CHENNAI: At a time when the number of coronavirus cases in Chennai is rising unabated, the state government on Friday appointed former Health Secretary and current Commissioner of Revenue Administration J Radhakrishnan as the Special Nodal Officer for Chennai Corporation to coordinate COVID-19 related activities. Radhakrishnan is well known for his crisis management skills since the 2004 tsunami.
Radhakrishnan will coordinate on COVID-19 issues with the Commissioner of Chennai Corporation and other teams formed for the specific purpose of containing the spread of the disease in Chennai district.
A team of five IPS officers -- Mahesh Kumar Agarwal, Abhash Kumar, Amaresh Pujari, Abhay Kumar Singh and K Bhavaneeswari -- will support him.
Radhakrishnan's efficiency in handling the crisis after the tsunami struck in 2004 gained considerable appreciation. His administrative skills were lauded by former US President Bill Clinton and the Sri Lankan government utilised his experience in relief work at the time.
Last week, the state government constituted Zonal Special Task Teams consisting of senior IAS and IPS officers to ensure effective implementation of guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Later, the government also formed Field Support Teams comprising IAS and IPS officers to ensure the management of containment zones, provision of essential services in containment areas, contract tracing and testing etc.