Bhubaneswar: Senior IAS officer Suresh Chandra Mahapatra is tipped to become the next Chief Secretary of Odisha.
The 1986 batch IAS officer is likely to succeed his batchmate Asit Tripathy, who is due to superannuate at the end of this month, official sources told Odisha Bytes on Saturday.
After Tripathy retires from government service, Mahapatra, who is serving as Development Commissioner, would become the second senior-most IAS officer of Odisha cadre after 1985 batch officer Upendra Prasad Singh, the incumbent Union secretary, water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation. Singh is due to superannuate in October 2022 while Mahapatra is scheduled to retire February 2022.
Sources said Mahapatra is the frontrunner to become the top bureaucrat of Odisha. Though there are some other senior officers whom the state government could also consider for the coveted post, the name of 1987 batch officer Rajesh Verma, currently on central deputation, is also doing the rounds. Verma is serving as Special Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare. Before joining the
central government in August 2019, Verma was Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. He still has close to four years in government service.
“The state government is yet to seek repatriation of Verma’s services. This could mean Mahapatra is likely to take over from Tripathy,” a source pointed out. However, Naveen is known to spring surprises and has also the option of giving Tripathy an extension, the source added.