NEW DELHI: The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO)situated on prime real estate in South Block here is facing a space crunch. However, the PMO has a prime target in its firing line to tide over the lack of room.
Last week, according to sources, the PMO wrote a letter to the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) to move out of its rooms in South Block.
The DAE, which is one of portfolios held by the PM, has its headquarters in Mumbai, but it keeps three rooms in South Block, especially for the Secretary. It remains to be seen if the DAE will hand over the rooms on the first floor, but it has already created a flutter.
“It shows that the PMO is really going to be pro-active in managing its space,” said a government official.
The letter has led to some trepidation in South Block, especially since the DAE’s rooms are basically like an island surrounded by the MEA.
In the last five years, there have a couple of attempts from the PMO to garner more space in South Block from the MEA, but they had been rebuffed successfully.
PMO officials had pointed out that only about 10 per cent of the rooms in South Block belong to the PMO, with the MEA getting more than 100 rooms and the rest occupied by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
With Modi’s PMO already demonstrating a more assertive nature than that of his predecessor Manmohan Singh’s, there is a wariness that the MEA, which is right next door to the PMO, could also be muscled out of the prime real estate.
There is also the MOD on the other side, which is always ready to pounce on any vacant space. “MOD officials seem to proliferate like rabbits. See them in every nook and cranny, taking over our space,” complained a senior MEA official.