|Rs 20 crore public money spent on Mayawati's home|
Dalit leader Mayawati spent Rs 20,12,60,000 of public money over the past one year to renovate her bungalow at 13, Mall Avenue, in Lucknow. She needs Rs 2 crore more. Recently, Mayawati moved out of the chief minister's official residence and shifted to her home, ostensibly because she considers 13 to be her lucky number.
The Rs 20 crore was spent from the chief minister's contingency fund, according to the supplementary budget tabled in the assembly on Tuesday. So far, Rs 51 crore has been spent in sprucing up her residence since 2002.
In 2002, Rs 19.53 crore was allocated to her to renovate the house. Again, when she returned to power in 2007, another Rs 10.19 crore was sanctioned for the house. And after that the additional Rs 22 crore for the bungalow which sprawls over a 2 lakh square feet compound in the heart of the city
Sandstone walls, 18-feet tall, run round the plot. The copper-and-brass gates are locked. Inside, on the compound, Maya has installed an 18-feet statue of herself which stands under a marble canopy next to that of her mentor Kanshi Ram. The flooring in the centrally airconditioned house is said to be of Dholpur stone. The latest addition is a state-of-the-art underground parking lot. The house also has of its very own RO (reverse osmosis) plant for clean drinking water.
Entry to the fortress is strictly banned. A posse of Lucknow policemen zealously guard the barricading put up 100 yards before the gate. The TOI correspondent who tried to get near the house was ordered away by the guards.