Former Minister Eknath Khadse may have resigned from Maharashtra cabinet, but has no qualms on using facilities given to a Minister. Khadse has still to pay Rs 15.50 lakhs, the rent arrears due to the Public Works department, revealed an RTI query filed by Activist Anil Galgali.
The filed RTI demanded the status of occupation and rent arrears of much sought-after ‘Ramte’ bungalow on Narayan Dabholkar Road. In reply, the Public Works department informed, “Ekanath Khadse has vacated the bungalow, since he had first occupied it on the afternoon of November 19, 2014. He has been charged rent since his resignation as minister but has not paid up. These rent arrears due from him have mounted to Rs 15.50 lakhs; he has not made any payment and Malabar Hill division of PWD informed to PWD Higher Authority.
“It was imperative for him to vacate the bungalow on 19th June 2016 as he had resigned on 4th June 2016. A minister can use his official residence free for a period of 15 days, from the date that he ceases to be a minister,” stated Galgali. After that on obtaining government permission he can retain the residence for three months on a payment of Rs 50 per square foot. After three months this charge is to be doubled to Rs 100 per sq foot.
“Khadse had been granted permission valid for a period of 3 months. Arrears due from him as rent stood on Rs 15,49,975 as on November 19, 2016. Govt of Maharashtra sent a reminder to Khadse on November 18, 2017 to pay the due rent,” he further added.
“In a letter to CM Fadnavis, I have requested for action against the GAD officials failing in their duty to protect prime Government property. They must be held liable for dereliction of duty and the rent arrears must be deducted from their salaries,” Galgali argued. He has also demanded that the rent arrears must be deducted from Eknath Khadse’s salaries.