File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )
According to unpublished government data, the Modi government spent as much as rupees 35 lakh to buy and install air purifiers for Prime Minister's offices and other federal departments and government agencies like NITI Aayog between the year 2014 and 2017.
The country has been battling escalating air pollution over the past years with alarming levels in Delhi among other metro cities. In the wake of worsening air quality, as many as 140 air purifiers were purchased for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s offices, Reuters reported.
According to Reuters, in the last three years, the home ministry spent about $20,000 (Rs 13 lakh) to buy 44 air purifiers; 25 of which were allocated for PM Modi's parliament house offices.
Reuters filed a right to information plea to which NITI Aayog responded stating that the devices were "issued to officers at the level of joint secretary and equivalent and above, as per their requests".
Traditionally, government officials cannot really make demands for such devices, there is no federal policy allowing the same until the demands come from bureaucrats.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced an allocation of $177 million to curb air pollution resulting from crop residue burning in this year's budget. A scheme for pollution control was also outlined.
(With inputs from Reuters)