President’s secretariat, in response to a letter submitted under RTI Act by Bheemappa Gadad, a noted RTI activist of Belagavi, furnished information (dated May 22, 2018) on the maintenance of the gardens and expenses incurred on it for the past three years.
Besides Rs 12.70 crore spent on maintenance of the gardens, another Rs 1.46 crore was spent on garden equipment and gear. It was also revealed that a salary of Rs 72 lakh was paid to gardeners at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in February 2018 alone. If the salary figure is extrapolated, it means the government is spending approximately Rs 8 crore annually merely on salaries of gardeners of the Bhavan.
The official documents on the gardens’ expenditure provided by Rashtrapati Bhavan shows Rs 3.73 crore was spent on maintenance and repair of garden during 2015-16 and`50.09 lakh on machinery and equipment in the same year. In 2016-17, Rs 4.56 crore was spent on the maintenance and repair of the garden and Rs 96.15 lakh on machinery and equipment used.The maintenance of Karnataka’s Brindavan Garndens with an area of 72 acres - almost half the size of the Rashtrapati Bhavan gardens - costs Rs 7 crore per year.