First Lal Battis Go, Now the Bungalows; End of Road for VIP Culture in Delhi
By Tarun Nangia - NEW DELHI
Published: 12th Jan 2014 09:22:36 AM
After the lal battis atop vehicles, a sprawling bungalow in Lutyens’ Delhi, one of the most expensive places to buy property in the world, is another chief attraction of being an elected representative in India.
3 Motilal Nehru Marg, the bungalow occupied by former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit, is a spacious luxury home that even the super-rich cannot afford. A type 8 bungalow, it has acres of farmland, a small bird park complete with a tree house, three massive bedrooms with attached dressing rooms and bathrooms, servant quarters and an office block. Dikshit had moved into the property in 2004. Sources said she would vacate the property in a few of weeks and move to a house on Ferozshah road.
A former minister has to vacate a bungalow within a month of a new government taking over or pay market rent for the property. With Aam Aadmi Party-led government taking charge on December 28, former Delhi ministers will have to vacate their bungalows or pay up.
Former urban development minister Arvinder Singh Lovely occupies a massive bungalow in the upmarket Civil Lines area in Delhi. Lovely, who has now been appointed as president of Delhi Pradesh Congress committee (DPCC), is on the lookout for a new property in central Delhi to cater to the huge rush of people who visit him every day. Till then he would retain the existing bungalow and pay for it.
Former power minister Haroon Yusuf occupies a bungalow on DDU Marg. A source at Yusuf’s office said, “Sahab will vacate the bungalow in 8-10 days.”
Ramakant Goswami, former minister of transport, is getting ready to vacate his bungalow at Satya Sadan in Chanakyapuri. Goswami is likely to move back to his residence in East Patel Nagar.
Kiran Walia, former social welfare minister, occupies a bungalow in Chanakyapuri. She is currently looking for a residence in Malviya Nagar and would vacant the government property “soon”, a source at Walia’s office said.
With Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal announcing that neither he nor any of his ministers would occupy an official bungalow, it remains to be seen whether the Urban Development ministry will allot bungalows to anybody else. PWD minister Manish Sisodia has opted for a three-room flat in Mayur Vihar. CM Kejriwal cancelled his plans to shift to a five-bedroom flat and has asked the urban development department to look for a smaller house. Five other Delhi ministers, Somnath Bharati, Rakhi Birla, Satyendra Jain, Saurabh Bharadwaj and Girish Soni are yet to seek an official residence and continue to live in their own houses.