Sheila Dikshit is out and Manmohan Singh is in. That is the message at 3, Motilal Nehru Marg in Lutyen’s Delhi which will be the post-retirement abode of the Prime Minister.
The renovation and painting work is going at a fast pace at the government bungalow getting ready to host Manmohan and his wife after May 16.
The government Category Type-VIII bungalow on a prime thoroughfare of New Delhi with seven rooms, including four bedrooms, is getting a facelift. Its former occupant - former Delhi Chief Minister Dikshit -- has shifted to Raj Bhavan in Thiruvananthapuram as the Kerala Governor.
Once Manmohan and his wife Gurcharan Kaur move to their new abode after May 16 - there is a buzz that they may do so a day earlier as the Lok Sabha results will be out that day -- they will have fruit bats for company.
The residence spread in the 3.5-acre plot has a sprawling garden and is also famous for its semal (red silk-cotton) trees. Dikhsit had built a nature trail in the garden to feel close to nature.
The Central Public Works Department has been looking after the painting work while the flooring of some rooms is being changed. About 40 people are working to get the house, which has manicured lawns and pruned gardens, ready by the end of this month. Besides the main residential area, there is office space, staff quarters and garages. “The security has already been increased and nobody without identity cards is allowed to enter the house. We are carrying some repair and painting work and are also constructing shelters to accommodate security personnel,” said a contractor. Manmohan and his wife will be entitled to stay in the bungalow for their lifetime. Prime Ministers are expected to vacate their 7, Race Course Road residence the day they step down.