Profession: IAS Officer
Age: 57 Years
Hometown: Sri Ganganagar Rajasthan
|Profession||Indian Administrative Service (IAS) Officer|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters- 173 cm
in meters- 1.73 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 8”
|Eye Colour||Dark Brown|
|Service||Indian Administrative Service (IAS)|
|Major Designation(s)||Designations Held in State
• Supernumerary Assistant Collector of Nashik (9 July 1990 - 25 August 1991)
• Assistant Collector at the Land Revenue Management & District Administration/Sub Divisional Administration (26 August 1991 - 26 January 1993)
• Chief Executive Officer of the Zila Parishad in Nashik (27 January 1993 - 8 July 1996)
• Additional Commissioner of Aurangabad (9 July 1996 - 7 September 1997)
• District Collector (DC) of Aurangabad (8 September 1997 - 10 June 2001)
• DC of Thane (11 June 2001 - 24 December 2004)
• Joint Secretary of the Environment Department in Mumbai (7 January 2005 - 1 April 2005)
• DC of the Land Revenue Management & District Administration/Sub Divisional Administration in Thane (1 January 2002 - 5 April 2005)
• Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in the Dharavi Redevelopment Project in Mumbai (5 April 2005 - 11 May 2006)
• Vice Chairman and CEO of the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (11 May 2006 - 8 August 2007)
• Commissioner of the Prohibition and Excise Department (13 August 2007 - 9 June 2011)
• Secretary of the Medical Education Department (26 August 2011 - 4 March 2013)
• Principal Secretary of the Water Resources Department and the Maharashtra government (2 May 2016 - 24 February 2020)
• Principal Secretary to the state government in the Urban Development Department (24 February 2020 - 8 May 2020)
• Commissioner of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) (8 May 2020 - present)
Designations Held in The Centre
• Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) (5 March 2013 - 10 October 2014)
• Joint Secretary of the Women & Child Development Ministry (10 August 2014 - 30 August 2015)
• Joint Secretary of the Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Ministry (6 November 2015 - 26 February 2016)
|Awards & Honours||• 12th Newsmakers Achievers Awards (2020)
• COVID Crusader Award (2020)
• Best IAS Officer Award at the Newsmakers Achievers Awards (2021)
• Honoris Causa by the Thapar Institute (2021)
• Excellence In Crisis Management Award (2021)
• Citizen of Mumbai Award by the Mumbai Rotary Club (2021)
• Visionary Award (2021)
• Iconic Achievers Award for outstanding contribution to Healthcare (COVID Relief) from WBR Corp (2021)
• Maharashtrian of the Year Award by Lokmat (2021)
• Qimpro Award and Qimpro Medal for Extraordinary Achievement in Covid Pandemic Management (2021)
• Mumbai Ratna for his role in curbing the COVID-19 pandemic in Mumbai (2021)
• Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) by the Guru Nanak Dev University in Amritsar, Punjab (2022)
• Spirit of Mumbai Award (2023)
|Date of Birth||20 January 1966 (Thursday)|
|Age (as of 2023)||57 Years|
|Birthplace||Sri Ganganagar Rajasthan, India|
|Hometown||Sri Ganganagar Rajasthan|
|School||• St. Joseph’s Convent Secondary School, Pathankot, Punjab (May 1978 - June 1979)
• Kendriya Vidyalaya No.1 (Army), Jodhpur, Rajasthan (April 1980- April 1981)
• Kendriya Vidyalaya No.1 AFS, Jodhpur, Rajasthan
Note: He did his high school at Kendriya Vidyalaya No.1 (Army).
|College/University||• Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley
• Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology, Patiala, Punjab (batch of 1987)
• Harvard University (2013-2015)
• University of Cambridge
• Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI), Hyderabad, Telangana
• Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA), New Delhi
• Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration (YASHADA), Pune, Maharashtra
|Educational Qualification(s)||• B.Tech (honours) in Electronics and Communication with distinction at the Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology
• Public Administration at Harvard University
• Administrative Courses at University of Cambridge, ASCI, IIPA, and YASHADA Facebook - Iqbal Singh Chahal SUPREMO
|Controversies||• Notification From The IT Department And Claims By BJP Leader Kamboj
In March 2022, a photograph of a notice from the IT Department to Iqbal became widely popular on social media. The notice stated that Iqbal needed to appear before the department at Scindia House in Mumbai. This appearance was in relation to the department's investigation of higher-ups in BMC and contractors. The notice also asked for details about tenders released during a certain period. It required information about the specific contractors who were awarded these tenders, as well as records of their payments. Furthermore, they requested an explanation of the process for releasing payments and how the completion of projects was verified. In response, Iqbal defended himself by claiming that the notice wasn't directly sent to him. He explained that such notices are typically issued by investigative departments and are responded to at a lower level within BMC. Hindustan Times While giving an interview, Singh said,
"The notice is in circulation but I have not visited the I-T office even once. These notices come and get answered at appropriate lower levels."
On 26 March 2022, a press conference was conducted by Mohit Kamboj, a leader from the BJP. During the briefing, he called for the initiation of a probe into the dishonest deeds of the municipal administration's officials. He also stated that Chahal had ownership of assets in the United States. Kamboj additionally conveyed his plan to expose this matter to the Income Tax Department. Kamboj talked about it and said,
"I want to ask the IT department why no IT enquiry against the bureaucrats? All the proposals of the Standing committee are approved with the consent of the BMC commissioner. So I want to ask how much was the cut portion of Chahal in all the corruption? Why no action against Chahal for his role in Yashwant jadhav corruption?"
