Rashtrapati Bhavan’s monthly phone bill crosses Rs 5 lakh: RTI revelation

By NewsGram Staff Writer

Curious to know the amount spent on the maintenance of the Rashtrapati Bhavan? So was Mansoor Darvesh, who filed an RTI seeking information about this.Rashtrapati_Bhavan-Delhi-India25

Darvesh raised several questions in his RTI. However, not all his questions were answered.

As reported by MSN news, “The ‘allowances’ sum in the last three financial years has increased from Rs 30.96 crore in 2012-13, to Rs 41.96 crore in 2014-15. This amounts to a jump of almost 33 per cent. The response (to the RTI) read: Expenditure on President’s Secretariat under Major Head-2012, Appropriation-Staff, Household and Allowances of the President for the financial years 2012-2013, 2013-14 and 2014-15 is Rs 30.96 crore, Rs 38.70 crore and Rs 41.96 crores respectively.”

pranab mukherjee The RTI also revealed that 754 people are employed at the president’s Secretariat. “9  private secretaries, 27 drivers, 64 safaiwalas,  and eight telephone operators work at the Bhawan. In May, Rs 1.52 crore was spent on  salaries. In the same month, the telephone bill totaled Rs 5.06 lakh, while in April and March,  the amount touched Rs 5.06 lakh and 4.25 lakh respectively.” (Credits: MSN News)

With respect to expenditure incurred on VVIP guests, the RTI said that, “No separate account is maintained. The expenditure in this regard is incurred from the annual budget allotted to the household section of the secretariat.”

Questions regarding costs incurred for electricity and security staff members were left unanswered. Darvesh calculated that the annual sum spent on the Bhavan would cross Rs 100 crore.

He said, “Being an Indian citizen, I have the right to know the amount of funds spent on the upkeep of the Rashtrapati Bhawan. The amount spent increases every year. This list doesn’t cover all expenses, though, but I am sure the total will cross Rs 100 crore.” (As quoted by MSN)

Darvesh has filed various other RTIs in the past. His last RTI was regarding the number of delegates that accompanied Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his foreign tours, and the sum spent on these trips. This, again, was left unanswered.