Millions spent for one-hour visit by PM


Ranchi : A sum of Rs.1.92 crore (Rs.19.2 million) was spent for a one-hour visit to Jharkhand’s Bokaro Steel Plant (BSP) by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in April last year. Now, some officials of the plant are under the scanner for this, as a public interest litigation (PIL) plea was filed on the subject here Thursday.

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In his petition filed in Jharkhand High Court, Surendra Sao has sought an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation and action against the officials involved in managing the event.

On April 22 last year, the prime minister had visited Bokaro to inaugurate the expansion of the steel plant. He was accompanied by then steel minister Ram Vilas Paswan.

Sao, a resident of Bokaro and a civil services aspirant, had earlier sought details of the expenditure for the visit under the Right to Information Act. In his petition, he said that the details provided to him “exposed the financial mismanagement by the officials”.

He had found that Rs.1.41 crore was paid to a company for managing the programme. Besides this, Rs.9.27 lakh was spent on stage preparation, Rs.1.04 lakh on purchasing caps for children who attended the programme, Rs.18.05 lakh was paid to a tent house and the remaining amount was spent on other things including buying snacks worth Rs.4.08 lakh.

On Thursday, BSL authorities were tight-lipped over the issue.