We the common citizens mostly have no direct concern with the city’s Government officials, such Police Commissioner, District Collector, Municipal Commissioner, Mayor etc. I think, the reason for this scenario is due the mentality that only persons change on the seats of above designations, and they make no such significant change in the present situation of the city. But I must tell that, the present Rajkot Municipal Commissioner doesn’t belong to this cadre.
Video Interview – Dinesh Brahmbhatt
Right from his posting in the city, he has taken the pending issues on his hands. And not just taken issues in hands, but also solved them, one by one in a raw. Of course, it’s not an easy job for any municipal commissioner to solve the old issues, as solving those issues might have side effects as well. But Dinesh Brahmbhatt (aka D. H. Brahmbhatt) has mostly became the role model of the youth with his aggressive style of working. He has a nice working system. Rajkot’s citizens can send in their complains regarding any issue, say of water shortage, traffic issues, damaged roads, cows on roads etc. And he takes care of the same.
We had a real nice conversation with him, which you will surely can watch in the video below, and I’m also sharing the excerpts of the same here.
Q. What inspired you chose the I.A.S. (Indian Administrative Service) field?
A. My father was a Government servant. After I graduated, I had this wish to join Indian Police Service, because my father was in police department, so he was the inspiration for this ambition. But in G.P.S.C, there was only one place left for Police Officer, and later that place was available for scheduled cast and tribe. I was ranked top in G.P.S.C. in all Gujarat. I was also top in the University. And hence I joined the civil service sector. And from there through indirect nomination, I joined I.A.S.
Q. So the factors or virtues that were there in you for the ambition to become a Police Officer, might be being useful to you now as a Municipal Commissioner?
A. Well, don’t know much about that. But my efforts are to work aggressively.
Q. After, you were designated as Rajkot Municipal Commissioner, which activities you have taken on hands?
A. When it’s about activities, my motto has been to work keeping the citizens together. And in my vision, with some efforts Rajkot can become a clean city. So have taken the mission of beautification of Rajkot city by keeping the city clean. Compared to previous year, clearance of solid waste from the city has been increased by 150%, with clearance of 1,45,000 Metric tone solid waste in a year. We have taken the financial support through M.O.U. for the city’s beautification projects and have collected Rs. 4,50,00000/-. Likewise, Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) is entitled to carry out new projects, tree plantations, advanced skywalks. And in the coming days, RMC is planning to increase the size of various circles and squares in the city. Our efforts are always that, RMC should not bear much of the expense, and we try to get new projects that way mostly. So we are entitled to making the Rajkot city a new, developed, clean and healthy for living.
Q. What is the response of Rajkot city’s citizens for your activities for the development of city?
A. The response from people is indeed very good. I have 1000 letters with me, received from them, which contains suggestions, congratulations, thanks etc. and we have made the documentation of the same.
Q. What kind of complains RMC receive from people?
A. Mostly the complains are related to basic services only. Like water problems, street lights, filth, cattle on road etc. And in our mission of capturing wandering bulls, we have captured 950 bulls, which is probably never before done in entire Rajkot or Saurashtra and Gujarat. And we are always keen for such basic problems. We have developed a system, where people can register their complain or suggestion through SMS too. Say, if you get to see a bull anywhere, and you SMS us, RMC staff will go and capture it.
Q. So this way, the Corporation also makes use the latest technologies?
A. Yes. We are also in efforts for putting GPS devices on Solid waste management tankers and water tankers. And in some of the E-governance projects, RMC is on top in entire India, and in some projects in entire Gujarat. Let me give you few details on the same. Rs. 35,00,000/- were saved of RMC through in-house development of softwares. Approximately, we have introduced 20 new facilities, such as RMC Bills’ Payment through Credit Card, Banks, Post office. RTI status can be checked on RMC’s website. Property tax can be demanded through email, the transaction of property tax can be received through SMS. In my knowledge, no such system is developed anywhere. Now you can also get the birthday certificate from RMC website.
Q. In your vision, where will Rajkot be after five years?
A. Rajkot is the 21st among the world wide 100 fast developing cities. Rajkot has the potential to become another Surat. But, Water and Traffic management are the two factors, which are very important in my vision. And we are working in these fields. Like, we are working on sky walk projects, to sort out high traffic issues. Rajkot is the center point of Saurashtra. And also the center point for Industrial, technological, Educational, Medical, Political, Social activities. So in future Rajkot can become the Educational hub, center for medical tourism. And Rajkot has a good potential, if NRIs do wish to make their integrated colonies here. Because an NRI belonging to Saurashtra will have a wish to get settled in Rajkot, or at least have a place in Rajkot.
Q. Any special message you would like to give to people of Rajkot?
A. Well, I don’t think I am capable enough to give a message to people of Rajkot. But I have a request for them. There is a similarity between Rajkot and Portugal. People of both, do take rest (nap!) during afternoon time. But Portugal is a clean place, where as Rajkot is not that clean. But comparing Rajkot with other cities of Gujarat, it is more clean. And I believe that, through our efforts of 1 year, an atmosphere is created to keep the city clean. So I request the people of Rajkot to help RMC keeping city clean. And about traffic issues, it is same like it is in other cities of Gujarat, and we are hopeful that this can be solved through self-discipline, monitoring and traffic engineering.