Rs. 80 Crores spent in 5 years to maintain the samadhis of VVIPs in Delhi
The Samadhi complex in Delhi at the bank of river Yamuna is spread over an area of 245 acres and has nine memorials including that of Mahatma Gandhi. Reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed that an amount of Rs. 80 Crore has been spent by the government since 2009 for the maintenance of the samadhi complex. The Central Public Works Department (CPWD) has informed that the money was spent for maintaining the lawns, expenses made for the electrical supply, security expenses etc..
· Rajghat, the samadhi of the Father of Nation, is spread over 44.35 acres of land and attracts the largest number of visitors. In the last five years, the routine maintenance of lawns and mechanical and electrical work there has costed almost Rs 10 crore to CPWD which includes about Rs 7.5 lakh spent on maintaining the lawn and giving salaries to the staff for the lawn maintainance.
· Shanti Van, which is the samadhi of Jawaharlal Nehru, is another site maintained by CPWD. It requires Rs 2 crores annually for maintenance.
· Shakti Sthal, the memorial for Indira Gandhi, costs much less to maintain and the records show that an amount of Rs 5 crore has been spent in past five years.
In addition, the Samadhi complex houses the samadhis of former presidents KR Narayanan, Giani Zail Singh, Shankar Dayal Sharma. The samadhis of former Prime Ministers Lal Bahadur Shastri, Charan Singh, Rajiv Gandhi and IK Gujral are also located in the complex. Further, the Samadhis of former deputy Prime Miniser Babu Jagjivan Ram, his wife and that of Sanjay Gandhi are also located in the area.
The CPWD staff is stationed 24X7 inside the complex and includes two men from the electrical and mechanical wing and one from horticulture. The others come during the day and leave the premises at the end of the work. The security of the premises is manned by 150 strong contingent of CPWD headed by the CISF which entails an annual expenditure of Rs 8 crore.