Washington, March 18 (IANS) Indian-American engineer Karun Sreerama has been named to head Houston’s Department of Public Works and Engineering by the city’s Mayor Sylvester Turner. Also Read - Hyderabad Airport Now Offers e-Boarding For IndiGo, Air India International Flights

If confirmed, the 53-year-old Hyderabad native would start work from April 3 and would become the city’s first Asian department director in the process, reported the Houston Chronicle newspaper on Friday. Also Read - 1 Lakh Participants From 115 Countries: 'Grace Cancer Run' by Hyderabad-Based Foundation Sets 2 Guinness Records

Sreerama would replace retiring director Dale Rudick as chief of Houston’s $2 billion and 4,000-plus employees operation. He said that the organisation, which for decades has been viewed as “rigid” and “allergic to feedback”, must improve its outreach and develop a “servant” mentality. Also Read - Micro Art: Hyderabad Law Student Captures The Bhagavad Gita on 4000 Grains of Rice

“That means always notifying residents before a work crew shows up on their street,” he said.

“It means asking businesses affected by a road project whether most of their customers come during the day or at night, and scheduling road closures accordingly.”

Sreerama said he plans to meet in short order with all public works staff about his vision for the department as part of a broader, communications-driven plan for his first 100 days.

“We can be more inclusive of the people who are actually going to use public works’ products and treat them as customers, treat them as the people that we work for,” Sreerama said.

“We can’t sit there as engineers and plan things and then give it to them. We need to talk to them, ask them what their ideas are. I’ll never start an answer with, ‘You don’t understand.’ We are a service organisation.”

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.