LMC bonfires benefiting VVIP security staff at the cost of common people, allege opposition leaders
While the Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC) claims to be lighting bonfires for the poor in 365 places in the state capital, leaders of opposition parties have alleged that most of these are benefiting the security staff of ministers and other VVIPs. Some corporators have also demanded separate fund allocation for bonfires meant for VVIP security and those for the common people so that the destitute of the city don’t get the short end of the stick.
Leader of the opposition in LMC House, Samajwadi Party’s Syed Yawar Hussain Reshu said, “‘Warm up the VVIPs’ is the new mantra of the municipal corporation. That’s why it is lighting most of the bonfires in front of residences of selected VVIPs. There is no point in lighting bonfires in front of VVIP houses where only their security personnel get benefited. If LMC can light bonfires there, it can also do so for the common people at all important crossings of the city. However, that is not being done.”
He alleged that the facility meant for the poorest of poor was being used without hesitation by the staff of the VVIPs on their masters’ recommendation.
City Congress president Mukesh Singh Chauhan also voiced similar allegations. “What’s the use of bonfires in front of VVIP houses at Kalidas Marg and Vikramaditya Marg? In these places, the LMC lights bonfires without fail,” he said.
Meanwhile, officials said that LMC was spending Rs 5 lakh every day for lighting bonfires in the city.
Municipal commissioner Indramani Tripathi said, “The LMC is trying to cover all important places like railway stations, bus stations, tempo stands, taxi stands, rickshaw stands and major crossings. We don’t discriminate when it comes to lighting bonfires for the poor and we don’t give preferences to VVIP staff. However, if LMC is providing wood for the security personnel, it is only out of respect for these people who work overnight to defend us.”