The Presidential denial is wearing thin. We learn that Rs8 crore of public money is allegedly being used to construct President Pratibha Patil’s bungalow on a land, which cannot be used for civilian purposes. And military resources are being deployed for her
In response to the Moneylife expose on how the President of India, Pratibha Patil, is constructing a house on defence land in Pune Cantonment while jawans live in abysmal conditions, the President of India’s office had issued a denial that no rules have been bent. But more skeletons are tumbling out, that reveal its futility in defending what it will be unable to defend. Here is the more in this developing story
First, The two bungalows stand on A1 Land of the Defence Land which means it has to be strictly used for military purpose and it cannot be used for civilian use. How then can President Patil even think of residing here?
Second, One bungalow on survey no 26A which rests on 2.1 acre land was in good condition and not declared as - what is termed in the army parlance - as`Beyond Economic Repair’ (BER). So, why was it pulled down?
Third, The President of India’s office in a press statement stated yesterday that only renovation is going on. However, the second bungalow on survey no 26B which is around 2.5 acres has been completely demolished to pave way for a new one. Is this called renovation?
Fourth, the Supreme Commander’s gallant soldiers and officers are paying for her post-retirement bungalow. The contract to build her palatial bungalow has been given by the MES (Military Engineering Services) under the aegis of Commander Works Engineers (CWE) Khadki which in turn comes under Chief Engineer Southern Command Headquarters. Thus, this project comes directly under Lt Gen A K Singh who is the present Army Commander of the Southern Command. Lt Gen Singh needs to explain how he allowed the norms of allowing use of A1 Defence Land meant strictly for military purposes to be flouted and where is the provision to spend for a civilian bungalow
Fifth, the amount of money earmarked for her bungalow is allegedly Rs8 crore as per inside information in the Defence Estate Office. Will the President of India’s office reply to this extravagance being extracted from the public treasury?
In the meanwhile, Commander Ravindra Pathak (retd) and Col Suresh Patil (retd) and Anup Awasthi, RTI activist are holding a candlelight protest on Saturday, April 14th. Details are awaited.
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