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Beach cleaning work comes to a halt

NT NETWORK

Panaji

The beach cleaning work around Goa has come to a halt in the last   five days as the related contract between the department of tourism and M/s Drishti Lifesaving Pvt Ltd, given under the provision of GFR-184 for the beach cleaning work has ended on July 15, 2019, thus exposing the carelessness of the department.

Minister for Tourism Manohar ‘Babu’ Azgaonkar had recently informed the state legislative assembly that the department’s contract with M/s Drishti Lifesaving Pvt Ltd has ended on the particular date, after the same was renewed for a record nine times.

This decision had received severe criticism from the Opposition MLAs in the House, who had alleged irregularities and corruption.

Azgaonkar had also stated that M/s Karnataka Commercial and Industrial Pvt Ltd is the lowest bidder for the beach cleaning tender of the department, floated to appoint new beach cleaning agency. However, he had not given any particular date for awarding the work order to enable the new agency to start the beach cleaning work.

Incidentally, the tourism department has also failed to appoint a public relations agency, after its contract with the previous PR agency ended in September 2018.

The PR agency Adfactors was appointed by the department on April 1, 2013 on a three-year contract, and following another two-year renewal of this contract, it ended on March 31, 2018. Subsequently, yet another six-month extension was given to this PR agency, with the contract finally coming to an end on September 30, 2018.

The tourism department has been working without a PR agency since October 1, 2018. It is very important for a government authority

like tourism department to have an active PR mechanism in place all the time, especially since Goa is heavily banking on tourism for its revenue.

Incidentally, none of the officials of the department have any qualification in public relations, which is a specialised field.

Many of the event management agencies in the empanelled list of the department of tourism have raised objections against the working system of the department.

This empanelled list includes agencies under Category A and Category B. These agencies are expected to manage participation of the department in various events including trade fairs, travel marts and so on.

A few of these agencies have even gone on record that the administration of the department is not conducive for their functioning and they would like to expose the irregularities in the same.

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