New Delhi: Flower decorations at Vigyan Bhawan in the last two years cost Rs 2.29 crore, with various ministries hosting functions at the government's premier convention centre footing the bill, an RTI reply has found.
The convention centre is maintained by Central Public Works Department (CPWD).
"The total expenditure for flower decoration/potted plants in Vigyan Bhawan for the year 2012-13 is Rs 1,18,41,480 and for the year 2013-14 for Rs 1,1149,550," the Convention centre office replied in a RTI.
The daily average expense on flowers comes close to Rs 32,440 and Rs 30,540 for 2012-13 and 2013-14 respectively.
In a reply to the RTI filed by a Gurgaon resident, Vigyan Bhavan office has stated that the money was spent on providing floral arrangements for official dinners, events, and bouquets for visiting dignitaries.
In its reply, CPWD mentioned that m/s Neelam florist, M/s Sanjay Florist, have done the floral department work at Vigyan Bhawan. The concerned ministry and department provides expenditure sanctions and administrative approval to CPWD and concerned Asstt. Director (horticulture) and section office (horticulture) to execute the work.
"Flower decoration is based on need and is done as per requirement of the client department. It is further added that policy making and framing of guidelines do not come under the preview/jurisdiction of this division.
"The different ministries/departments send their requirement letter for flowers. This office sends the estimate for it. The client department deposits the cheque as per the estimates," according to the RTI reply.
"Vigyan Bhawan is used by various government ministries and department. As per their demands, we make arrangements of flowers. The money is paid to us by the department which has booked the venue and we further pay to the contractor," a senior CPWD official said.
Built in 1956, Vigyan Bhawan only holds national-level functions and conferences, and functions where the President, Vice President or the Prime Minister of India are present. It has been the venue of conferences of national and international stature including various award ceremonies, including the annual National Film Awards.