Ajoy Mehta appoints his Man Friday Ram Dotonde to enhance BMC's public image

Ram Dotonde will join as the civic body’s general manager (public relations) on June 1; Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta says a lot of ‘good work being done (by the BMC) must come in the public domain’

Municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta has initiated an overhaul of the public relations department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), and has appointed an experienced official for the same.

Ram Dotonde (57) will head the BMC’s public relations department, which is expected to work as a bridge between the citizens and the civic body
Ram Dotonde (57) will head the BMC’s public relations department, which is expected to work as a bridge between the citizens and the civic body

Mehta, who took over the office last month, has got an expert with 32 years of experience to head the BMC’s public relations department, which he expects to work as a bridge between the citizens and the civic body under the new leadership.

Ram Dotonde, currently chief general manager of the state-owned power distribution company Mahavitaran, will join the BMC as general manager (public relations) on Monday (June 1). This post has been created specially for him.

Incidentally, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, too, had short-listed the 57-year-old for his core Mantralaya team after assuming the charge of the state affairs last October. But Dotonde was unable to take up the assignment for personal reasons.

However, Mehta managed to convince Dotonde, his ex-team member in Mahavitaran where the two worked together very closely for years, to join the BMC on deputation. Dotonde is due for retirement on June 30 this year, but is expected to get his service extended or be given a special assignment on contract basis.

Currently, a public relations officer, who reports to the BMC deputy commissioner, heads a 50-member department. Sources in the BMC said Dotonde will directly report to the commissioner. Confirming Dotonde’s appointment, Mehta told mid-day, “There is a lot of good work being done (by the BMC) that must come in the public domain.”

Under Mehta, who was managing director of Mahavitaran, Dotonde was instrumental in establishing Mahavitaran’s connect with its over 2 crore consumers, even as the company faced harsh criticism in view of power outages. In Mahavitaran, Dotonde had developed effective mechanisms for redressing grievances and dissemination of information to the consumers at large.

Sources close to Mehta said that Dotonde will be asked to replicate a similar model in the BMC. Considering the metro’s tech-savvy population, he is expected to modernise the department using latest technology and extensive training modules for the employees, who aren’t really aware of the new-age philosophy of public relations.

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