Senior civil servant Guruprasad Mohapatra, serving as the secretary in the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) died on Friday, June 18. He was being treated at AIIMS, New Delhi, for COVID-related complications.
Mohapatra's death might just have been just another casualty if not for what he did to tackle the oxygen crisis in the country. When COVID cases started rising across the country, he coordinated with other states, departments and the industry to scale up oxygen production to meet the rising demand.
He tested positive for the virus in April and was admitted to AIIMS. Despite running a high fever, he attended meetings virtually and ensured that nearly 10 times the normal amount of daily oxygen requirement was delivered, reported News18.
Mohapatra was an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1986 batch and had assumed charge as the secretary of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade DPIIT in August 2019. Mohapatra served as Chairman of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) prior to taking over as secretary of DPIIT. He was the Municipal Commissioner in Surat from 1999-2002.
Condolences Pour In
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over his demise. "Saddened by the demise of Dr. Guruprasad Mohapatra, DPIIT Secretary. I had worked with him extensively in Gujarat and at the Centre. He had a great understanding of administrative issues and was known for his innovative zeal. Condolences to his family and friends. Om Shanti," Modi tweeted.
Expressing deep shock at the untimely death, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba said that as the head of one of the empowered groups, the late scretary had worked with utmost dedication in the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Even after he had tested positive and was not well, he continued to work for long hours, monitoring the supply of oxygen across the country, under very challenging circumstances," said Gauba.