BELAGAVI: The 10-day winter session of the state legislature, held in December 2018 in Belagavi, cost the exchequer a whopping Rs 13.85 crore, information obtained by an RTI activist shows. The session proceedings were conducted for merely 40 hours, 25 minutes, from December 19 to 22.
The RTI reply lists the expenses under various heads, like hotel stay, travel allowance, petrol and hiring of vehicles. A source in Bengaluru says that holding a 10-day assembly session in Bengaluru would cost
Rs 55 lakh to Rs 60 lakh a day.
Although Suvarna Vidhana Soudha is located only 8km from Belagavi city, where legislators and VIPs stayed in hotels, they were paid Rs 2,500 per day as travel allowance. This amounted to a total of Rs 2.61 crore.
In all, Rs 4.42 crore was paid for the legislators’ stay, with VIPs and officials staying in 67 posh hotels in and around Belagavi city. Almost all the hotels, lodges, resorts and guesthouses in and around Belagavi were reserved for the guests during the 10-day session.
Some of the posh hotels which charged huge bills include Fairfield Marriott (Rs 60.77 lakh), UK-47 The Fern (Rs 47.46 lakh), Hotel Keerti (Rs 31.38 lakh), Hotel Eefa (Rs 22.50 lakh) and Hotel Sanman Deluxe (Rs 20.82 lakh).
Bheemappa Gadad, the RTI activist who disclosed the information, said, “For every hour, the government spends an average of Rs 3.37 lakh to hold the winter session of state legislature for 10 days in Belagavi. The session did not throw light on some of the major issues that crippled the agriculture sector and various other fields, nor was it able to find a solution to the major problems that confronted North Karnataka.
“The government wasted public money on a massive scale by holding the session. North Karnataka held the session but nothing turned into reality, not a single state-level office was shifted to Suvarna Soudha from Bengaluru,” he alleged.