Spend money on people, not monuments, the Congress — which, having unfurled the banner of austerity, can now speak from the high moral ground — tells the Uttar Pradesh chief minister.
That would be this Congress?
The proposed memorial will be built on 1,412 hectares of forest land.
The AP government says it wants to develop the memorial – at an antipciated cost of around Rs 315 crore – into an important tourist attraction, to be readied by September next year.
And this one?
In reply to a Right To Information query filed by a resident of Mumbai, Chetan Kothari, it was revealed by the government that in the last five years, an expenditure of Rs 93.53 crore has been incurred towards the upkeep of these bungalows….
“Visit these bungalows and you will see construction work every now and then. They have engineered wood flooring, wall paneling and veneering, gypsum board and false ceiling, glazed shutters for doors, windows and glazed partitions, polished porcelain tiles in toilet and wall. All expensive ones,” Kothari said.
Some of the occupants of these bungalows include Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in Talkatora Road, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar in Janpath, Defence Minister A K Antony in K M Marg, Home Minister P Chidambaram in Safdarjung Road and Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee in B K S Marg.
A total of 77 bungalows have been allotted to the various ministers. According to the reply, nearly Rs 11 crore was spent towards the upkeep of these bungalows in 2004-2005, Rs nine crore the next year followed by an expenditure of Rs 20 crore in 2006-2007 followed by Rs 33 crore in 2007-2008.
“They have spent Rs 21 crore alone till June 2009 for the maintenance of these bungalows,” Kothari said.
Note that we aren’t talking of decrepit, abandoned buildings being renovated — these are homes people lived in, continue to live in. Were they, do you suppose, in such a perilous state of disrepair as to necessitate this investment?
Note, too, that the bungalows on which this money is being expended includes the one tenanted by the high priest of austerity, Pranab Mukherjee himself. I wonder what the likes of Jayanti Natrajan and Tom Vadakkan have to say.
In passing, spotted this hilarious line in the ToI yesterday in an article on Rahul Gandhi as the new dalit icon: [See Page 12, ToI, September 28]:
Last week, he made a much talked about secret trip to Bahraich and Shravasti district.