M A I N   N E W S

Cash-strapped Punjab can spend `20 lakh a month on SMS publicity 
Kanchan Vasdev/TNS

Ludhiana, February 18
Even as Punjab faces a severe financial crunch, the state government has started an SMS campaign glorifying the development projects. The cost of these text messages - which would be sent to around 2 crore cell phone users across the state - would be a whopping Rs 20 lakh a month.

Starting with its campaign that would continue throughout the year, the first message highlighting the air connectivity of the state through international and domestic airports was received on mobiles today.

The state government had only last month finalised tenders, called by its Public Relations Department, for sending these ‘self-glorification’ SMSes to create an impression that the state was making rapid strides on the development front. The tender was given to a vernacular newspaper that had emerged as a successful bidder. It would be charging 2 paise per SMS from the state government. Since there are 2 crore mobile users in the state, one SMS would cost the government Rs 4 lakh. Five such SMSes would be sent in a month. So the total cost would come out to be Rs 20 lakh every month on the campaign.

The first SMS, received on phones today, said: “Punjab is on the upswing: Fly abroad directly from three international airports at Mohali, Amritsar and Ludhiana. Bathinda and Ludhiana connected by air with the rest of the country.” “Texting has emerged as one of the cheapest mediums of publicity,” said government sources.

DS Mangat, Director of Public Relations Department, said: ‘‘We are getting the feedback on the campaign. We will continue the campaign if it becomes a hit.”





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