THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A whopping Rs 60 lakh for food. And another Rs 23 lakh splurged on accommodation. Even as the state reels under acute financial crisis and the finance minister having drawn out a detailed plan for cutting additional expenditure, the second Loka Kerala Sabha held in the state capital tells a different story. Putting the Left Democratic Front government in the dock, documentary evidence has come out pointing out irregularities and overspending for food and accommodation provided to the delegates. Of the 351 delegates, 69 from the UDF kept away, thereby taking the total number of delegates to a mere 282. However, funds have been earmarked for lunch and dinner served to 700 and 600 people, respectively.
As per the details that have come out, an empowered committee meeting on December 20 decided to entrust an event management company with finalising the food requirement. However, the event company conveyed its inability to supply the food. Following which, due to shortage of time, Raviz Kovalam was entrusted with the task of serving food for delegates from January 1- 3.
The empowered committee meet on January 28, observed that the number of people was higher than what the food committee had calculated. The food committee was asked to negotiate the rate and finalise. As per the verification by the food committee, the numbers and the rate were finalised. Based on this, the total funds would come to Rs 59.82 lakh. This include dinner for 250 (at Rs 1,700 plus tax per person) on the first day, breakfast for 400 (Rs 550 plus tax), lunch for 700 (Rs 1,900 plustax), dinner for 600 (Rs 1,700 plus tax), refreshment for 700 (Rs 250 plus tax) on the second day, breakfast for 400, lunch for 700 and refreshment for 700 on the third day. The food committee has recommended to pay the amount.
Similarly seven hotels in addition to Guest House and Rest House were booked to accommodate the delegates. Though the LKS was from January 1 to 3, the dates were relaxed from December 31 to January 4, considering the early arrivals and late checkouts. The bills submitted by the hotels have come to Rs 23.42 lakh.
These include Mascot Hotel (Rs 3.88 lakh for 50 rooms), Apollo Dimora (Rs 5.49 lakh for 75 rooms), Hilton Garden Inn (Rs 7.60 lakh for 60 rooms), Hycinth (Rs 2.31 lakh for 30 rooms), SP Grand Days (Rs 4,58,08 for 15 rooms), Central Residency (Rs 1.45 lakh for 25 rooms), Residency Tower (Rs 1.96 lakh for 40 rooms), Government Guest House (Rs 21,123 for 13 rooms) and Government Rest House (Rs 3,600 for 4 rooms). The committee has recommended to pay the bill as it comes below the estimated Rs 42 lakh.
The corruption and extravaganza in connection with Loka Kerala Sabha has tumbled out, said Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala. Despite the slowdown in developmental activities, there is no dearth of extravaganza, he alleged.
“As per the information that has come out, around Rs one crore was spent on food and accommodation of the Loka Kerala Sabha delegates. The money spent was justified by stating that food was served to more than twice the number of delegates. The charges raised by the Opposition have now been found to be true,” said Chennithala.
Extravangance in the time of belt-tightening
Rs 60 lakh for food. And another Rs 23 lakh spent on accommodation.
Of the 351 delegates, 69 from the UDF kept away, reducing the total number of delegates to a mere 282
Bills submitted by the hotels have come to Rs 23.42 lakh.
Mascot Hotel (Rs 3.88 lakh for 50 rooms), Apollo Dimora (RS 5.49 lakh for 75 rooms), Hilton Garden Inn (Rs 7.60 lakh for 60 rooms), Hycinth (Rs 2.31 lakh for 30 rooms), SP Grand Days (Rs 4,58,08 for 15 rooms), Central Residency (Rs 1.45 lakh for 25 rooms), Residency Tower
(Rs 1.96 lakh for 40 rooms), Government Guest House (Rs 21,123 for 13 rooms)