Batting smart for the city
By Siddhanta Mishra | Published: 15th April 2017 11:33 PM |
Naresh Kumar, 54
The competence required to run the power core of the capital comes easy to Naresh Kumar. The 1987-batch UT cadre IAS officer’s current assignment is not a walk in the NDMC (New Delhi Municipal Council) park after all. Heading the civic body is not for the faint of heart.
Kumar has worked in important Central and state government departments, but officials who know him well confess that helming the agency at a time when New Delhi is being transformed into a smart city is a daunting prospect. The area under it also includes the mighty Lutyens’ Zone, and the commercially significant Connaught Place and Khan Market.
Under the Smart City project, the government has planned to make congested Connaught Place vehicle-free. Since he took over as the NDMC chairman in 2015, Kumar’s focus has been to make the services provided by the agency tech-friendly and accessible. Making the NDMC zone a wi-fi hotspot is one of his dream projects.
“He is transparent and hardworking, and sports a no-nonsense approach. He took on the nexus of illegal street vendors and NDMC officials and won.
Late office meetings are a routine, which shows that the chairman intends to turn things around fast,” says an official working with Kumar. Colleagues say he likes honesty and expects the same from subordinates.
One of Kumar’s biggest achievements is NDMC 311 mobile app, which provides 26 services and has been downloaded 24,852 times so far. Launched last year, the app has set an example for many other civic bodies in the country.