Broad focus is to reduce COVID positivity rate: Chennai's new corporation chief
Chennai, May 10: In a recent development, Tamil Nadu's agriculture secretary has been transferred as the commissioner of Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC), replacing G Prakash. It can be seen that Gagandeep Singh Bedi's transfer is among the first bureaucratic reshuffle after the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) formed the new government in the state.
On Sunday, Bedi took charge and will now be spearheading the COVID-19 control in Chennai which has the highest caseload in the state. When asked about his immediate focus, he said it would be to break the COVID chain in the city.
"Our immediate and broad focus is to reduce the positivity rate," he said. "We want to ensure good coordination between the local body and health department so that we make more oxygen beds available for people. Of course, we will follow other developments, but our first focus is tackling Covid."
Also, Bedi has been associated with disaster management. He is known for his work as collector of Cuddalore district that was ravaged after the Tsunami in 2004. He was also Cuddalore district monitoring officer for COVID-19.
In the transfer order, Chief Secretary Irai Anbu said Bedi's post will be equivalent in status and responsibilities to the cadre post of principal secretary-cum-commissioner.
Prakash's new posting is yet to be announced. He took over as civic chief in February 2019. Prakash and his team of young deputy commissioners from the health and revenue department are known for their work during the pandemic.
They increased testing, introduced volunteers to help those in quarantine and put in place a system that has been brought back to address the second wave. Besides, COVID-19, under Prakash's tenure, solid waste management was decentralised, and a new private operator was given the contract.
Since urban local body elections haven't been conducted in the state since 2017, there is no elected council so Bedi also becomes de-facto special officer for the corporation.