Rs 22 Crore spent on advertisement in Uttarakhand following the landslide
The reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed that the Uttarakhand government has spent over 22 The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in the Official Secrets Act, 1923 (19 of 1923), and any other law for the time being in force or in any instrument having effect by virtue of any law other than this Act. crores on advertisements in the aftermath of the massive floods and landslides that left thousands dead and homeless in June, 2013.
The RTI reply claims that the government spent heavy amount on advertising to reinstate the tourism image of the state and to announce the revival of the suspended yatras after the floods. Also, a number of advertisements were put out regarding missing persons and information on helpline numbers.
The data provided in the reply shows that the state government spent:
· Rs. 10 crore for television spots,
· Rs. 1.27 crore on radio jingles,
· Rs. 1.6 crore was spent on one ad about restarting the Kedarnath puja,
· Rs. 56 lakh for ads on Hemkund Sahib and
· Rs. 78 lakh were spent for ads on Yamunotri.
The applicant said that the government could have utilized the money more constructively instead of spending on advertisement. The government has defended its move stating that the advertisements were the need of the hour and that the expenditure was well below the estimated Rs. 37 crore budget meant separately for advertisement.