Former Deputy Director of Palace Board P.V. Avaradhi has clarified that the allegation of Prof. P.V. Nanjaraje Urs citing irregularities in the audio guide facility for tourists at the Mysore Palace was baseless and far from truth.

Referring to the news item published in newspapers regarding Prof. Urs filing a complaint with the Lokayukta alleging irregularities in the facility’s contract, Avaradhi said that as per the agreement, the Mysore Palace Board has been paying maintenance expenses to Narrowcasters, the providers of the facility, for maintaining the audio kits and there was no question of the Mysore Palace Board incurring losses.

The State Government’s Chief Secretary is the Chairman of the Mysore Palace Board and the Deputy Commissioner is the Executive Officer. As per the Mysore Palace Rule 1998, Section 27, the Executive Officer (EO) is the Chief for the maintenance of Palace. As per his /her instruction, the subordinate officers and staff will carry on the assigned work.

As per the decision taken by the Mysore Palace Board, a tender was invited for the supply and maintenance of audio kits in eight languages. The then DC constituted a Committee headed by Dr. M.S. Nagaraja Rao, Retired Director-General, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to process the tenders and give a report. The Committee evaluated the tenders, recommended in the company’s favour and the order was placed for Narrowcasters to supply the audio kits.

Consequently on June 12, 2008 at a meeting of the Mysore Palace Board, the report of Tender Evaluation Committee and the agreement reached with Narrowcasters were tabled for discussion and an approval was obtained by the Mysore Palace Board. Hence there was no scope or question of hiding the contents of the agreement, clarified Avaradhi.

As per the agreement, out of the entry fee of Rs. 200 levied for foreign tourists to the Mysore Palace, a sum of Rs. 100 towards the audio kit will go to the company which supplied them (Rs. 80 for maintenance and Rs. 20 for programming expenses) thus causing no loss of any sort to the Palace Board, he clarified.

Avaradhi has further explained that the maintenance and repair of audio kits and wages of the staff looking after the kits were being taken care of by Narrowcasters. The allegations of Prof. Urs in that context were baseless, he said, adding that the matter could be probed by any organisation for which full co-operation would be provided.

“Considering my administrative experience, Narrowcasters had offered me the post of Regional Director of their company in March 2012, but I had refused it,” clarified Avaradhi and added that Prof. Urs, before making such an allegation, should have cross-checked whether I was working for the company or not. Avaradhi also added that he would file a defamation case against Prof. Urs for levelling baseless allegations.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore