These women IAS/IPS officers led #KodaguFloods relief-efforts from the front
Last week, Karnataka's Kodagu district was lashed by devastating rains that triggered landslides and floods in 79 villages. It received 897mm of rain between August 5-11- 468% more than normal. The district administration, however, ensured the safety of residents in affected areas by launching relief operations supervised by three women IAS and IPS officers. Here's all you need to know about these women officers.
The Kodagu administration managed to evacuate over 6,000 residents to safety despite restricted movement due to floods and landslides and lodged them in 42 relief centers in the district. The district administration's evacuation and relief efforts to restore Kodagu to normalcy were led by Deputy Commissioner Annies Kanmani Joy, SP Dr. Suman D Pennekar, and CEO-ZP K Lakshmi Priya.
The #WomenPower— Priyanka Shukla (@PriyankaJShukla) August 11, 2019
Collector Annies Kanmani Joy (IAS/2012), SP Dr Suman D Pennekar (IPS/2012) CEO - ZP K. Lakshmi Priya (IAS/2015), managing the floods in Kodagu(Karnataka) quite admirably.
Best wishes to all of you girls.👍 @IASassociation @rama_rajeswari pic.twitter.com/iBxurSj3rv
Kodagu Deputy Commissioner, Annies, is a 2012-batch IAS officer who hails from Kerala's Ernakulam district. Notably, she's one of the first professional nurses ever to become join the Indian Administrative Service. Apart from firefighting floods and landslides, Annies is also known for cracking down against those who exacerbated landslides in the ecologically-sensitive Kodagu district since taking charge as Deputy Commissioner a few months ago.
To reduce the occurrence of landslides in Kodagu, Annies took measures to stop the conversion of green spaces for commercial ventures, which is a major cause for landslides. She rejected over 500 applications for converting agricultural land for commercial purposes in the district. Apart from this, she also fought against the notorious timber mafia in Kodagu by prohibiting felling and transportation of timber.
Kodagu SP Dr. Suman Pennekar, a 2012-batch IPS, also led this year's rescue/relief operations in the district from the front. A native of Belagavi's Beed village, she is also a qualified Ayurvedic doctor. Notably, she assumed charge as Kodagu's SP in Jul'18 when the monsoon rains were at their peak, resulting in floods/landslides. At the time too, she helped rescue thousands of stranded people.
Working alongside Annies, Dr. Suman also led the Kodagu Police's crackdown on the timber mafia in the district. She also arrested its kingpin, Kallichanda Noban, and seized Rs. 1cr-worth timer after raiding his property. Despite warnings and threats from the mafia, she has remained fearless.
Lakshmi Priya, Kodagu's Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer, also played a key role in coordinating relief operations. The 2015-batch IAS officer previously served as an Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change. Working with the Ministry helped her develop a better understanding of how the administration works required for coordinating relief efforts and establishing a good network with senior officers.