Mayawati doles out largesse for memorial projects


Lucknow : Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has rolled out largesse for memorials to be built in the name of her icon, freedom fighter and Dalit leader Babasaheb Ambedkar, and her mentor Kanshi Ram.

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Against a provision of about Rs.250 crore (Rs.2.5 billion) and raising her previous fiscal allocation of Rs.850 crore (Rs.8.5 billion) towards various projects named after them, Mayawati has earmarked only Rs.200 crore (Rs.2 billion) for upgradation and improvement of roads and other civic amenities in the state capital in the annual budget presented in the state assembly Tuesday.

While she had earlier earmarked a whopping sum of Rs.350 crore (Rs.3.5 billion) for the expansion of the Ambedkar park cum memorial in Lucknow’s upscale Gomti Nagar where it was built during her previous stint at a cost of Rs.1.5 billion, a special provision has been made to double the corpus fund for maintenance and upkeep of the monument.

The budget raises the existing corpus of Rs.80 crore (Rs.800 million) to Rs.160 crore.

Significantly, a provision of Rs.90 crore (Rs.900 million) has been made for the next phase of the Kashi Ram memorial being developed in another part of Lucknow, for which a provision of Rs.322 crore (Rs.3.22 billion) had been made in the last fiscal.

This was besides an allocation of Rs.530 crore (Rs.5.30 billion) towards a few others projects named after Ambedkar and Kanshi Ram. These included a park, a guesthouse and a public rally ground named after Ramabai, wife of Ambedkar, the chief architect of the Indian constitution.