“Unleashing Woman Power”

Anu Garg, Development Commissioner

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Anu Garg is a trailblazing officer who has just become the first female IAS officer to hold the esteemed post of Odisha Development Commissioner. This is no small feat, for the Development Commissioner is considered the second-highest position in the state’s bureaucratic hierarchy.
An alumnus of LSR and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Anu Garg has long been an exemplar of excellence in her field. With her new appointment, she has now become one of the most senior mandarins in the Odisha bureaucracy, cementing her credentials as a reformist officer who heralds a new wave of change.
During her tenure as the Principal Secretary, Water Resources, Garg took significant steps towards conserving water and empowering farmers by making finite resources amply available to them. She has a futuristic mindset and her bets are on a climate-resilient Odisha. Odisha has been one of the rare states in India that have braved the vagaries of extreme weather, with its coast consistently pounded by severe cyclonic storms. Despite Odisha being applauded as one of the model states in disaster management, Garg is no believer in complacency. She is committed to making it a climate-resilient state.
In a recent interview with a leading magazine, Garg remarked, “Odisha has borne the disproportionate burden of natural disasters and extreme climatic conditions. We have faced cyclones and droughts in the same year. When I joined the water resources department in Odisha, I first encountered floods not just in one basin but in five river basins simultaneously. The first thing we do as a department is manage it. We are at all times meticulously prepared. From the water resources department, we patrol canals. We have a flood forecasting mechanism. Also, we do mock drills to check the situation. But over time, we are trying to make things climate-resilient. We are now working on climate resilience infrastructure with a focus on strengthening coastal embankments. We are also planning to set up a water recharge structure to improve the groundwater table, and the available water can be used for irrigation. In groundwater extraction, we don’t have any water-stressed block in the state”.
It is noteworthy that the Odisha government promoted Anu Garg to the Apex Scale in IAS in Level-17 of the Pay Matrix on January 15, 2022. With her new appointment as Odisha Development Commissioner, Anu Garg has become the second highest-ranked bureaucrat of the State.
In her new role as the next in command to the Chief Secretary, Anu Garg is expected to play a stellar role in scripting a transformative future for Odisha. We wish her the very best in all her endeavours!

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