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How A Visionary Young IAS Officer Can Effect Change, One Step At A Time

As the Additional Commissioner in the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation, IAS Mayur Suryawanshi is spearheading many transformative projects Project STAMP, an innovative collaboration, adorned Bhubaneswar's walls with captivating artwork, enhancing the city's visual appeal His efforts to promote hockey and engage the community showcased his commitment to unity and sportsmanship
Indian Masterminds Stories

In the heart of Odisha, a young and dynamic IAS officer, Mayur Suryawanshi, has been bringing about transformative changes. As the Additional Commissioner in the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation, his innovative ideas have been literally catching eyeballs.

In this exclusive interview with Indian Masterminds, we take a look at the remarkable journey of this 2018 batch IAS officer, exploring his efforts towards tribal welfare, his innovative projects in Bhubaneswar, and also his deft handling of the COVID-19 crisis.

IAS Mayur Suryawanshi (in the middle)

IN BHUBANESWAR

The officer joined here as Additional Commissioner during the launch of Odisha government’s scheme MUKTA (Mukhyamantri Karma Tatpara Abhiyan), which is focused on providing wage employment to the urban poor and people from Self Help Groups. Under the scheme, the officer undertook numerous initiatives.

He constructed Bhubaneswar’s most successful rainwater harvesting structure and beautification point. The scheme was used extensively and several placemaking sites were developed in the region where different points in the city were selected and beautified to make them lively in order to increase local and tourist footfall.

“Places that were dilapidated and didn’t have proper sanitation have now become popular tourist hubs and places where people regularly come to visit and spend good time. We are adding more spaces such as these and soon 70 more spots will be launched in the town which will see footfall and eventually increase tourism in the town,” stated Mr. Suryawanshi.

The officer was transferred to Bhubaneswar around the time when the state of Odisha was hosting the World Cup of Hockey Tournament, making this initiative even more successful.

“In a single day, we delivered 700 work orders with the flick of a button. All the SHGs received their orders through a mobile application, thus launching the project in our Bhubaneswar,” he stated.

PROJECT STAMP

Another project, the success of which could be credited to the officer is launching Project STAMP (Street Art and Mural Painting), which was launched in BMC’s collaboration with Lalit Kala Academy, Odisha Mining Corporation, and Bhubaneswar Development Authority.

Under the project, the decrepit walls along with the National highways and flyovers of Bhubaneswar were beautifully decorated with paintings and murals, making the city even more visually appealing.

PROMOTING HOCKEY

As the Additional Commissioner of BMC, the officer specially focussed on extensive greenery and sanitation activities in the region by developing important roadside landscaping where several activities were undertaken to promote hockey and create hype for the world cup tournament.

“We organized street festivals in various schools, colleges, and institutions to make people more aware about our national game, which was quite successful as we saw a large footfall in the region,” he told Indian Masterminds.

He involved all the sectors in the festival, from children to the elderly, people from old age homes, shelter homes, etc. Multiple rounds of meetings were conducted and everyone was called to the BMC office to get them involved.

“We did this so that everyone feels involved and responsible for the tournament. Every single Indian is well versed with cricket but not many people are aware of our own national game. I feel it was necessary for us to do this, owing to the fact that we were also hosting the world cup,” shared the officer.

FOR TRIBAL WELFARE

Prior to his Bhubaneswar posting, the officer also worked as SDM in Sambalpur, where he brought immense comfort to the tribal people of the region.

Often neglected by the mainstream society, the tribal people of the region were facing several issues in the form of long pending cases, denials of their rights, etc. Mr. Suryawanshi saw their plight and decided to do something about it.

“I organized a big camp and invited the villagers to it where we discussed about their problems and provided solutions as quickly as possible,” he shared with Indian Masterminds.

This was his first posting and, unfortunately, he received his first appointment during peak coronavirus pandemic days. The period gave him an opportunity to prove his administrative skills, which he did remarkably. He worked diligently to assure apt medical facilities in all the hospitals, door-to-door food and medicine deliveries, proper conditions of the quarantine centres, reducing patient load, and ensuring people don’t suffer, among other things.

“Even though it was a scary situation, I considered it as my golden opportunity as this was the first time in history that the world was facing such a critical situation and I was glad to be a part of the administration responsible for helping and bringing relief to the needy,” he said.

Mr. Suryawanshi has demonstrated how an empathetic public servant can bring positive changes within communities. His capacity to turn adversities into prospects, be it a pandemic or the rejuvenation of a city, underscores his leadership qualities. Some of his initiatives have not merely enhanced infrastructure; they have also ignited a deep sense of pride and unity among the local people.


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