BHUBANESWAR:The 1989 batch IAS Officer Pradeep Kumar Jena has emerged as the Crisis Manager in the Naveen Patnaik Government. Mr.Jena, who had been given the crucial departments like Panchayati Raj (PR) and Information Technology (IT), got the additional charge as the CMD of the state owned Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO).
He replaced Chief Secretary rank IAS officer Priyabrat Patnaik as the CMD IDCO and took charge on 16 December.
Mr.Patnaik had been shifted out of the IDCO the wake of the violence at POSCO Zone. While the post of IDCO CMD was the dream posting for any senior officer Mr.Jena was the choice of the Chief Minister.
“He has in fact, emerged as the ‘blue eyed boy’ for the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik,” sources in Naveen Niwas said.
When the CM’s trusted Principal Secretary A P Padhi left on a five-week training programme, Mr.Jena was assigned the job which he successfully managed by earning good impression of the Big Boss, admit insiders.
Naveen’s confidence on the top administrator was evident when he posted him as the helmof the crucial Panchayati Raj department.
Mr. Jena was posted just before arrival of the CBI team to probe into the MGNREGA scam in six districts of the state.
He managed the show perfectly and offered all assistance to the visiting CBI team.
In the process, he could convince the central investigating agency about the state’s effort to reduce corruption and bringing in transparency in the implementation of the MGNREGA.
The young officer in the State Bureaucracy is gradually emerging taller for his outstanding performance.
It was Mr. Jena as the Secretary of the Department of Energy(DoE) who facilitated at least 27 IPPs to sign MoUs to set up thermal power plants in the state.
He was also instrumental in convincing the NTPC to set up its proposed ultra mega power plants in the state. During his tenure at the DoE took lot of initiative in landing Greenfield projects and for which Mr.Jena was in continuous touch with field functionaries.
His straight talk and down to earth approach in solving problems has endeared him with the Chief Minister, feel insiders in Naveen Niwas.