Do the MLAs ‘visit’ hill stations for study tours?
The reply to an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed that members of Orissa Legislative Assembly have been undertaking religious tours or tour to hill stations and national parks in the name of study tours. The RTI reply shows that out of 147 MLAs, 105 MLAs of Orissa Assembly have taken such ‘study tours’. Apart from individual MLAs, more than half of 33 House committees of the assembly have also travelled across the country to religious and natural sites.
These tours have cost around Rs 95 lakh to the state exchequer apart from the daily tour allowance of Rs 400 per MLA and the subsidized stay in other states. More so, the mandatory report, to be submitted at the end of such tours, have not been submitted for any of the study tours.
The situation is not likely to be different in case of the ‘study’ tours performed by other elected representatives in the country.