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PR in Civic Body


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Role of PR

Role of PR

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  • 1. PR is Must for Civic BodiesAhmedabad, March 13, 2012:“Public Relations is must for the governance of civic bodies since these local self governments deal with allneeds of people right from cradle to grave. It is needed for building trust in people about the civic bodyand its activities, a pre condition for consensus on important decisions to be taken by a civic body”, this ishow Mr Asit Vora, Mayor, Ahmedabad city and Urban Management Consultant & former Dy MunicipalCommissioner of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation Mr PU Asnani view the role of PR in the civicbodies.Speaking on importance of PR in civic bodies organized by the Ahmedabad chapter of Public RelationsSociety of India (PRSI), both of them said PR is effective and successful when administration iscommitted to accountability and transparency. This makes the work of a civic body smoother anddevelopment of a city better.Mr P U Asnani who is former Deputy Municipal Commissioner of AMC said that “the role of civic bodieshad a paradigm shift when civic bodies got constitutional status through an amendment in 1994. Now,civic bodies have independent financial powers and they cannot be suspended at the whims of stateadministration”.Giving example of new property tax system introduced in 1994, Mr Asnani said that “elected wing wasvery apprehensive of the success of the system. This is because at that time property tax used to invitemore than one lakh objections and half of them resulted in appeal”.“But, the Corporation made the property tax formula transparent. Anyone could know the basis of the taxhe had been asked to pay. This transparent system with access to information led to a great success. In thefirst year, objections reduced to just 1524 and there were no appeals in these cases. The net result was thatmost of people paid the tax and thus the income of the tax increased considerable. Within next few years,special courts set up for the property tax were closed down which saved millions of rupees on the courtsystem”, Mr Asnani added.He said that “ people support in decision making was necessary, whether it is a routine work like wideningof road or some regulatory measure. For this, people must have faith in the administration that the taxmoney and other resources at the disposal of the civic administration were used in a right manner forright cause”.Mr Asnani further added that “ citizen satisfaction survey must be done to get the feedback of people andthere should be follow up action on it. Effective and efficient local government management directlydepends on how well the local administration manages its communication with citizen”.Ahmedabad city Mayor Mr Asit Vora who himself is a PR personnel had many success stories to provethat transparency in the administration and communication with the beneficiaries of a project were mostimportant for successful governance riding a strong PR campaign. He said “BRTS, Kankaria carnival andupcoming Sabarmati riverfront project were best examples of the governance strategy”.Mr Vora said that “the groups of people belonging to different sectors of society are made to experiencethe advantage of a new activity like BRTS. This convinces people about the need for the activity and thusmakes the new project successful. BRTS is the best example. It has succeeded in Ahmedabad and has evenwon laurels abroad”.Giving an example of importance of feedback, he said that authorities studies failure of Delhi BRTS andrevamped its routes to ensure that it did not meet the fate of BRTS in Delhi.For more information, please contact:Mr Dilip ChauhanSecretary,PRSI, Ahmedabad ChapterCell:98254 46010 Courtesy by-PRSI Ahmedabad Chapter