Singhal, whose appointment was confirmed after Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav returned from vacations, is considered close to Cabinet minister Shivpal Yadav, who has reportedly been upset over the way Samajwadi Party first announced the Quami Ekta Dal’s merger into it only to call it off a couple of days later — all with Shivpal at the front.
Singhal, who held significant posts when Mulayam Singh Yadav was the chief minister, was holding the post of Principal Secretary in the Irrigation Department – a portfolio held by Shivpal – since the present government was formed in 2012. For a brief while, he was sent to the Home Department in the same capacity but was brought back to Irrigation two weeks later.
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The 57-year-old took charge of office of Chief Secretary at 9 pm Wednesday and immediately called a meeting to review the law and order situation on the eve of Eid.
Carefully listing his priorities, Singhal said, “I have worked with Netaji (Mulayam) in the past and with the Chief Minister and I know that both of them are sensitive to the needs of the poor. Ensuring proper implementation of welfare schemes, therefore, would be my first priority.”
“Addressing the problem of unemployment would also be at the top on my list of priorities. We will try to give as many jobs as possible. I will ask all my principal secretaries to work in this direction,” he said, adding that streamlining Tehsil and Thana Diwas and ensuring maximum hours of electricity as well as increased focus on solar energy would be a key focus area.
According to him, law and order situation was “sometimes…more of a perception”. “I would ask officers, including DMs and SSPs, to reach the site of incident as soon as possible even if it is late in the night and all those who would not do it would be called here,” he said.
Calling himself a “field officer”, Singhal said his style of functioning will focus on “quick decision, transparency and openness”.
The official, apart from serving as the Managing Director of Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd (2005), and of Pradeshiya Industrial & Investment Corporation of Uttar Pradesh Ltd (2006), had also held the post of Secretary at the Union Ministry of Fertilizers and Chemicals from 2006-2011.