Senior AAP leader and former minister Harsh Dev Singh on Monday accused the Jammu and Kashmir administration of allowing some BJP leaders to retain government bungalows despite the assembly disbanding in 2018.
He alleged that not only were these executives allowed to keep the Estates Department bungalows, but several of them were allowed to stay without any rent.
“Although the assembly was dissolved in 2018, bureaucrats had allowed BJP leaders to retain government mansions, including ministerial bungalows, in defiance of SOPs and flagrant circumvention of High Court orders” , Singh said.
Referring to a response he recently obtained in response to a request from RTI, Singh said unpaid rent against individual executives was in the thousands of dollars as probate authorities failed to act. .
Likewise, the electricity tariff ran into several hundred thousand dollars against several of these deputies in respect of the estate quarters they illegally retained, he alleged.
He also alleged that the administration also allocated bungalows to the Estates Department in Gandhi Nagar, Jammu after the assembly was dissolved for an Apni party office and a people’s conference office in violation of the rules.
These parties were hosted for their political offices in Jammu, as they are “sister organizations of the ruling party”, he said.
Similarly, security has been provided to leaders based on their political affiliations, proximity to the corridors of power, and other extraneous considerations without regard to the actual perception of threat and vulnerability of that politician, did he declare.
Singh added that several officers who had been assigned the union territory of Ladakh and no longer serving in the J&K union territory had also been assigned estate bungalows at Gandhi Nagar in Jammu.
He said six estate bungalows had been allocated to Ladakh officers, while J&K officers were housed in private bungalows rented at high prices for several hundred thousand dollars.
RTI’s response indicated that at least 44 government officials were housed in private bungalows in Jammu alone, which was a huge burden on the public treasury, he said.
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