Gaurav Gupta is new BBMP Commissioner

Third Commissioner in a year for civic body as city battles second wave of COVID-19 infections

Updated - April 01, 2021 10:23 am IST

Published - March 31, 2021 10:15 pm IST

Amidst a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in Bengaluru, the State government on Wednesday transferred Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad and Administrator Gaurav Gupta.

Mr. Gupta has been appointed the new civic Commissioner and has also been given additional charge as Additional Chief Secretary, Commerce and Industries Department. Senior IAS officer Rakesh Singh has been appointed as Administrator of the BBMP. Mr. Singh has also been given concurrent charge as Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), Water Resources Department.

Amidst a second wave, both the Commissioner and Administrator of BBMP holding concurrent charge of key departments, like Industries and Commerce and Water Resources, has raised eyebrows. This arrangement will be unsustainable, senior civic officials said.

Mr. Prasad has been posted as Principal Secretary in Revenue Department (Disaster Management, Bhoomi & UPOR), following retirement of Mahendra Jain, according to a notification issued by the government. Mr. Prasad was Principal Secretary of the Revenue Department before becoming the BBMP Commissioner on July 18, 2020, during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the city.

Third commissioner in a year

Mr. Gupta will be the third civic Commissioner in less than a year. B.H. Anil Kumar was the civic Commissioner when the pandemic broke out. He was transferred in July 2020 when the case load in the city began to peak. His place was taken by Mr. Prasad who had a stint as BBMP Commissioner earlier.

Mr. Prasad had sought to be relieved of his responsibilities as the civic Commissioner in December 2020 when he tested positive for COVID-19 and was hospitalised for two weeks. However, the government convinced him to continue.

Mr. Prasad had been in favour of imposing restrictions on people entering the city and regulating public gatherings, including in film theatres, malls and supermarkets, which the Chief Minister was not keen on. It is speculated that this may have played a role in Mr. Prasad's transfer, sources said.

Other transfers

Vandita Sharma, ACS and Development Commissioner, Bengaluru, has been given additional responsibility of ACS to Government, Bengaluru, following the retirement of Mahendra Jain.

Rajeev Chawla, ACS, has been posted to Department of Personnel & Administrative Reforms (Administrative Reforms), Bengaluru, relieving Shalini Rajneesh, from concurrent charge.

G. Kumar Naik, ACS, has been posted to the Energy Department, and Kapil Mohan has been transferred. Mr. Naik was also given concurrent charge of Department of Higher Education. Kapil Mohan, ACS, posted to Infrastructure Development Department.

Pankaj Kumar Pandey, Secretary, Tourism Department, has been given additional charge of Commerce and Industries Department (MSME & Mines), relieving Mr. Kumar Naik from concurrent charge.

V. Ponnuraj, Managing Director, Karnataka Power Corporation Limited, Bengaluru, has been given additional charge of Department of Personnel & Administrative Reforms (E-Governance). and Mr Rajiv Chawla has been transferred.

Sindhu B. Rupesh has been posted as Director, Tourism Department, Bengaluru.

B.R. Mamatha has been posted as Additional Mission Director, Sakala Mission, Bengaluru.

H.N. Gopal Krishna has been posted as Managing Director, Karnataka Public Land Corporation Limited, Bengaluru. He was also given the responsibility of Director, IT/BT, Bengaluru.

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