BENGALURU: N Manjula, who entered the Bangalore Development Authority premises on Wednesday as commissioner, had a hectic opening day. Flashbulbs went off and the media was in full attendance well before 10am, to capture shots of only the second woman to occupy the commissioner’s chair since the Authority was set up in 1976.
It was a packed Day 1 for Manjula: continuous meetings with top officers of various departments, political bigwigs and well-wishers dropping in to congratulate her, a meeting at Vikasa Soudha and a regular stream of property owners with problems. Manjula holds additional charge as Commissioner for Collegiate Education and Registrar of Cooperative Societies in Karnataka.
Former director of Karnataka Tourism and Chikkaballapura Deputy Commissioner, the 2002 batch IAS officer is used to handling pressure and tough postings. Between meetings, she agreed for a quick chat with The New Indian Express.
You will be the second woman to occupy the hot seat of this 43-year-old organisation. With only a handful of women occupying senior roles across BDA, how challenging do you think it could be?
It is definitely a challenge. But it is no different from many other fields. On the whole, the number of women officers is fewer than male officers, which is why fewer women have occupied top posts.
What will be your priorities as BDA boss?
What I understand from my first day is that there is a spate of litigations filed by the public. I want to initiate steps to find a way to reduce the number of cases. In particular, the Arkavathy Layout and denotification notices have impacted many families. I just met an elderly couple who came to me seeking help as their site has been denotified.
BDA has become almost synonymous with corruption. TNIE highlighted three scams in the past month, which were carried out with the connivance of a few top officials. How do you plan to tackle it?
We need to have proper systems in place first. The introduction of an e-office in BDA recently will ensure transparency in functioning. Most government departments are now covered under Sakala. It is time-bound and guarantees right of service to the consumer. If we have some good officers, it will definitely help.
There is talk of previous commissioner Rakesh Singh being eased out due to political pressure. Do you have any comments?
I really don’t know anything about the issue.