Thursday, August 11, 2011

[ZESTCaste] Mayawati government spends on parks, ignores healthcare, education and infrastructure

Mayawati government spends on parks, ignores healthcare, education and

Piyush Srivastava | Lucknow, August 11, 2011 | Updated 10:12 IST
One of Mayawati's pet park projects (left); a road in poor state.

Barely eight months are left for the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections,
the farmers are up in arms against her policies and the healthcare,
education and infrastructure services are in shambles, but chief
minister Mayawati steadfastly refuses to climb down from her ivory

Rather than paying attention to the sorry state of affairs in the
sectors of health, roads, education, power, water and sanitation -
issues that affect the common populace but have remained grossly
neglected for about four-and-a-half years by the BSP government -
Mayawati is more interested in getting the House to pass a
supplementary budget that will put more funds at her disposal. She is
apparently under the illusion that people's satisfaction with her
government is in direct proportion to her personal comfort, luxury and

Click here to Enlarge
Claiming that it was a must to address the CM's priorities for the
smooth functioning of the government, Mayawati's finance minister
Lalji Verma tabled a supplementary demand of Rs 10,679 crore in the
assembly on Tuesday.

This when, according to a report by the state government, only 40 per
cent of the current fiscal's budget has been used. The demand is
likely to be passed by the Vidhan Sabha without any debate.

Though there already are over 30 cars, including half a dozen
jammerfitted vehicles, in her security cavalcade, Mayawati wants 20
new Ambassadors and 10 new jammerfitted vehicles to add teeth to her
motorcade. The government has approved Rs 26.4 crore for this "need".

Apart from the famous 5 Kalidas Marg bungalow, which is the official
residence of the UP chief minister, two houses in the posh Mall Avenue
area of Lucknow have been built for Mayawati. She has already spent
more than Rs 50 crore on these two houses, and needs another Rs 22.49
crore. The amount includes Rs 2.37 crore for renovation and fresh
constructions at 13 Mall Avenue and Rs 20.12 crore for recoupment of
the contingency fund for yet another house (13-A, Mall Avenue).

Concerned about her security, Mayawati had last week shifted from 5
Kalidas Marg to 13 Mall Avenue.

She has also sought Rs 161 crore for the maintenance and security of
the parks and memorials in Lucknow, which have been constructed during
her current tenure. While Rs 450 crore has been spent in the past year
on Lucknow's Kanshi Ram Eco Garden, she has demanded Rs 41 crore more
for new works there.

It was only last week that the latest report of the Comptroller and
Auditor General (CAG) pointed out that Rs 66 crore had been wasted
because of mismanagement in the construction of parks and memorials.

Though her government did not make any effort to invite industries in
the state for creating jobs, the CM wants Rs 3 crore for an Industrial
Training Institute (ITI) in her own village, Badalpur.

But her fresh demand for grants has perturbed the Opposition parties,
who say that she has already spent over Rs 2,500 crore on her pet
projects - five parks and memorials in the name of Babasaheb Bhimrao
Ambedkar, Ramabai Ambedkar and BSP's founder Kanshi Ram - in Lucknow
between 2007 and 2009. A few months ago, another Rs 500 crore was
approved for maintenance and new construction in and around these

Calling it "criminal waste of public money", BJP's Suresh Chandra
Srivastava pointed out that Mayawati had done nothing about her
promise in May 2007 that she would bring the Metro rail to Lucknow.

"The supplementary budget of Rs 10,679 crore, mostly for items of the
CM's personal use, would have sufficed for bringing the Metro here.
But infrastructure development is not her priority since it doesn't
benefit her personally," he said in the House.

Talking to newspersons later, leader of the Opposition Shivpal Singh
Yadav said, "I think Mayawati understands that the people will throw
her out of power.

So she wants to siphon off as much public money as possible before the
code of conduct comes into effect."

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