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UP govt to reimburse Rs 2.5 crore bill for Vajpayee’s ash immersion

The payment of bill incurred for the programme organised for the immersion of Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s ahses got entangled in red-tapism as various departments continued to pass the buck for 10 months.

india Updated: Jun 27, 2019 11:58 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
File photo of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
File photo of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee.(PTI)
         

The Uttar Pradesh State Information Department will foot the bill incurred on the programme organised for the immersion of the ashes of late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Though the former PM and BJP stalwart late Atal Bihari Vajpayee shared a special bond with UP, particularly Lucknow, but no state government department was willing to foot the Rs 2.54 crore bill for the programme organised in August last year. Vajpayee represented Lucknow in Lok Sabha for five terms.

On August 23 last year, a big event was organised at Jhulelal Park on the banks of Gomti in Lucknow for immersion of Vajpayee’s ashes. The Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) had roped in a private company to organise the programme.

However, the payment of bill got entangled in red-tapism as various departments continued to pass the buck for 10 months.

After refusing to pay the bill for 10 months, claiming that it did not have any budgetary provision for such programmes, the information department has finally agreed to make the outstanding payment following the intervention of chief minister Yogi Adityanath.

After the programme, LDA officials had forwarded the bill to information department but it refused to pay, claiming that it did not have any budgetary provision for it. The LDA again wrote to the information department regarding payment of dues to the company in January, and then followed it up by another letter in March.

Secretary, LDA. MP Singh said: “The company which organised the event is yet to receive the payment, The company’s representatives had been knocking at our doors for the past 10 months. But we can only make the payment when we get it from information department. We hope the payment will be released soon.”

However, following the CM’s directives, director, information, Shishir Singh shot off a letter to the LDA secretary on Wednesday stating that his department was ready to pay for the expenses if the original bills and papers were made available to it.

Though the officials of the departments involved in the controversy refused to come on record, unofficially they said there was no provision for payment of expenses on a programme organised for immersion of ashes. Lucknow mayor Sanyukta Bhatia said, “Red-tapism has once again exposed the mindset of bureaucrats . Vajpayee ji fought against this mindset all his life but even after his death it has not changed.”

First Published: Jun 27, 2019 11:24 IST

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