New Delhi: Albeit 72 percent of India’s population lives in village, the government is running its business in five-star hotels. Thirteen departments of different ministries are running their offices in rented rooms of five star hotels like Samrat and Janpath. The ministries have cough up Rs 3.5 crore as a rent of the hotel rooms on a monthly basis.

Officials have cited the reason that owing to lack of space in Delhi they have to take rooms in the hotels. A department of Ministry of Rural Development is running its business in room no 561of hotel Samrat at Chanakyapuri from January 21, 2010 and for which Rs 7, 74,000 is being paid as a monthly rent. However, the head office of the Ministry is located in Krishi Bhawan where the Minister and the Secretary work.

Similarly, State Ministry of Panchayati Raj has taken an area of five and a half thousand square feet in the sixth floor on rent from August 2006. After 2008, the rent was increased from Rs 195 per square feet to Rs 210. The Ministry since 2006 has paid Rs 6 crore.

The information was sought by JS Walia, a social worker in Delhi under the RTI. He said that once when he visited hotel Samrat, he was surprised to see the number of government vehicles parked outside the hotel.

(JPN/ Bureau)