Updated: February 15, 2022 1:23:30 am
Mumbai University paid Rs 5.55 lakh in electricity bills for the Vice-Chancellor’s (VC) residence in 2020 — the highest expenditure in 11 years. On an average, the expenditure on this account stood at Rs 2.29 lakh per year since 2011.
The information revealed through a Right To Information (RTI) request by activist Anil Galgali presents data of money spent on electricity bill payment of the VC’s residence on the Kalina campus for the past 11 years. The activist has also pointed out how the expenditure has increased with a significant jump in the past four years since the current VC, Dr Suhas Pednekar, took charge.
“His tenure started in 2018. Till 2021, the total payment is of Rs 13.05 lakh. Whereas from 2011 to 2017 during tenure of two previous VCs – Dr Sanjay Deshmukh and Dr Rajan Welukar — the expenditure was Rs 12.15 lakh,” said Galgali.
An official from the Mumbai University administration stated, “The information through RTI is correct but there is a different side to this. There has been an increase in electricity charges due to which bills are of higher cost. More so during lockdown due to work from home, all office tasks were taking place at home. It cannot be denied that electricity was required for all these tasks through online meetings and webinars. The bills include electricity use at VC house as well as serving staff residence. There is no structural change in the VC residence. Only those facilities that were there already are being used. Concerned persons have been asked to inquire into the matter.”
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