Placing collectively a few of what additionally goes into the maintenance of the very best workplace within the land, if solely as a footnote to how President Kovind selected to explain his month-to-month earnings from the general public exchequer
Sarojini Naidu is broadly believed to have as soon as remarked to Mahatma Gandhi if he knew how a lot it price every day to maintain him in poverty. Final week, President Ram Nath Kovind turned the primary occupant of Rashtrapati Bhavan to publicly expound on his frugal wage. “If the President is the nation’s highest paid worker, he additionally pays taxes… there isn’t any hurt in saying this… everyone says you get (Rs) 5 lakh as wage however I pay taxes too. (Rs) 2.75 lakh goes in taxes. What’s left? And what’s left… nicely our officers and lecturers seated right here get greater than that…” he mentioned at a quick operate on Jhinjhak railway station near his native village close to Kanpur. Placing collectively a few of what additionally goes into the maintenance of the very best workplace within the land, if solely as a footnote to how President Kovind selected to explain his month-to-month earnings from the general public exchequer.
It occupies 330 acres atop Delhi’s Raisina Hill and has in extra of 300 rooms spanning 4 flanks of the H-shaped centrepiece referred to as the Rashtrapati Bhavan. It has a colonnaded step-down forecourt for ceremonials watched over by the slender obelisk of the 145-foot Jaipur Column. There are elaborate aspect courts, a few of them now used as parking areas for invited friends. An expanse bigger than the Palace of Versailles, the property is affected by a number of the best colonial bungalows a lot in demand with Delhi’s energy elite. When he was deputy prime minister within the short-lived Chandrashekar authorities, Devi Lal used to occupy one such manor home on the western fringe of the property.
Greater than 300 personnel man the Presidential secretariat. These embrace a senior secretary as head of a number of administrative wings, 5 aides-de-camp drawn from the armed forces, protocol and press officers, medical doctors and a chief chef. The highest rung are sometimes deputed from the IAS or IFS, however Presidents are additionally recognized to have picked lateral appointees to key posts. Fairly other than these, there’s the fancied 86-strong Presidential Bodyguard squad, one of many oldest cavalry divisions of the military. It’s cadred by a handpicked soldiery that rides out on an appointed steady of bay horses. Month-to-month employees salaries tally at greater than Rs 1.5 crore; annual Rashtrapati Bhavan employees allowances are budgeted at Rs 66 crore. None of those contains Delhi Police ranks deputed to duties in and round Rashtrapati Bhavan.
A traditional nineteenth century timber chalet close to Mashobra in Shimla as summer time home and a winter getaway referred to as Rashtrapati Nilayam in Hyderabad. Each properties are islanded in lawns and flower gardens, each retain everlasting and contractual employees for repairs and attendance. Conservative estimates put the annual staffing and upkeep prices for the 2 properties at nicely above Rs 1 crore. The Mashobra chalet looms a thousand toes above the Shimla ridge and is constructed nearly completely with woven woodwork within the dhajji type. The Hyderabad Nilayam is a 90-acre affair with 11 non-public rooms and services to accommodate 150 friends.
The Rashtrapati Bhavan is moated in 190 acres of gardens which require taking care of one year a yr. Among the many extra famed ones are the Mughal Gardens, briefly thrown open to the general public every year, and a herbarium. There may be additionally a music backyard and an open space particularly for meditation. Two rating and extra gardeners make up the apparatchik of this enterprise. However within the months between October and February, the quantity can swell up many occasions over as that’s the season for laying out and seeding the flowerbeds afresh. Amongst their jobs is also to feed a pen of noticed deer and, when required, make use of langurs to scare away rampaging rhesus hordes, endemic to central Delhi. Dozens of fountains spout throughout these gardens; there are additionally, dotted about, the interruptions of swimming swimming pools, tennis courts, a polo floor and a golf course. Throughout the Presidential quarters maybe essentially the most splendoured half are the Durbar Corridor and the Ashoka Corridor, stage to swearings-in and investitures, official banquets and the occasional soiree. A two-tonne chandelier hangs down the ornately wrought ceilings. The Durbar Corridor is abutted by a ballroom, usually used as ante-room for personal conversations by attending VVIPs.
The Presidential garages maintain dozens of autos of all make and method. Till a couple of years in the past, the Rashtrapati would journey out to witness the Republic Day parade in an open four-wheel four-horse carriage of imperial classic; drawn by horses, it’s nonetheless often used for arrivals and departures on the Beating Retreat ceremonies. However the routine presidential journey is now a stretch Mercedes Benz Pullman Guard limousine, S600 class. It’s particularly armour-plated and bullet-proofed; it prices Rs 10 crore in the marketplace.
When trains are required — as just lately when the President travelled to Kanpur — a luxurious saloon is fitted out. There was once a saloon carriage solely kitted and stored in a shunting yard of the railway station for presidential use. It had a classic two-coach carriage however was declared unserviceable in 2016 and was later de-commissioned.
Lengthy-distance air journey has remained banished because the pandemic arrived, however final November the President boarded a model new customized constructed Boeing 777 plane for a go to to Chennai. The retrofitted state-of-the-art plane — it has inbuilt missile defence techniques and self-protection suites along with sleeping chambers and workstations — got here at an approximate price of Rs 4,200 crore. (The acquisition got here with an identically purposed plane for the Prime Minister; the entire deal was invoiced at an estimated Rs 8,400 crore.)
The nation affords outgoing Presidents a spread of lifelong facilities which embrace an elaborate safety element, free and furnished housing — often in a scouted and refurbished Lutyens bungalow — and a secretarial employees. Automobiles and telephony additionally include no payments connected. They’ve entry to free medical consideration and freed from price top-tier journeys to home locations of selection within the firm of 1 different particular person. They’re additionally entitled a month-to-month pension payout of fifty per cent of their final drawn wage which, admittedly, could be far lighter than the packet President Kovind mentioned he presently will get in hand as our First Citizen.