Close to Rs 1.71 crore was spent on the official residences of five ministers

Meet the Karnataka minister who spent Rs 41 lakh on his house maintenanceImage: HC Mahadevappa, screengrab from TV9/Youtube
news Wednesday, October 14, 2015 - 09:51

Remember that Asian paints advertisement where a man tells his neighbour “Sunil babu, naya ghar, nayi gadi, nayi Mrs? Badiya hai!” (Sunil babu, it’s great that you have a new house, new car and a new wife)?

Well, if you happen to pass by any of the Karnataka ministers' official residence, you will perhaps want to repeat parts of the dialogue to most of them.

Official residence of a few ministers seem to be hogging lakhs of public money in the name of maintenance and in this race each minister seems to be outspending the other.

HC Mahadevappa, minister for Public Works department has clocked a blockbuster amount of Rs 41,17,854 on maintenance of his official residence in KK -1 South for the year 2013-14.

This is based on the information procured through an RTI by activist Marilinge Maali Patil, a copy of which is available with The News Minute.

 The 23-year-old RTI activist sought information on expenditure on “repairs, renovation and maintenance” of the official residences of Karnataka ministers in September 2015.

PWD minister has spent money on a false ceiling at a time when large population has been living with temporary or no roofs over their heads. 

Money was also spent on building a gym room, painting on inside and outside walls, polishing and other allied works.

Now having bright walls, renovated toilets, remodelled kitchens are not going to be enough. They must also be complemented with sparkling and brand new household items.

Mahadevappa has spent close to Rs 82,040 on household items for his office in the year 2013-14.

The split up of the expenditure shows that Rs 6,450 was spent on 3 dozens of bone china cups and saucers with gold border. Rs 37,200 were spent on 14 sets of double spread bedsheets and 6 sets of single spread bedsheets, and around Rs 8000 on small and large size turkey towels.

Speaking to The News Minute the activist said that all this is tax-payer’s money. “When so many farmers have been dying in every district of the state, why are these ministers bent up on spending lakhs on making their homes look “so good” when the condition of the state is abysmal?” he asked.

Writing for The New Indian Express, Rashmi Belur on October 4 reported that, during the same period, Rs 39.73 lakh was spent on Siddaramaiah’s official residence that included the construction of a compound wall and other repair works.

According to the report, out of the Rs 1.71 crore that was spent on the official residences of HC Mahaevappa, Rural Development Minister H K Patil, Industries Minister R V Deshpande, Home Minister K J George and Forest Minister Ramanath Rai, the PWD minister reportedly spent the highest.

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