शनिवार, 30 अगस्त 2008

Maya spends Rs 254.5 cr on Kanshi Ram Memorial

Kajari Bhattacharya,

So much for plugging wastages. Ms Mayawati's newgovernment has decided to tear down the Ambedkar Maidan here and builda Kanshi Ram Memorial in its place at a cost of Rs 254.5 crore,reveals a Right to Information application.In reply to the application filed by state Youth Congress spokespersonMr Abhishek Singh, the Lucknow Development Authority today placedbefore the State Information Commission the details of yet another ofMs Mayawati's costly whims.Rs 135 crore has been sanctioned for the main building of thememorial. Rs 56.3 crore is for a new boundary wall and other permanentstructures. Roads and drains within the memorial will cost Rs 16crore. The architect's fee alone is Rs 3.75 crore. Rs 13.80 lakh hasalready been spent just to tear down the Ambedkar Maidan boundarywall.The Maidan, located on Jail Road, Alambagh, itself had been built bythe Mayawati government in 2003 at a cost of Rs 6.54 crore from thestate infrastructure fund.On 1 August last year, the new Mayawati government decided to "followthe wishes of Dalit leader Kanshi Ram" and thus build memorial statuesof the Bahajan Samaj Party founder and his protégée, Ms Mayawati, allover Lucknow city. One of the many projects was to demolish theAmbedkar Maidan and build the Kanshi Ram Memorial in its place. Thestate housing department was given the charge of developing thisproject.Just a couple of days back, the Uttar Pradesh Assembly passed theFirst Supplementary Budget for the fiscal 2008-09, in which a demandfor an additional Rs 253 crore for the Ambedkar Parivartan Sthal ~which itself had been setup at a cost of more than 1753 crore ~ wastabled by finance minister Mr Lalji Verma. The Assembly also passed ademand for Rs 12 crore for landscaping 13A Mall Avenue, which servesas the residence of Ms Mayawati when she is not chief minister.State information commissioner Mr Gyanendra Sharma has rebuked thestate housing department for its delay in providing information askedfor by the Commission. The housing department has been show-caused forthis delay.

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