Stung by allegations of splurging public money, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has reimbursed Rs 27 lakh toward “unwarranted” expenditure incurred by the government on renovation of his official residence.
“Ajit Pawar has reimbursed Rs 27 lakh, the amount which was the additional expenditure on renovation of his official bungalow Devgiri in South Mumbai, to the public works department (PWD),” an official in the Deputy Chief Minister’s office told PTI here on Friday.
The step was taken in the wake of information obtained through Right To Information Act by RTI activist Anil Galgali that Maharashtra ministers spent Rs 14 crore over the past year to repair and renovate their official residences and on domestic air travel.
Terming the expenditure as “sheer waste of public money,” Mr. Galgali said, “Arvind Kejriwal refuses government house, but our ministers spent such a huge amount to renovate theirs.”
The ministers include Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan who has spent Rs 33.5 lakh on his official residence ‘Varsha’ at Malabar Hill, Mr. Galgali said.
Ajit Pawar ran up a bill of Rs 37.98 lakh on repairs and renovation to his bungalow ‘Devgiri’ while Home Minister R.R. Patil has drawn up an expense of Rs 20 lakh, he said.
Irrigation minister Sunil Tatkare and rural development minister Jayant Patil have spent Rs 18 lakh each on their official bungalows over the last year, he said.
State ministers also spent Rs 2 crore in the last one year towards domestic airfare, Mr. Galgali said.