Bengaluru: 3.27 crore spent on upkeep of Raj Bhavan garden in three years

3.27 cr spent on upkeep of Raj Bhavan garden in three years
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3.27 cr spent on upkeep of Raj Bhavan garden in three years

Highlights

A recent query under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, revealed that in a span of three years, Rs 3.27 crore of taxpayer money has been spent on the upkeep of the Karnataka Raj Bhavan garden.

Bengaluru: A recent query under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, revealed that in a span of three years, Rs 3.27 crore of taxpayer money has been spent on the upkeep of the Karnataka Raj Bhavan garden. An RTI application was filed by activist Bheemappa Gadag seeking details of the funds spent on maintenance of the Raj Bhawan, the official residence of the State Governor, in Bengaluru since 2014, when Vajubhai Vala took office.

According to the reply received, of the Rs 3,26,98,613 spent between 2014 and 2017, Rs 2.95 crore has been on 'concept, design and master plan' for the Raj Bhavan garden. Flower decoration for the Raj Bhavan dining hall, head office and VIP lounge cost the State exchequer Rs 4.80 lakh. Towards the wages of the garden staff, Rs 11.59 lakh has been spent. On flower pots in the Governor's official residence Rs 5 lakh has been spent.

Bheemappa claims that he filed the application to see how much of the public money was being spent on a Governor 'who has failed to respond to people's grievances'. The Raj Bhavan, which is situated next to the State Secretariat and Vidhana Soudha, has been closed to public since 2014.

According to Bhimappa Gadag, the amount does not include expenses incurred during official ceremonies like swearing-in of ministers. According to the Raj Bhavan website, the garden spans over 16 acres. The total built-up area of the main building, which houses both the official residence and office of the Governor, is 42,380 square feet.

It was reported that the Raj Bhavan refused to divulge the details of the funds spend. Several RTI applications have been rejected by the Governor's office, claiming that they do not come under the purview of the RTI Act. This is even as Governors' offices across several States in the country have responded to RTI queries.

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