BDA gets woman commissioner after 20 years of hiatus

Dr N Manjula

Perhaps taking a leaf out of his father and former PM H D Deve Gowda’s administrative experience, Chief Minister Kumaraswamy on Monday appointed a woman IAS officer to head the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA).

The appointment of 2002 batch IAS officer Dr N Manjula comes after a hiatus of 20 years (1995-1999) since his father and the then chief minister H D Deve Gowda appointed Lakshmi Venkatachalam as the first ever woman commissioner of the BDA, who went to form HSR Layout, BTM Layout and other localities.

Manjula is the second woman to serve the post.

Fresh controversy

While setting a record of sorts, the transfer of incumbent BDA commissioner Rakesh Singh has also created a fresh controversy in the state administrative circles.

The power corridors of the state were abuzz with the talks that Kumaraswamy had yielded to political pressure of the Congress legislators, who recently expressed dissent against Rakesh Singh.

Sources in the government revealed to DH that Singh had developed a rift with BDA chairperson S T Somashekhar over various issues, and Somashekar had publicly voiced his grouse against officers. Somashekar had even demanded the appointment of full-time commissioner for the BDA.

Singh, who was previously picked by H D Devegowda as his principal secretary when he became the prime minister, is currently given concurrent charge of the medical education department along with his existing stint as the principal secretary, water resources department.

The government has also transferred other senior IAS officers. Their new postings are as follows: P Ravi Kumar, additional chief secretary; Mahendra Jain, additional chief secretary, energy and concurrent charge of higher education; B H Anil Kumar, additional chief secretary, urban development; Priyanka Mary Francis, director, IT&BT; S S Nakul, deputy commissioner, Ballari; V Ram Prasath Manohar, commissioner, employment and training; G C Vrushabendra Murthy, director, MSME.

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