Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru (ANK)

Mangaluru, Oct 15: Resulting from a recent reshuffle of officals, the district will bid adieu to an able Dr K G Jagadeesh, who served as deputy commissioner for over an year. He has been transferred to the post of director of department of mines and geology in Bengaluru now. Before taking charge as DC of Dakshina Kannada, Dr Jagadeesh served as the MD of Rajiv Gandhi Rural Housing Corporation, as DC of Kalaburagi district and was earlier the director of horticulture. He has also rendered service as assistant commissioner of Kalaburagi sub-division and commissioner of Kalaburagi city corporation. He was also the first DC of Yadgir district. He is an IAS officer of 2005 batch.

In an exclusive interview to Daijiworld 24x7 channel, Dr Jagadeesh spoke about his experiences in the district over the past one year.


DW: Being an official, people expect you to take part in public programmes and interact with the media. But you prefered to stay away from media. Why?

Dr KGJ: I strongly believe media is the fourth pillar of our democracy, and have immense respect for it. I am aware I am not media-friendly. Politicians need publicity, not officials. Officials need to work very efficiently. I thank the media for their support throughout.

DW: Are you sad about leaving Dakshina Kannada?

Dr KGJ: Yes I feel bad about leaving the district. I requested for a transfer due to personal reasons.

DW: Your views on Dakshina Kannada district?

Dr KGJ: I love the culture and tradition of Dakshina Kannada. I hail from Tumakuru. I am proud to serve in a place like Mangaluru. People in the coastal region are friendly. I like the nature of the people here. They know their rights and fight for it.

DW: Dakshina Kannada has been labelled as a communally sensitive district. Your say?

Dr KGJ: People here are progressive and friendly. People of every religion live together. There are two different groups who try to disturb the peace and instigate violence. So we had to clamp section 144 in the district (during June-July this year) for people's safety. Some are trying to glorify these clashes, which is really sad. If they stop getting support from society, these groups will not last for long.

DW: Then, was the district labelled by the media?

Dr KGJ: Not at all, but it encourages them (communal groups) when the news is highlighted. Dakshina Kannada is a peace-loving district. We cannot take it lightly when these organisations instigate violence in the name of religion.

DW: You have served this district for a year, do you think that this period was enough?

Dr KGJ: A year is a good enough tenure. That said, 2 to 3 years are essential to bring changes in the society, as you get ample time to respond to long-term development.

DW: What would you list as your achievements during your tenure?

Dr KGJ: It is wrong to term something as my own achievement. Instead of achievement, I call it my duty. The good part has been 98% progress in the setting up of STPs (sewage treatment plants).

DW: Are you dissatisfied about not succeeding in curbing sand mafia in the district?

Dr KGJ: As a deputy commissioner, you are faced with a lot of challenges, and you cannot cope with everything adequately. Winning and losing is common. If people say I have failed, I will take it in a very sportive manner, but I have tried my best. It is impossible to restrain sand mafia completely.

DW: Did you receive threat calls when you tried to control the sand mafia?

Dr KGJ: No, I did not receive any, nor have I been under any political pressure during my tenure. But I have heard cries of people about unavailability of sand. Development and illegal activities should be controlled very efficiently.

DW: Being a deputy commissioner have you been under pressure from any politician?

Dr KGJ: I have never been under pressure from any politician during my 12 years of professional career. Dakshina Kannada district gave me much satisfaction. I have not been under any pressure from any elected representatives or political leaders regarding illegal activities. Both people and representatives are wonderful here.

DW: Is there any particular sector that is still to be developed in the district?

Dr KGJ: Development is infinite and a continuous process. There is a need to expand Mangaluru International Airport. Other than that, provision of basic amenities, maintainence of traffic, construction of ring road, bus stands and also dealing with unemployment. There are a lot of opportunities to make Dakshina Kannada a tourist destination, for which the district needs to be developed.

DW: You have mentioned about unemployment. Not many from Mangaluru opt for civil services. What are your views on this?

Dr KGJ: People in Mangaluru love to live independently. Government employees can work within a static zone. People here are inclined towards industry and business. If locals come to civil services then their performance will be lower compared to others. If Tuluvas get Tulu speakers as officials, then it will be easy for them to understand the pulse of a particular region. Anyone can pass IAS or IPS easily but you need passion.

DW: Have you ever tried learning Tulu?

Dr KGJ: My apologies. That was not possible for me. People communicate with me in Kannada, so I could not learn Tulu.

DW: Which was your favourite cuisine here?

Dr KGJ: I have not tasted such a variety as Mangalurean cuisine ever in 36 years of my life. I may come to Mangaluru again just to taste the coastal food.

DW: What is the secret behind your simplicity?

Dr KGJ: I am blessed that people recognise me that way. Friends keep asking me about it. If we pass IAS, or DC post it does mean you have to see that as gaining power or administration. You should take it as your responsibility, then, automatically you can be simple.

DW: What is the secret of your fitness?

Dr KGJ: Mental and physical health should be maintained together. Since my college days, I have been a sports enthusiast. I am a cricket and tennis player. While in Mangaluru, I used to wake up at 5 am and play golf. I would not start my day without walking and physical exercise and that is my fitness mantra.

DW: Are you acquainted with our new deputy commissioner Sasikanth Senthil?

Dr KGJ: More than a junior, Senthil is my best friend. I am confident he will work hard and better than me. It does not mean am pressurizing him. People here have treated me with love, and encouraged me. I request everyone to treat Senthil in a similar manner.

Watch full interview