Mangaluru, Aug 09, 2019: The total expenditure incurred in district’s biggest ever multi-agency search operation, launched to trace the body of Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) Founder V G Siddhartha, is likely to exceed over Rs 1 lakh.
The search operation was launched from the evening of July 29, when Siddhartha was reported missing by his driver Basavaraj Patil. The search was withdrawn on the morning of July 31, when Siddhartha’s body was traced near Hoige Bazaar by three fishermen.
According to sources in District Disaster Management Cell, over 12 boats, Indian Coast Guard’s Hovercraft, Rajdoot, ACV (Air Cushion Vehicle) H-198, a battalion from National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), fire personnel, 10-member team from Home Guards, three teams of divers from Panemangalore, Tannirbhavi and Uppinangady were involved in the search operation.
The major expenditure incurred in the search operation was shared by the Tahasildar and Mangaluru Assistant Commissioner, informed sources in the Cell. The tentative expenses incurred in providing food to the men, fuel for the boats was about Rs 75,000.
“We may deduct food expenses and charge only for the fuel cost,” sources in district administration said.
The total expenditure is likely to exceed Rs one lakh as some agencies involved in the search operation are yet to submit the bills.
Kankanady police station is yet to submit the expenses incurred for engaging divers from Panemangalore and Tannirbhavi.
District Home Guards Commandant Dr Muralee Mohan Choontharu stated that he had considered the involvement of home guards in the search operation as a service.
“But a small incentive to divers summoned from Uppinangady will motivate them to participate in such search operations. I will consult my officers and submit our expenditure bill at the earliest,” Choontharu said.
So, who will foot the expenditure bill incurred in tracing the body of Siddhartha? Sources in district administration said, Sringeri MLA Raje Gowda had offered to clear all the expenses incurred during the search operation.
With MLAs (D K Shivakumar and U T Khader) retracting their promise on offering cash reward to fishermen who traced Siddhartha’s body, the district administration reluctantly would clear the pending bills with funds from calamity relief fund.