Born on 18th May 1943, Mr. Arun Bongirwar was raised in a middle-class joint family. After doinghis Master’s in Mathematics (First Class First) from Nagpur University, he opted for the Civil Services, having been inspired by his father who was an IAS officer himself.
Mr. Bongirwar served as the 25th Chief Secretary of Maharashtra. His work ethic, commitment to development, efficiency, effectiveness and impartial approach was well known. As Chief Secretary, he had the rare distinction of serving two governments headed by different political parties. He also served as Principal Secretary to two different Chief Ministers, Late Mr. Sudhakar Rao Naik and Mr. Manohar Joshi.
He distinguished himself as Municipal Commissioner of Pune where he undertook perhaps the first slum rehabilitation project without displacing the slum dwellers at Parvati hills in Pune. This model is still being implemented at the national level.
As Secretary to Chief Minister Mr. Sudhakar Rao Naik, he was responsible for initiating micro water conservation projects to tackle drought in Marathwada and the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. Due to his initiative, an independent department of Water Conservation was created.
As Chief Secretary for two successive governments, he led the initiative to expand the infrastructure of state through extra budgetary resources by creating new corporations like Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) and Regional Irrigation Corporations for completing major irrigation projects in the Krishna Valley.
He worked across all parts of Maharashtra – as Collector for six years in Osmanabad and Nagpur, and as Divisonal Commisoner of Aurangabad, Pune and Konkan. His long experience in the Revenue department enabled him to lead the Bongirwar Committee report on Revenue Administration. This report was recently implemented by the government, and many new talathisajas were created to cater to the increased revenue work in urban areas.
As Managing Director of MSSIDC, he promoted many entrepreneurs and small-scale industries, particularly in Marathwada, many of whom are leading industrialists in Maharashtra today.
A Vidarbhaite himself, he championed the cause of addressing the developmental backlog of the Vidarbha region by balanced financial allocations and developing the mineral resources of Vidarbha for industrialisation.
He also served as Chairman of JNPT, where he pioneered the first privately managed terminal of JNPT.
Apart from being a die-hard bureaucrat, Mr. Bongirwar was a person with many facets. Gregarious and never dull, nor dispirited even for a moment, he enlivened every gathering by his smiling presence. He had an open-door policy helping anyone who approached him, from humble peons to political leaders across party lines. Surrounded by innumerable relatives and friends, he was always by their side, in the joyous as well as sorrowful moments, as their friend, philosopher and guide.