Orange City Waters (OCW) – the privately owned water supply agency in Nagpur has been under the clouds for its sick functioning from the day it was handed over the charge. The company formed in association with foreign company Veolia has even kept in place the public relations mechanism for getting all the positive publicity while hiding its negative traits. However, the ploy seems to be coming in the face of OCW as it remarkably failed to yield the desired results, for the simple reason that OCW could not handle most of the works of NMC’s water supply department efficiently. Sensing the troubled waters, OCW has now reportedly contemplated to assign its public relation works to a competent company who had proven credentials of efficiently managing media. The company has been hunting for such an agency that can fetch some good public relations for them notwithstanding their ill functioning. It has reportedly zeroed in on a company which had previously handled one such private operator in the past.
A perfect plan, imperfect performance
As per the law, no foreign company can be directly assigned contract in India, irrespective of how sound the company’s credentials are. Hence, at the alleged behest of one of the BJP leaders, a joint venture between the local company Vishwaraj Infra and foreign company Veolia was inked in which the former hold 51% stake. However Veolia has the final say in the company, sources informed. It is learnt that the idea to streamline the PR mechanism came from Veolia, which unfortunately did not work for the lack of efficiency in its water supply works.
Under troubled waters
OCW has reportedly drawn crores of rupees from NMC’s exchequer but could not come any better than water supply department in terms of performance. This led to the ruling party facing the ire of opposition. As present neither the ruling party, nor opposition or not even citizens appear to be happy with OCW’s working pattern. The officials, PRO and other grass root level workers are always at the target of opposition while the ruling party is fed up of covering the goof up.
Water supply committee plays dual role
The statements that came from water supply committee in this regard significantly failed to explain the situation. At times the committee’s statement is so confusing that it cannot give clear perception about which side the committee is defending. As a result it failed to find any impact among the people.
Vishwaraj Infra linked with former standing committee chief
A union leader in NMC has established connection of former standing committee chief with the parent firm in OCW – Vishwaraj Infra. He informed that when this former standing chief worked in the capacity of corporator, he was main functionary in Vishwaraj Infra but tendered his resignation once he was elevated to the post of standing committee chief. The union leader also informed that the said person played key role in successfully getting Vishwaraj Infra into NMC.
PRO at the receiving end
The OCW PRO Sachin Dravekar, has been doling out only “good” things to visitors at OCW instead of attending to their complaints. The aggrieved consumers, media and others were forced to first contact the PRO for any information over complaints, OCW’s flawed schemes or any other important matters. And the PRO would prove to be a barrier for harassed consumers who wished to meet the higher OCW authorities or for that matter the NMC officials. The officials too have been reportedly at an advantage of directing their fingers towards PRO for any information or resolving problems of the consumers. The OCW’s move to appoint Dravekar as its PRO has neither gone well with the citizens nor the NMC as the PRO has only created more problems than the solutions. More recently, according to sources , PRO bit the dust for allegedly threatening the scribes of dire consequences for reporting the truth and heckling and pushing photographers for clicking the messy pictures. It has also given rise to party discrimination. It has been alleged that any work of BJP activists is done on priority basis, while the Congress activists are forced to run from pillar to post. If they create a scene, the PRO tries to defame them by publishing dubious reports against the Congress activists.