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Karnataka Governor’s Lavish Renovation Bill Lands him in Trouble 

An RTI query showed that Governor Vajubhai Vala spent over three crore on civil works and Rs 1.3 cr on air travel. 

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Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala, a former Gujarat Finance Minister, was embroiled in a controversy over expenditure of Rs 4 crore.

There governor allegedly spent money on renovation of the Raj Bhavan and another Rs 1.30 crore on air travel including by special flights for nine months.

The Congress government in Karnataka gave an approval on January 5 this year for taking up civil works at a cost of Rs 3 crore. This is besides the one crore for electrical work, according to information furnished by the State Public Works Department in reply to an RTI query.

The approval came in response to a letter to government by Governor’s secretary on June 17, 2014, requesting renovation of the building.

There was no immediate response from Raj Bhavan on the row over the expenditure.

Vala, a BJP leader from Gujarat, travelled in special flights and chartered copters to places like Vadodra, Surat and Ahmedabad, the response to the RTI query said.

What Did He Spend on? 

– Air travel: Rs 1.3 crore since he assumed office on September 1, 2014 till May 13, 2015.

– Repairing work: Rs 40 lakh and Rs 30 lakh on repairing the Governor and ADC offices and special officers/personal secretary’s office-main lounge, respectively.

– Telephone exchange repair: Rs 25 lakh on telephone exchange repair work, and to take up civil works of computer section, pharmacy and administrative block.

Widening pedestrian path: Rs 50 lakh on widening of pedestrian path behind the main building.

Spread across a little over 17 acres, Raj Bhavan houses the governor`s residence, an administration block, a glasshouse and 61 staff quarters, PWD said. There are 300 staff members at Raj Bhavan, it said.

Congress said time has come to decide on expenditure limits for Governors.

The limit must be prescribed...No absolute protection should be available to them.
– P L Punia, Congress leader

Karnataka Law Minister T B Jayachandra refused to comment on the controversy. Asked about the controversy, he said, “Governor is like father of the state and a constitutional authority. Hence, I do not want to make any comments. Let people know who is spending how much.”

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has also refused to comment, saying he has no information on it

(With inputs from PTI)

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