Panchayati Raj Ministry has 5-star office, spends over Rs 5 cr
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Last Updated: Tuesday, July 13, 2010, 22:06
New Delhi: It may be a low-profile Ministry catering to people at the grassroots level, but rpt but Panchayati Raj Ministry has been operating out of a 5-star hotel here foe last four years, incurring rental expenditure of about Rs 5.12 crore, of which Rs 61 lakh is due to be paid.

Despite having two other premises elsewhere in Delhi, the Ministry has hired an area of 5,500 square feet since September 2006 in Samrat Hotel in posh Chanakyapuri where it has nine rooms, a big hall and a conference room.

"(When) ministry was created, sufficient office accommodation was not allocated for the ministry. Therefore, due to acute shortage of accommodation, office space of 5,500 square feet was hired from ITDC at Sixth floor, Samrat Hotel, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi," the Ministry said in reply to an RTI application.

Apart from Samrat Hotel, the Ministry is also functioning from Krishi Bhawan and Sardar Patel Bhawan where it occupies 1,800 sq ft and 4,406, respectively.

"The office space measuring 5,500 sq ft was hired by the Ministry from ITDC w.e.f. 30-8-2006 @ Rs 195 per sq ft for a period of two years commencing from 01.09.2006, which can be extended further with increase of 8 per cent after expiry of two years. After a lapse of two years on 30.08.2008, the present rate of rent is @ Rs 210.60 per sq ft w.e.f 01.09.2008," the Ministry said.

The total spending on rent comes to Rs 5,12,22,600 from September 2006. Out of this, Rs 61 lakh is due to Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), which runs Samrat hotel, on account of arrears since September 1, 2009, sources said.

The Ministry offerred no comment on the issue immediately.


First Published: Tuesday, July 13, 2010, 22:06

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