Mumbai: JS Saharia, a 1978 batch IAS officer, on Saturday took over as the new Chief Secretary of Maharashtra.
He succeeds Jayant Kumar Banthia, a 1977 batch IAS officer, who was the Chief Secretary since June 2012 and retired today. Banthia had earlier got an extension.
Saharia was additional chief secretary (education) before this. Additional chief secretary (home) Amitabh Rajan (1979 batch) was also in the reckoning for the coveted office, sources said.
Banthia, a low-profile officer with top-notch credentials, had been chosen by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan for the senior-most job in the state administration.
Before handing over the charge to Saharia, Banthia told reporters at his office in Mantralaya here that last year`s drought, Mantralaya fire incident and subsequent renovation, Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab`s hanging and the violence at Azad Maidan were some of the challenging developments during his tenure.