An RTI query by an activist of a Dehradun – Based NGO has revealed that six former chief ministers of Uttarakhand have among themselves spent over Rs 13 crore till December 2016 on fuel, electricity, accommodation, travel, telephone bills and other expenses.
According to the RTI, Rs 1.25 crore was paid as salary to drivers of the CMs, over Rs 3 crore was spent on travel of the ministers to various cities, Rs 1.5 crore on salary to other staff and Rs 1.63 crore on fuel and maintenance of their vehicles among other expenses.
The highest amount has been spent by Bhagat Singh Koshyari who has reportedly incurred expenses of more than Rs 3.7 crore in over a decade since he stopped being CM. Expenses by former CM Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri in this regard amount to Rs 2.81 crore whereas N D Tiwari spent Rs 2.3 crore. This is followed by Rs 2.1 crore spent by Ramesh Pokhriyal, Rs 1.1 crore by Vijay Bahuguna, and Rs 1.5 lakh by late Nityanand Swami.
Avdhash Kaushal, who runs the NGO Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra (RLEK), and filed the RTI seeking the details of expenses incurred by the former CMs. “The money spent by the ex-CMs is public money and this reflects blatant abuse of power. Why should taxpayers pay for these expenses?”
Electricity expenses of Circuit House Annexe in Dehradun, which was occupied by Pokhriyal and Bahuguna after they vacated office of the CM, amount to more than Rs 22.8 lakh, the RTI reply.