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New DM to focus on people’s woes

- Saravana Kumar set to become Ravi Shankar Prasad’s personal secretary

Manish Kumar Verma on Monday took charge as new district magistrate (DM) of Patna from N. Saravana Kumar.

Before taking charge, 40-year-old Verma and the outgoing DM signed a few papers in the official chamber at Patna collectorate.

Verma is an Odisha-cadre IAS officer of the 2000 batch, presently on inter-state deputation and had earlier served as Purnea DM and director in the social welfare department.

When N. Saravana Kumar was transferred to Patna last year, while serving as Purnea DM, Verma had replaced him. Saravana has now been posted in the general administration department till he gets a notification making him the personal secretary of Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Union minister of communications and information technology and law and justice.

After finishing the paperwork, N. Saravana handed over the official mobile of the Patna DM to his successor. “Now, I am officially handing over this mobile to you,” said the outgoing DM.

Thereafter, Saravana asked his successor to take the DM’s chair. Both shook hands and hugged each other.

Asked about his priorities as Patna DM, Verma told The Telegraph: “Patna is not only a district, it is the state capital. It is always challenging to work in the state capital. However, being a person born in Bihar, I know this place very well and am also aware of the people’s problems. Traffic, law and order and administrative issues would be dealt with seriously but everything takes time.”

Verma comes from Ragir in Nalanda district and was a student of Patna Science College. While serving as Purnea DM, he had withheld the salary of 14 circle officers for their casual attitude towards work on agriculture census in the district.

Verma, a BTech (civil engineering) holder from IIT-Delhi, said: “It is too early to set priorities, as I have just taken charge. However, my focus would be to solve the problems of common people. It is completely different being a DM in the state capital and being a DM of a district.”

He also talked about making the system of weekly janata durbar more effective. “Janata durbar is very important and it is being held for years. Even the chief minister holds a durbar. As far as me holding janata durbar is concerned, I will try to make this practice more effective and solve the problems of complainants on a priority basis,” said Verma.

Saravana was serving Patna since January 16, 2013.