Nagpur: Finally, the ruling party in Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), it seems, has got rid of Public Relations Office (PRO) that often went astray and played truant in giving publicity to the “goals” of the ruling dispensation. The administration of the local body was also not left untouched by the shabbily run PRO. And now, elections to NMC are round the corner and the ruling party wants their “goals” accomplished through publicity blitz. And as a first step towards the ‘goal,’ handing over the PR Department to private hands was initiated. The Standing Committee on Monday (August 29) approved a proposal to appoint M/s IT Croft Technology to run the PRO for two years at the cost of Rs 86.33 lakh.
According to Chairman of the Standing Committee Sudhir Raut, the company will be able to reach the positive works and initiatives of NMC at the doorsteps of citizens in an effective manner. Two of the employees of present PRO set up will be working in the private firm for coordination and cooperation in running the department. The rest of the employees will be reverted back to their respective parent departments. In any way, the NMC Administration was incurring expenditure of Rs 39.348 lakh annually for running its PR Department. The names of the two employees to be retained in the PRO will be decided later, Raut stated. But the speculations are rife over “selection” of the two employees.
Raut further said that the NMC will have to make the same salaries to the present employees even after they are shifted to their original departments apart from the annual contract payment of Rs 41.11 lakh to the private hand per annum. It means the NMC Administration will have to cough up around Rs 76 lakh per annum on PR Department count.
With the privatization of PR Department, the ruling party will take advantage of the company’s “expertise” in the coming elections to the local body. If the ruling party captures the power again, the private firm will continue to run the PR Department or could be shown door in the otherwise situation.
The present employees of the PR Department were found to running the affairs shabbily such as advertisement commissions were exchanging hands, irregularities in purchase of bouquets and garlands, misuse of NMC vehicles, etc.
– Rajeev Ranjan Kushwaha (email@example.com)