IMC is sans PRO for a year | india | Hindustan Times
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IMC is sans PRO for a year

BLAMED FOR most of the City?s woes, desperately short of credibility, tainted by scams and riven by dissension among elected representatives - it is hard to find an agency more in need of good PR than the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC). The State Government obviously feels differently. The IMC has functioned without the services of a Public Relations Office (PRO) for nearly a year, ever since Nirmal Sharma retired on March 31, 2005.

india Updated: Mar 14, 2006 13:12 IST
SAEED Khan

BLAMED FOR most of the City’s woes, desperately short of credibility, tainted by scams and riven by dissension among elected representatives - it is hard to find an agency more in need of good PR than the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC).
The State Government obviously feels differently. The IMC has functioned without the services of a Public Relations Office (PRO) for nearly a year, ever since Nirmal Sharma retired on March 31, 2005.

In the absence of a full-fledged PR departmental head the job of issuing invites and press handouts as well as liaising with mediapersons has fallen on officials like Secretary J C Galar, already burdened with a long list of duties.

As a result, information about the Corporation’s achievements, which, God knows, are few and far in between, reaching newspaper offices too late to be published. Or, sometimes, not at all.

The post of IMC PRO is a Class I post to be filled through direct recruitment according to the MP Municipal Corporation (Officials and Employees Appointment and Service Conditions) Rules, 2000.

The Rules list graduate degree holders from any recognised University with a degree or diploma in journalism as eligibility criteria with preference accorded to candidates with prior PR experience.

According to IMC sources although several requests have been forwarded to the State government for filling the PRO’s post nothing has come out of it so far. In the meantime, stopgap arrangements were made periodically but these proved short-lived.

Slightly over a month ago the State Government issued orders handing over additional charge of Corporation PRO to Commercial Tax Department official Sanjay Jain. Clearly displeased at being handed over additional workload Jain rarely bothered to report for work.

Fortuitously, or perhaps not, the State Government cancelled the orders shortly afterwards. It was then decided to hand over the job to S Rawat, a district Public Relations staffer.

This worthy, too, was rarely found at the IMC preferring to spend time at his old office. Rawat, in fact, did not even possess a mobile phone with the result that mediapersons went crazy trying to contact him in quest of official information.
Neither Commissioner Vinod Sharma nor Additional Municipal Commissioner (GAD) Kumar Purshottam were willing to comment when asked for reasons why the appointment of a PRO had been left to hang fire.