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A civic chief who knows his job

A civic chief who knows his job
Highlights

A civic body that was mired in corruption, paralyzed by official apathy and wrecked by untold miseries is slowly limping towards a vibrant, graftfree...

Khammam: A civic body that was mired in corruption, paralyzed by official apathy and wrecked by untold miseries is slowly limping towards a vibrant, graft-free and transparent corporation, thanks to the initiatives by its new Commissioner.

Sandeep Kumar Jha, the new Commissioner of the Khammam Municipal Corporation (KMC), has taken up the task of cleansing the corporation in right earnest and has vowed to put an end to irregularities cropped up during the last three years in KMC.

Sandeep Kumar Jha, who was discharging duties as the Sub-Collector of Vikarabad district, was appointed as the Commissioner for KMC by the authorities on special directions of none other than Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao himself.

Before Jha took charge as the Commissioner, the KMC was in doldrums. Not just several development works, but also routine works such as issuing birth and death certificates, ownership rights, approval of building plan, land regularisation scheme, road repair works, sanitation and purchasing of equipment for sanitation workers were all stuck due to lack of proper supervision.

The first thing he did after taking charge was to stop corporators from meeting him for personal works. He also directed the municipal staff not to issue any certificate without his knowledge and warned them of stern action if involved in any irregularities.

“I am strictly following rules regarding issuance of birth and death certificates. No deviation will be allowed,” Jha said to The Hans India. He said he had already tightened noose around erring corporators who bagged contracts in benami names and put a check to their amassing illegal wealth.

However, the corporators who resorted to make fast bucks during the previous Commissioner’s time are said to scared about their misdeeds being exposed.

“I have no choice but to go by what is right and what is wrong,” he said. He said he knew this was just the beginning and he would have to face much more difficult situations as the Commissioner of the KMC.

“You should be well aware of the processes and systems you are part of, so that you can make strong and efficient. It will require certain time. While putting these processes and systems inn place, you will face a lot of hiccups and there will be resistance too,” he said.

“He was keen to bring in more transparency and efficiency in the administration of the KMC. He held daily meetings at his office with the officials without a break and made random visits to the divisions at 6 am in the morning and streamlined all developmental works which are under progress in various divisions,” said one of the municipal officials.

Jha believes that there was an inner drive in him to be a transformer, a changemaker. He considers his high speed as his weakness because it often upsets many people (working with him), and his commitment as his biggest strength.

He, along with some senior officials, meet citizens in their respective areas. The data obtained from them in the form of feedback and suggestions is regularly analyzed and deliberated for future planning.

Jha, so far, organised awareness camps on water conservation, sanitation and maintaining cleanliness. He solved the problem of water scarcity in the city. About 16,000 LRS applications have been cleared till date apart from giving permissions for construction of about 2,281 buildings under the corporation limits. The corporation also stood first in collection of property and tap taxes.

“If you want a clean city, don’t make it dirty. For transforming Khammam to a ‘smart city’, you just ask one question, how are you contributing for the betterment of someone other than you and the city where you are living.”

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