The SAD-BJP government spent nearly Rs 5 crore from taxpayers’ money for ‘Pani Bachao, Punjab Bachao’ (Save Water, Save Punjab) rally that was held on chief minister Parkash Singh Badal’s birthday in Moga on December 8.
It has come to light that the government had released Rs 5 crore to the district administration prior to the event that was held at Killi Chahal village.
The Akali Dal usually organises a rally in Moga on Badal’s birthday before assembly elections, but this time, the party, using SYL (Sutlej-Yamuna Link) issue as a plank, projected itself as saviour of Punjab waters and made the event a state function. The entire focus of the event was to build Brand Badal.
Moga deputy commissioner (DC) Parveen Kumar Thind said of the total Rs 5 crore received, Rs 4.97 crore were spent on the event and the details of the expenditure have been sent to the government.
While Rs 2.45 crore were spent on transportation. Rs 79.46 lakh were Incurred on setting up the stage, installing sound system and LED screens at the venue. Also, the administration had acquired 200 acres from farmers on rent, spending around Rs 47.74 lakh, for the event.
Promoting the event had cost the state coffers another Rs 44.73 lakh, including Rs 3.9 lakh on helium balloons.
While the langar (free food) served at the rally had cost the government Rs 3.74 lakh, Rs 2 lakh were spent on snacks for the VVIPS. Authorities had paid Rs 4.90 lakh to two Punjabi singers — including Rs 2 lakh to KS Makhan, who is also a party leader — regaled the crowd. Additionally, the amount spent on diesel, generators and electricity work was Rs 21.37 lakh.