Activists allege needless spending

Members of United Forum for RTI (UFRTI) and Its Time to Make a Difference (ITMD) on Sunday demanded a high-level probe into the way the funds of Conference of Parties (CoP 11), the biodiversity meet hosted by the capital last year, were utilised.

The members, while addressing presspersons, alleged that “unnecessary expenditure” was taken up by departments, including the police, GHMC, HMDA, APIIC, National Green Corps (NGC) and Youth Advancement Tourism and Roads and Buildings during CoP preparation.

No transparency

They alleged that the bodies were not transparent in providing replies to their RTI queries. The UFTRI and ITMD had approached all departments through the Right to Information (RTI) Act requesting for details on how the CoP funds were used.

According to them, Rs. 273.49 crore was released for CoP related works and GHMC received Rs. 125 crore while police department received Rs. 69.13 crore.

“GHMC claims that 88 works were taken up but in reality, they have done more than 170 works. They were also evasive when information was sought from RTI. The DGP office refused to provide information by saying that our questions were not specific. The police department spent Rs. 70 crore but they are refusing to be accountable,” charged D. Rakesh Reddy of UFTRI.

According to the RTI activists, NGC received Rs. 2,07,75,000 for CoP activities out of which it spent Rs. 1,86,31,096.

“The NGC took up a lot of unnecessary expenditure. It has spent Rs. 16 lakh to design and print a special magazine, many copies of which were left undistributed. NGC spent Rs. 1.5 lakh to purchase a television and monitor. The NGC has also spent Rs. 15.5 lakh to purchase blazers. Their purchase and distribution clearly lacks transparency,” Y.P. Ramakrishna of ITMD alleged.

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