Days after The Indian Express reported about Chandigarh IAS officers squandering money, mostly for travel to Delhi, Union Territory administrator Banwarilal Purohit said Tuesday they have to travel on trains and stay in government guest houses in the national capital.
The Indian Express had reported that the daily expenses of IAS officers on domestic official tours ran into several thousand of rupees and that they preferred to stay in expensive hotels and not at guest houses owned by the Union Territory administration and Punjab Bhawan in the national capital.
For instance, UT Adviser Dharam Pal and Home Secretary Nitin Yadav submitted hefty bills worth several lakhs of rupees in the last two years. While the adviser’s bills ran up to Rs 16 lakh for 121 days of travel, the home secretary spent Rs 6 lakh for a handful of visits, mostly to Delhi.
Acting on the reports published in @chandigarhmedia Purohit also banned IAS officers’ stay in star hotels and said they should only book “Punjab Bhawan, Haryana Bhawan or UT Guest house”.
In his order, a copy of which is with The Indian Express, Purohit said, “As responsible officers, it is our moral duty that public money shouldn’t be squandered and wasteful expenditure should not be accepted at any cost.”
He added, “In this regard, a news item relating to the expenses incurred by the officers of Chandigarh administration was brought to my notice. In the news item it was reported that officers stayed in five star hotels in Delhi and travelled by business class in commercial flights.”
“After a careful consideration of present circumstances, from henceforth, it is decided that no air travel is allowed to Delhi. All the officials travelling to Delhi would travel by Shatabdi and Vande Bharat trains. Further, officials will stay at UT Guest House, Punjab Bhawan or Haryana Bhawan but not in any star hotels,” Governor added.
In fact, Parida’s spending extended to ticket cancellations as well. Due to an uncertainty about attending a meeting in Hyderabad in February 2019, three tickets worth nearly Rs 45,000 had to be cancelled. The administration ended up paying Rs 60,113 for those tickets.