Though the state government and Hyderabad city have received wide acclaim and fame for hosting one of the country’s biggest international events, the 11th Conference of Parties (CoP) on Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) recently, RTI activists, however, allege huge misuse of funds, wasteful expenditure, nepotism and clandestine operations _ all in the name of urgency of the event.
Speaking at a press conference here on Sunday, representatives of United Forum for RTI Campaign (UFRC) and Its Time to Make a Difference (ITMD) also alleged violation of the RTI Act by various departments of the government whom they had approached for information.
Of the Rs 273.49 cr released for COP arrangements, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation and the police department shared Rs 195 crore between the two. Of the 22 departments they had approached for information, 12 dealt with funds. A sum of Rs 273.49 crore was released to the 12 departments but only Rs 216.56 crore was spent. The police department was given Rs 69.13 crore but it spent only Rs 46.56 crore, they said.
“The GHMC has no recorded minutes of any of the meetings conducted on the global conference and has not responded to our queries. The DGP’s office has refused to furnish details,” said Rakesh Reddy Dubbudu of United Forum for RTI Campaign.
According to him, there was misuse of funds and wasteful expenditure on relaying of roads and pavements, cheap nepotism where many contractors were given multiple contracts without tender calls, and lack of transparency and accountability in the works.
He, along with his team of 10 activists, demanded a full-fledged inquiry into the works and audit of the expenditure as in the case of the Delhi Commoneealth Games, release of a white paper by the departments concerned and posting of expenditure details on their respective websites.
“We are writing to the United Nations, AP governor, controller and auditor-general of India, CM’s and PM’s offices,” Rakesh said.