Dehradun: Four former chief ministers of Uttarakhand consumed electricity worth Rs 29 lakh for free for over five years.
According to an RTI reply got by an NGO, Rs 29 lakh of public money was spent in over five years for the power consumption of three former chief ministers of the BJP and one of the Congress.
The reply from the Public Works Department of the state revealed that the highest amount of Rs 15.5 lakh was spent for B C Khanduri from 2010 to 2014 followed by Rs 8.5 lakh for R P Nishank from 2008 to 2014, both of whom belong to the BJP.
Congress veteran N D Tiwari consumed power worth Rs 2.5 lakh from 2008 to 2014 while BJP's Bhagat Singh Koshiyari used Rs 1.5 lakh worth electricity between 2007 and 2014, Padma Shri awardee Avdhash Kaushal, who heads the NGO that sought the RTI information, said in a statement here producing official documents.
"Though often touted as Urja Pradesh, the reality in Uttarakhand is that, 2,574 million units of electricity worth Rs 829.5 crore is being purchased from the open market to ensure supply in the state."
"Despite this dismal scenario, according to information received through RTI, ex-chief ministers are recklessly using electricity worth lakhs of rupees at the expense of the tax payers' hard earned money," Kaushal said.
"Does being former chief ministers give them the right to plunder the state's resources?" he asked.