Anil Baijal: A career bureaucrat and ‘urban development visionary’

His colleagues remembered Anil Baijal for his thrust on inter-departmental coordination.

His colleagues remembered Anil Baijal for his thrust on inter-departmental coordination. | Photo Credit: FILE PHOTO

Delhi Lieutenant-Governor (L-G), Anil Baijal, tendered his resignation on Wednesday. Mr. Baijal, an IAS officer of the 1969 batch, was appointed as the 21st of Delhi on December 31, 2016.

His colleagues remembered Mr. Baijal for his “non-confrontational approach” and for his thrust on inter-departmental coordination. 

“Getting multiple stakeholders on the same page, right from the conception of an idea till its execution, was the most significant quality that Mr. Baijal brought to the table. This approach was necessary and did wonders for the development works in the Capital,” said a senior bureaucrat who worked under Mr. Baijal.

Other colleagues described Mr. Baijal as “an urban development visionary” and recalled his emphasis on women’s safety in relation to policing.

He is credited with successfully steering the plans for the redevelopment of the New Delhi Railway Station and for shaping the two Master Plans of Delhi — the MPD 2021 and MPD 2041. 

Mr. Baijal’s tenure, however, was also marked by his confrontations with AAP leaders. The constant tussle between the L-G and the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal reached its peak in June 2018 when the CM, along with his cabinet ministers, sat on a dharna outside Mr. Baijal’s office-cum-residence for nine days, alleging that IAS officers posted with the Delhi government were not cooperating with the elected representatives. 

Following the north-east Delhi riots in 2020, the L-G and the CM found themselves at loggerheads yet again over the issue of the appointment of Public Prosecutors.

During the pandemic, there was yet another difference of opinion between the L-G and the Delhi government over the mandatory institutional isolation of COVID-19 patients. Another run-in was triggered over the setting up of a committee by the Delhi government to investigate deaths due to the lack of oxygen.

Earlier this year, in March, Mr. Kejriwal had speculated about the replacement of Mr. Baijal as Delhi’s L-G in a tweet - “Is Mr Praful Patel, Administrator of Lakshadweep, being made the next LG of Delhi?”

In addition to serving in various capacities in the Capital, Mr. Baijal, in his 37-year long career, also served as Union Home Secretary in the 2004 NDA government led by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Our code of editorial values

Related Topics
  1. Comments will be moderated by The Hindu editorial team.
  2. Comments that are abusive, personal, incendiary or irrelevant cannot be published.
  3. Please write complete sentences. Do not type comments in all capital letters, or in all lower case letters, or using abbreviated text. (example: u cannot substitute for you, d is not 'the', n is not 'and').
  4. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.
  5. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name, to avoid rejection.

Printable version | May 19, 2022 2:03:54 pm |