Lucknow, June 27 : The Uttar Pradesh State Information Department will now foot the Rs 2.5 crore bill that was incurred on the programme organized last August for the immersion of the ashes of late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
According to sources, the Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) had organized the function for immersion of ashes on the assurance that the money spent on the event would be duly compensated.
The bills included that of setting up a stage, sound system, floral decorations, lighting, barricading etc.
The matter came to light when a newspaper report quoted LDA Secretary M.P. Singh said that the state government needed to pay the bills. He retracted his statement when questions were raised on the issue.
Reports suggest that a number of letters were exchanged between the LDA and the State Information Department for payment of the bills.
The department sent a reply dated May 15, stating that its budget did not account for such a function.
When the matter kicked up a controversy, the state Information Director Shishir Singh sent a letter to the LDA saying that the Department would foot the bills and procedure for this had begun.
Vajpayee’s ashes had been brought to Lucknow by a special plane by Union Minister Rajnath Singh who is also the MP from Lucknow. The ashes were immersed in Gomti River.
Vajpayee had held the Lucknow seat for five terms and had a special association with the state capital.