Kanwar yatra: UP spends Rs. 14L on chopper for petal-showering

10 Aug 2018 | By Gogona Saikia
UP goes all out for kanwar yatra

We're used to believing that the government lacks money to improve the many things wrong around us- illiteracy, hunger, homelessness, etc.

But then UP goes ahead and spends Rs. 14L to hire choppers for aerial surveillance of kanwariyas- and then uses them to shower petals on the youths.

It's been reported that it didn't just splurge itself, it also forced other businesses to take a hit.

In context: UP goes all out for kanwar yatra

10 Aug 2018Kanwar yatra: UP spends Rs. 14L on chopper for petal-showering

ControversyThe helicopter controversy: Top cops seen showering petals on kanwariyas

Top police officials, including Commissioner Anita Meshram, Meerut ADGP Prashant Kumar, Meerut DM Anil Dhengra and SSP RK Pandey were caught on camera showering petals from a chopper on kanwariyas passing through Meerut and Saharanpur.

This has created major controversy for several reasons. Where were they getting the money for the choppers?

And why was the administration showering petals on devotees of one religion?

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OrdersGovernment had assured action for "misuse". Does this qualify?

It turns out the UP Home department had sanctioned Rs. 14,21,163 for hiring choppers from Messers Air Charter for aerial surveillance during the Kanwar Yatra.

"If any misuse is detected, the police headquarter will be held responsible," wrote the state government's Special Secretary Abhisek Prasad in a letter to ADG, Allahabad Police HQ.

We wonder if this qualifies as "misuse" for the government?

RestaurantsNon-vegetarian restaurants bearing losses of Rs. 40,000 a day

The UP government has forced others to take a hit too. Non-vegetarian restaurants along the route have been ordered to shut down for 13 days, they said.

To stay afloat, they have been making vegetarian items, but yatris rarely come for a bite, and regulars, who come for meat, are staying away.

Mohammad Asif, a restaurant-owner, told IE he's losing Rs. 40,000 a day.

Videos'Why are alcohol shops not closed?': Locals question

Locals have questioned the decision to keep alcohol shops open while non-vegetarian restaurants are being closed. "All the thekas along the highways are open. Is that okay? And eating meat is not? There is no logic to this," asked Qamar Ali, 45.

Incidentally, videos of a group of Kanwariyas purportedly drinking alcohol have gone viral. We don't vouch for their authenticity.

Solution!Meanwhile, Karnataka spends Rs. 42L on swearing-in. What's happening?

Talking about unnecessary expenses, an RTI query found that the Karnataka government spent a whopping Rs. 42L on HD Kumaraswamy's swearing-in ceremony, mostly on hosting dignitaries in five-star hotels.

We only expect that those governing us pay attention to the burning issues first.

People are dying of preventable reasons every day. Surely our VIPs can do without five-star food, and kanwariyas without rose petals?