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'Everyone wants to come to Patna'

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HARD TALK/ KARRA PARASU RAMAIAH   |   Published 25.07.11, 12:00 AM

What are the priority areas for you?

Development of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes is on top of my priority list, followed by many other issues like generating employment for the underprivileged. Housing, availability of drinking water and sanitation programmes have been my prime concern after becoming the commissioner of Patna division. Road connectivity to the remote areas is very prominent on my list and social security will remain important as long as I am there on this post. Last but not the least, help for all, particularly, the weaker sections, and food security issues are always on my mind.

What steps have been taken to meet these goals?

To achieve these goals, I keep meeting the officials concerned and instruct them to fix their priorities and ensure progress in the work given by the department. I have also asked them to submit periodical reports and keep me updated on the targets achieved. Latest technology is used to meet the goals. I have also started a programme to review the districts' performance. I meet the officials and enquire about the progress in their districts.

What are the major challenges before you?

Few districts such as Rohtas, Kaimur and even some parts of Patna pose a major challenge for me apart from the Maoist-hit areas. We have been mulling measures on how to tackle Maoists. Moreover, 15 to 20 per cent seats are vacant in the commissionerate, affecting the quality of work. In fact, I have written letter to the state government seeking contract basis recruitment to fill the vacancies to ensure work does not get affected owing to non-availability of officers.

We also need to focus on well-trained officers who have adequate knowledge of the work assigned to them. The officers need some kind of orientation for which we taking steps such as organising training programmes.

Encroachment is a big problem in Patna, what steps have been taken on this front?

I must admit that encroachment is a growing danger in the city. Further, it has become very difficult to give alternative plots to encroachers because of land constraints in Patna. Everyone wants to come to Patna in search of employment, some get jobs, others start their own ventures on the roadsides. We are not sitting idle on the matter. Under the district superintendent of police and with help of Patna Municipal Corporation and other district officials, strict action is being taken against encroachers and encroachments.

We are removing the encroachments, particularly from the roadside. We have also set up control rooms in the districts. If any encroachment takes place in any area, then the officer concerned will be answerable.

A list of encroachments must be compiled and those should be razed with the help of district officials. We are also filing cases against the encroachers. We have introduced video photography to deal with the matter. We are earmarking vending zones for vendors to move. If they don't comply with the order, they will face action.

What about those who have failed to perform their duties?

I am constantly reviewing the progress and if any officer is found not performing his/her duty, punitive action is taken against him/her. I meet the non-performers one to one and try to analyse the situation. I give enough opportunities to non-performers to rectify their mistakes but if no improvement is seen, I am forced to take action against them.

About K.P. Ramaiah…

Born on November 5, 1954 at Kanduru Palem in Andhra Pradesh, Karra Parasu Ramaiah completed schooling up to Class X in Zila Parishad School in Nellore district. He chose economics for graduation in VR College, Nellore, in 1977 and followed it with postgraduation in political science from Sri Venkateswara University in Tirupati in 1981. He completed BEd from the same university and became a lecturer. Then, he studied law from VR Law College, Nellore in 1983 and at the same time, started preparing for the civil services examination. He became an IAS officer of the Bihar cadre in his fourth attempt in 1986.

What would you have been had you not been an IAS officer?

I would have been a teacher but my father wanted me to become an advocate. Teaching would have been a perfect job for me. In fact, I was the university topper.

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