As managing director, Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL), Pankaj Kumar Bansal has the mammoth task of managing the 161.12 km Chennai metro rail project. His responsibilities are numerous and involve various challenges. Commenting on the targets before him, he says, “Phase I of the metro rail project has to be completed by end-2018 and planned progress has to be achieved on the Phase I extension project. In addition, to run passenger services efficiently, these have to be at par with global standards.”
A 1997 batch IAS officer of the Tamil Nadu cadre, Bansal has worked in various capacities at the district and grassroots levels. He has held the posts of sub-collector, additional collector and collector, and has experience in fields such as land records, education, health, rural and urban development, law and order, and general administration. Besides, he has also worked as project director in various multilateral agencies, including the Danish International Development Agency, the World Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency. Prior to joining CMRL, he worked with various state-level departments including health and family welfare, urban development, planning, and water supply and sewerage.
Though all his assignments have been memorable, some in particular have given him immense satisfaction. These comprise rehabilitation works and rural development initiatives, including livelihood rehabilitation works after the tsunami in the Nagapattinam region, flood control with relief and rehabilitation in Thiruvallur district, coverage of 6,577 rural habitations under the mega water supply scheme, strengthening of health systems across all verticals, and the introduction of a health insurance scheme for poor families in Tamil Nadu.
Bansal has a mechanical engineering degree from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) (Banaras Hindu University), Varanasi. He also has a master’s in thermal engineering from IIT Delhi. Determination, diligence and being target-oriented are his main attributes.He says, “I regularly inspect work on site, review work with contractors and periodically discuss the progress with stakeholders. This provides me with first-hand information to take timely decisions and corrective action.”
He gives credit for his personal development and growth to the Tamil Nadu government as it has given him great exposure and helped develop his leadership skills.