Rs 3.75 cr for lunch, dinner at Soudha bash

Secretariat gears up with lavish plan

Rs 3.75 cr for lunch, dinner at Soudha bash
The state secretariat is all set to splurge lavishly on the two-day diamond jubilee celebrations of the Vidhana Soudha on October 25 and 26. It has sought a whopping Rs 26.87 crore for the bash.

It wants to spend Rs 3.75 crore on lunch and dinner, Rs 35 lakh on coffee and tea, Rs 75 lakh on decorations and Rs 3 crore on publicity. This paper has accessed a copy of the proposal.

The expenditure is over and above the Rs 3 crore the secretariat wants to spend on giving away mementos: gold biscuits for lawmakers and silver plates for secretariat staff.

The proposal is pending for approval before the finance department. The department is learnt to have suggested a low-key affair, but the hosts are insisting the Vidhana Soudha deserves a grand bash. The secretariat plans to feed about 10,000 people, including its staff, VIPs, and police and media personnel. Lunch and dinner will be served on both days.

The hosts are seeking Rs 35 lakh to serve coffee and tea to 4,000 people between 11.30 am and 4.30 pm on the two days.

They are out to spend Rs 75 lakh on flowers and decorations alone.

The authorities propose to deck up all four entrances of the Vidhana Soudha, 10 statues (with the Gandhi and Kengal Hanumanthaiah statues being budgeted for separately), photos inside the banquet hall, gates and steps, and the offices of the chief minister, speaker, chairman and Opposition leaders.

While they want Rs 3.5 crore for the stage, sound, lighting, seating and generators, they have sought an extra Rs 3.04 crore for “3D mapping of the entire Vidhana Soudha, projectors, server and lenses”.

The hosts want to spend generously on welcome boards, signage, hoardings, newspaper ads, invitations and inflatable arches.

‘Why not?’

Presiding officers K B Koliwad (Assembly) and D H Shankarmurthy (Council) defended the proposal, saying the diamond jubilee had to be organised in a “befitting manner”.

Biscuit bhagya

The hosts have sought Rs 3 crore for mementos: gold biscuits for lawmakers and silver plates for secretariat staff.

Speaker Koliwad, however, claimed there was no proposal to gift gold biscuits to MLAs and MLCs.

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