from the political powers that be.

Municipal Administration Minister S.P. Velumani could not be reached.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.