In his response, Chahal strongly criticized Kamboj, asserting that his actions were a malicious endeavour to involve him in the power struggle between the BJP and Shiv Sena at that time. Chahal also asked Kamboj not to drag government officials in the midst of this political conflict. India Today
• Summoned And Questioned By The Enforcement Directorate (ED)
In August 2022, Kirit Somaiya, a leader from the BJP, registered an FIR in Mumbai against LHMS and accused the company of dishonestly obtaining a healthcare agreement from BMC during the COVID-19 pandemic. The First Information Report (FIR) alleged that Sujit Patkar, a close associate of Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut, was the proprietor of the mentioned firm. The complaint also mentioned that LHMS had previously been put on a blacklist by the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA). Later, PMRDA issued a notification urging municipal corporations in Maharashtra to refrain from granting any contracts to LHMS. Subsequently, in January 2023, Iqbal Singh Chahal was requested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to appear for questioning regarding the contract, which supposedly lasted approximately four hours. The Indian Express After the questioning session, Singh addressed the media and said,
"I have explained to them the entire information I had and assisted them in the investigation. I also told them that if they require any more details in the case then we will be more than happy to help. When Covid started spreading in March 2020, BMC only had 3,750 beds. The WHO and the Indian government had alerted us that the number of patients will increase following which we were advised to create more field hospitals. In March 2020, the standing committee of the municipal corporation empowered BMC that expression of interest or tenders were not required and we could have simply asked for quotation and hire services but still we called for EOIs and then four agencies were given work."
• Called Upon By A Court Magistrate Due To The Issuance of "Biased Directives"
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mulund metropolitan magistrate summoned Iqbal Chahal, the municipal commissioner, along with Sitaram Kunte, the former chief secretary, and Suresh Kakani, the former additional municipal commissioner. The summon was a result of a complaint filed by Ambar Koiri, a member of a citizens' advocacy group. The complaint accused these officials of issuing biased directives that favoured individuals who had been vaccinated while treating those without vaccinations unfairly. Koiri's complaint demanded serious action, including "non-bailable arrest warrants," against the three individuals. The complaint contended that the trio had implemented discriminatory vaccine-related rules in various situations, such as accessing local trains, with an underlying motive to benefit vaccine companies. The complainant also argued that this directive infringed upon the basic rights of unvaccinated Indian citizens. Free Press Journal Subsequently, Iqbal Chahal sought intervention from the Bombay High Court, which temporarily halted the proceedings initiated by the Mulund metropolitan magistrate against the trio in November 2022. The Indian Express
• Iqbal Singh Chahal vs. Aditya Thackeray
In June 2023, Aditya Thackeray, an MLA of the Shiv Sena party, issued a warning to Iqbal Singh Chahal. Thackeray indicated his intention to bring forth a "breach of privilege motion" against Chahal within the legislative assembly for failing to respond to a letter written by Thackeray in April 2023. Thackeray's letter addressed concerns about a potential Rs 263 crore fraudulent activity related to a contract for installing street furniture. This contract was overseen by the BMC's Central Purchase Department across five city zones. The Indian Express Thackeray also took to Twitter, alleging Chahal's involvement in corrupt practices. In response, Iqbal Chahal held a press conference where he denied Thackeray's allegations of corruption and wrongdoing. Chahal asserted that all BMC contracts adhere to established administrative procedures mandated by authorities. Free Press Journal
|Relationships & More|
|Parents||Father- M. S. Chahal (retired lieutenant colonel of the Indian Army)
Mother- Name not known
|Siblings||Brother- Rajender Singh (businessman, residing in the United States of America)
|Other Relatives||Father-in-law- Ajit Singh Chatha (retired IAS officer, former Punjab Chief Secretary)
|Salary (as an Additional Secretary)||Rs. 1,82,200 + other allowances Zee News|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Iqbal Singh Chahal
- Iqbal Singh Chahal is a 1989 batch IAS officer of the Maharashtra cadre. He has occupied various roles both at the state and central levels. Chahal gained recognition in India and internationally for his efforts in applying the “Mumbai Model” and the “Dharavi Model” as the BMC Commissioner during the COVID-19 crisis. In August 2023, he became the focus of attention when the Bombay High Court called him to appear due to the BMC’s inadequate response to fixing potholes in Mumbai.
- After completing his formal education, Singh appeared for and successfully cleared the UPSC civil services exam. Subsequently, he joined the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand.
- According to reports, Iqbal Singh’s term as the joint secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs ended early as he fell out of favour with the federal government. ThePrint
- He was awarded bronze medal at the 2019 Tata-organised Mumbai Marathon.
- Chahal took up the position of commissioner at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on May 8, 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. His role involved crafting strategies that played a key role in containing the spread of the virus in Mumbai. This included establishing makeshift hospitals to increase bed capacity, repurposing private COVID-19 units for public use, and converting around 800 vehicles into ambulances. He focused on implementing targeted measures in 55 slums, particularly highlighting Dharavi. The city implemented a stringent lockdown, improved hygiene in shared facilities, and conducted widespread testing. A notable volunteer initiative was launched to ensure food security. Mumbai set up dedicated “war rooms” to manage positive cases. Chahal’s efforts gained recognition not only from esteemed institutions like India’s Supreme Court and the Bombay High Court but also from foreign governments such as the UAE, the US, and the UK. He also received numerous awards for his contributions.
- Chahal is fluent in languages such as Hindi, Punjabi, English, and Marathi.
- In 2022, a book titled Iqbal Singh Chahal, Covid Warrior was authored by Minhaz Merchant. The book showcases the endeavours of Iqbal Singh Chahal during his time as the BMC Commissioner amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Iqbal Singh Chahal is an avid traveller, who has visited numerous countries.