Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has appointed former Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) Chairman Pravin Darade as his Secretary. A major controversy had erupted as Darade was made a political scapegoat by the Congress-led Government after the ‘Bhoomipujan’ of Nagpur Metro at the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi but boycotted by the then Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan. Darade, ‘the Metroman’ was unceremoniously transferred to Pune just after the programme. The move is seen as a royal snub to Congress-NCP leaders.
Darade had a long stint as District Collector and Chairman of NIT before his transfer. During his tenure, development works in Nagpur City reached its peak. The ‘Bhoomipujan’ programme of Nagpur Metro Rail project at the hands of Modi just before enforcement of Code of Conduct for Assembly elections was one of the successes of Darade. There were talks of the State Government deliberately keeping files of Metro Rail project pending. However, an adverse publicity had forced the then Guardian Minister Nitin Raut get the files signed by the then Chief Minister mainly due to efforts of Pravin Darade. In the process, Darade drew the wrath of ruling Congress-NCP leaders and was suddenly transferred to Pune as Director General of Maharashtra Energy Develoment Agency (MEDA). Aurangaba’s former Municipal Commisioner Dr Harshdeep Kamble replaced him as the NIT Chairman.
However, it was a foregone conclusion that the ‘discarded’ IAS official would be rehabilitated and provided justice in the event of BJP coming to power after Assembly elections. The fact has been proved true as Pravin Darade has been appointed Secretary to the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Now, development is likely to get positive impetus in Nagpur and other parts of Maharashtra as well.