New Delhi: There is no record of how much electricity is consumed at the Prime Minister’s official residence 7, Lok Kalyan Marg (formerly 7, Race Course Road). The revelation came in an RTI reply, wherein the applicant was told that there is no separate electric meter for the Prime Minister’s residence.
A retired government official and Gurgaon-based RTI activist Jagjit Singh Walia had sought information from the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) about the electricity bill of the Prime Minister’s residence.
The CPWD is mandated with maintenance of the government buildings. It also pays electricity bills of the Parliament, the Rashtrapati Bhavan and the Prime Minister’s residence. Though the CPWD denied having record of the power consumption of PM’s residence, DB Post found out that the department does maintain the relevant records for both his home and office but couldn’t access them. In June 2015, the electricity bill of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was around Rs 21 lakh.
“There is no separate meter for the residence of the Prime Minister There is a common meter for the Race Course Road complex comprising of the PM’s house, security setup, security lights, SPG office, MI room, PMO, horticulture pumps and temporary lighting,” said a senior CPWD officer.
Walia in his RTI also sought information about expenditure made to replace conventional lights with LED lights at the Prime Minister’s residence but the CPWD said the information sought was exempt as per section 7(9) of the RTI act as “it is not readily available.”
Electricity bills of ministers and senior leaders run into several lakhs rupees. In 2015, it came to light that the electricity bill of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s Civil Lines residence was about Rs 91,000 for the months of April and May, this included charge for a camp office at his residence.
There are politicians whose electricity bill runs into lakhs. The electricity bill of finance minister Arun Jaitley is around Rs 3.62 lakh, while Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi has received a bill for Rs 1.76 lakh. The electricity bill of Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Shipping Nitin Gadkari is Rs 53, 761 only, which is comparatively lower than his colleagues.