In a rather shocking revelation, it was found that the former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had as many as 31 air-conditioners, 15 desert-coolers and 25 heaters installed at her then official residence in 3, Motilal Nehru Marg, New Delhi.
The information was provided by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) in response to an RTI response to a list of fixtures and equipments installed at official residence of the then chief minister.
In a state that faces major power crisis, a chief minister's blatant disregard for conserving electricity can be rather appalling.
Power consumption apart, the costs incurred on these equipments alone is wasteful and improvident, especially when citizens of the capital themselves make do with little or no electricity. In fact, recent reports stated that Delhi power demands have recorded the season's highest of 5,528 MW. This year alone the peak power demand is expected to reach 6,000 MW, surpassing the all-time high of 5,653 MW, reached last year.
“Our elected representatives should be role-model citizens adopting austerity in their personal lives, especially when it comes at a cost of tax-payers’ money,” stated Subhash Chandra Agrawal, the RTI activist who sourced this information.
He also called for an enquiry into the former chief minister to check if she was entitled for such facilities. “Necessary action may be taken against concerned ones responsible for allowing expenses more than permissible limit.” he added.
However, it isn't uncommon to witness reports of misuse of public funds by elected officials. “It should be ensured that only CPWD provided equipments etc may be installed at all government-accommodations. Any person misusing office/post for getting installed equipments or making other expenses on official residence by the public-authority of posting may be immediately terminated also as a deterrent for others,” Agrawal adds.
Interestingly, former Prime Minister Dr Manmohansingh has been allotted the same bungalow as his post-retirement government-accommodation. Although, Singh ensured expenses for renovation and refurnishing of the bungalow were kept under permissible limit.
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