The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) spends Rs 15.82 lakh per month on public relations as part of its image building exercise. This was revealed in response to a RTI query filed by activist Anil Galgali.
In his reply to the RTI query, MMRDA Joint Project Director Dilip Kawatkar informed Anil Galgali that MMRDA had appointed PR agency -- M/s Ad Factor Pvt Ltd -- for a period of 6 months and paid them Rs 39,57,972 for the period from January 2014 to March 2014. Rs 7, 86,520 are balance with MMRDA.
“The agency has been appointed for execution of communication strategy for various projects implemented and executed by the authority in public by various ways,” said the Kawatkar.
It has also been mentioned in the RTI reply that there is no specific instruction from the Maharashtra Chief Minister in connection to appointing the PR agency.
It shoud be noted that during 2005 to 2011, MMRDA spent around Rs 4 crore as payment for services of three PR agencies.
Galgali has also complained about the same to the Chief Minister, Chief Secretary & MMRDA Commissioner and enquired as to why MMRDA, which has a public relation department needs to appoint a private firm and waste public money.
“The MMRDA PR agency send the press releases on a regular basis and the MMRDA gets good coverage based on this and so there should not be an additional PR agency.” Galgali said