Alapan Bandyopadhyay named new Bengal chief secretary
Alapan Bandyopadhyay, a 1987-batch IAS officer and currently the home secretary and the information and cultural affairs secretary, has been appointed as the new chief secretary of the state.
He will replace Rajiva Sinha, who is set to retire on September 30. Sinha would take over as the chairman of the WBIDC for a period of three years.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who left the city for Siliguri on Monday morning to hold review meetings of five north Bengal districts, took to twitter to announce the appointment of Bandyopadhyay.
“I am pleased to announce that Alapan Bandyopadhyay, now Addnl Chief Secy (Home & information) is appointed as the new Chief Secretry of WB,” she tweeted.
A chain of changes in the bureaucracy followed Bandyopadhyay’s elevation as the chief secretary.
The state government appointed H.K. Dwivedi, a 1988-batch IAS officer and the state finance secretary for the past nine years, as the new home secretary. Manoj Pant, a 1991 batch IAS officer, currently holding the dual charges of land and land reforms department and the PHE department, will be the new finance secretary.
Pant would continue to hold the land and land reforms department as an additional charge.
The appointment of Bandyopadhyay was expected, said sources at Nabanna, as he is the senior-most IAS officer and has vast experience of discharging duties in various important positions.
“He is perhaps the only IAS officer who worked as the district magistrate in North 24-Parganas and South 24-Parganas, which are considered to be most critical districts in the state. Besides, he has experience of discharging duties as the commissioner of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation,” said an official.
Besides, he had also worked as secretary in departments like municipal affairs, information and cultural affairs, industries and MSME, in addition to the home department.
“In brief, he has vast experience of handling all important affairs in the state. In a critical juncture when the state is battling the spread of Covid-19, Bandyopadhyay can lead the state in the right direction,” said an official.
Bandyopadhyay recently monitored the state’s battle against the spread of Covid in Calcutta as a nodal officer. Besides, he had camped for few days in North 24-Parganas to help the district administration restore normalcy in the post-Cyclone Amphan period.
The government posted Santanu Basu, a 2000-batch IAS officer, as the secretary of information and cultural affairs department.
“This appointment is important as the chief minister decided to bring in a young and efficient officer in the department that works to help several people, including rural artisans and handles the government’s public relations exercise. Ahead of the 2021 Assembly polls, the role of I&CA secretary will be important,” said an official.
Basu will retain the additional charge of the state power distribution and transmission companies.