Dehradun: An RTI has revealed that the Uttarakhand government paid a sum of Rs 47.19 lakh in June 2015 to India skipper Virat Kolhi, for a tourism video featuring the cricketer, out of the relief funds for disaster management after 2013 Uttarakhand floods.
The payment was made by Kailasa Entertainment Pvt Ltd for a 60-second audio-visual clip with the cricketer. Singer Kailash Kher has a stake in the firm. Kohli featured in the video as the brand ambassador of the state and was seen promoting tourist destinations in the Uttarakhand.
A BJP leader and RTI activist have accused the Harish Rawat government for misappropriation of funds. Citing information procured under the RTI, Ajendra Ajay said Rs 47,19,120 was paid to Kailasa Entertainment Pvt Ltd.
“The payment was made in June 2015 out of funds meant for reconstruction and rehabilitation work in areas devastated by the June 2013 disaster,” the BJP leader said.
The diverted funds had been released by the Uttarakhand State Disaster Management Authority, he claimed.
Reacting to this, Rawat’s media advisor Surendra Kumar said nothing had been done illegally and there was no wrong in choosing an eminent personality to promote tourism destinations in the state.