'Railway activists' have criticised the members of a visiting parliamentary committee for staying in a posh hotel instead of putting themselves up in railway guest houses in the city.
‘Railway activists’ have criticised the members of a visiting parliamentary committee for staying in a posh hotel instead of putting themselves up in railway guest houses in the city. One of members of the parliamentarians’ panel, however rejected the critcism saying that the stay suited their work. The 11-member Parliamentary Standing Committee on Railways arrived here on Wednesday and reviewed the working of suburban train services in the metropolis besides interacting with commuters. Yesterday, they held meetings at a luxury hotel here, inviting flak from the activists. According to them, the panel members’ decision to stay and hold meetings at a plush hotel despite availablity of ‘well-maintained’ guest houses and conference halls of both the Western and Central Railways here, is a mockery of the BJP government’s emphasis on observing austerity. They have demanded that the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) formulate guidelines to curb “wasteful expenses” by such committees and railway officials. Senior Zonal Railway Users Consultative Committee (ZRUCC) member, Subhash Gupta said here that the lawmakers are answerable to the people for their decision.
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“What loss would the MPs have faced had they stayed and held meetings in a railway guest house or anywhere else. It is a waste of common tax payers’ money,” he alleged. “I have urged the PMO and the Lok Sabha Secretariat to come up with guidelines that ensures that the parliamentary panel observes austerity during their visits. I have tweeted about it and will also formally write to the authorities concerned,” Gupta added. Railway activist Rajiv Singal said it’s time that Railway officials and other stakeholders put the welfare of railways first. Shiv Sena MP, who was a member of the parliamentary panel, Gajanan Kirtikar, however, defended the move, saying it is convenient for the panel, given that a big team accompanies them for work. “When such a committee travels city to city, they travel with a big team comprising MPs, railway officials, staffers from Lok Sabha Secretariat. Therefore, it becomes for such a big team to stay in a hotel,” Kirtikar said.