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Nearly Rs 3 crore spent on renovation of bungalows of PDP-BJP Ministers in 2 yrs

Buying comforts, luxuries at the cost of State’s exchequer

*No funds for paying regular wages to DRWs, others

Mohinder Verma

JAMMU, Jan 28: When it comes to spending luxurious life at the cost of State’s exchequer, the Ministers of the PDP-BJP Coalition Government don’t want to lag behind those in the Council of Ministers in the previous dispensation in Jammu and Kashmir. This can be gauged from the expenditure made on the renovation of the bungalows allotted to the Ministers by the Estates Department.
According to the official data, which was tabled in the Legislative Assembly and the copy of which is available with EXCELSIOR, an amount of Rs 2.82 crore was spent on the renovation of residential accommodation of Ministers during the last two years.
Of this, an amount of Rs 1.17 crore was spent on renovation of bungalows on the directions of the Ministers at Srinagar and Rs 1.64 crore on renovation/repair of such accommodations at Jammu. Such a huge expenditure aimed at providing luxuries and comforts to the Ministers is notwithstanding the fact that even PDP-BJP Coalition Government is beating the drum of financial constraints in completion of developmental works and providing regular wages to various sections of the employees particularly daily wage earners.
As far as renovation of bungalows at Srinagar is concerned, maximum expenditure of Rs 17.29 lakh was incurred on the accommodation allotted to Minister for Education Naeem Akhtar during the past two years followed by the bungalow allotted to Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh with expenditure of Rs 17.20 lakh.
Similarly, an expenditure of Rs 17.05 lakh was made on the renovation of bungalow allotted to Minister for Forests and Environment, Ch Lal Singh and Rs 13.88 lakh on the accommodation allotted to Minister for Rural Development Abdul Haq Khan. Likewise, expenditure of Rs 13.28 lakh was made on the bungalow allotted to Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumers Affairs, Ch Zulfkar Ali and Rs 7.72 lakh on the accommodation allotted to Minister for Industries and Commerce, Chander Parkash Ganga.
An amount of Rs 7.27 lakh was spent on the renovation of bungalow allotted to Minister for Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation Basharat Bukhari and Rs 6.40 lakh on the accommodation given to Minister for Health and Medical Education Bali Bhagat.
Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control Sham Lal Chowdhary, Minister for Social Welfare, Sajad Gani Lone and Minister for Agriculture Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjoora are the only Ministers on whose bungalows lowest expenditure of Rs 18,000 each was made by the Estates Department. Similarly, an amount of Rs 80,000 each was spent on the accommodations allotted to R&B Minister Abdul Rehman Veeri and MoS for Haj and Auqaf Farooq Andrabi at Srinagar.
As far as renovation of bungalows at Jammu is concerned, maximum expenditure of Rs 16.19 lakh was made on the official residence of Chief Minister. The second highest expenditure of Rs 14.36 lakh was made on the accommodation allotted to Minister for Forest Ch Lal Singh.
Likewise, an expenditure of Rs 13.59 lakh was made on the bungalow of Minister for Sports Imran Raza Ansari, Rs 13.33 lakh on the accommodation of Minister for Health and Medical Education Bali Bhagat, Rs 11.50 lakh on the bungalow allotted to Minister for Education Naeem Akhtar and Rs 10.96 lakh on the official accommodation allotted to Minister for Roads and Buildings Abdul Rehman Veeri.
Similarly, an amount of Rs 10.37 lakh was spent on the accommodation allotted to Minister for Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation Basharat Bukhari and Rs 10.34 lakh on the accommodation of Agriculture Minister Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura.
An amount of Rs 8.97 lakh was spent on the bungalow of Rural Development Minister Abdul Haq Khan, Rs 7.08 lakh on accommodation of Social Welfare Minister Sajad Lone, Rs 4.83 lakh on the accommodation of Minister for Industries and Commerce Chander Parkash Ganga, Rs 7.73 lakh on the bungalow allotted to Food and Civil Supplies Minister Ch Zulfkar Ali, Rs 7 lakh on bungalow of Finance Minister Dr Haseeb Drabu, Rs 8.78 lakh on the accommodation of Minister of State for Transport Sunil Sharma and Rs 8.36 lakh on the bungalow of Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh.
All this clearly establishes that as far as spending luxurious life is concerned, the Ministers of PDP-BJP Coalition Government don’t want to lag behind those in the Council of Ministers in the previous dispensation in Jammu and Kashmir. “What was the justification behind such a huge expenditure on the renovation of the bungalows when the same were being used by the Ministers in previous dispensation two years back after spending huge amount”, sources asked.
“Moreover, such a huge expenditure is a clear testimony of non-adherence to the austerity measures by none else than those who are required to set examples for others”, sources remarked, adding “it is a matter of concern that while there is no shortage of resources for expenditure on comforts of the Ministers, the Government is lacking funds for paying regular wages to daily rated workers”.
Similarly, huge expenditure was made on providing accommodation to the PROs and PAs of the Ministers both at Srinagar and Jammu where rooms have been taken on rent in the hotels by the Estates Department.

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