Vol. 6 | issue 7 | August 2012
praveen kumar administrator, huda, Gurgaon
Man of the street
His weird, out-of-the-box antics may be made fun of by some but the 2001 batch IAS officer also knows how to keep government officials on their toes and solve the problems of the citizens.
by Narendra Kaushik
The Administrator of Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) in Gurgaon, Praveen Kumar, does not mind making a spectacle of himself if that helps him defuse a difficult situation. He also does not mind doling out corporal punishment to his corrupt juniors as, according to him, the government machinery more often than not fails to take the latter to task.
In November last year, he beat himself with his own shoes when people in Sikanderpur, a village in the millennium city on Mehrauli-Gurgaon road, accused him of favouring a builder and obstructed his anti-encroachment drive for several hours. A month later, he slapped Mukesh, a peon in his department for being corrupt, and justified the act in court by likening the beating to ‘a surgeon tearing the abdomen of a patient to remove a tumour’. He justifies his beating of peon. “He was taking money. I slapped him. It was a conscious decision.” When asked why he did not initiate disciplinary action against him, he claims it is difficult to find evidence.
His weird, out-of-the-box antics may be made fun of by bureaucrats who believe in going strictly by the book, or the media which ridicule his behaviour to increase its TRPs, but one thing is sure: Kumar knows how to create news. And going by his over ten-month record, the 2001-batch Indian Administrative Officer (IAS) also knows how to keep the government officials on their toes and solve the problems of the citizens.
Unlike other government officials who work for eight hours a day, Kumar is mostly up at 5 am and ends his day after 9 pm. Moreover, he spends a better part of his day on the streets inspecting water supply, sewerage and roads. Initially, the residents of HUDA sectors in Gurgaon would be surprised when they would find him in their midst before sunrise. But now they have got used to it. “We need more officers like him,” gushes a former Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), who is now employed with Rapid Metro, the first private metro in the country which is expected to roll out in 2013……………..READ MORE