Panchayati Raj Ministry has 5-star office, spends over Rs 5 cr

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.

PTI



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

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