For expansion and redesign of the office of the UT adviser in Sector 9, the administration is set to spend around Rs 80 lakh on works that range from increasing the size of rooms to a complete interior overhaul, it is learnt.
This splurge comes in barely 10 weeks of Vijay Kumar Dev taking charge as adviser to the UT administrator, and also when there is already a controversy over the overhaul of his official house underway at a whopping cost of Rs 1 crore and more. It is worth noting that in Rs 1 crore, one can buy four to five two-room flats in the city’s periphery.
As per the work chalked out for the adviser’s office — on the first floor of the UT secretariat — the chief engineer’s office next to it would be included in the adviser’s current office area, sources have told HT, expanding it overall to run for around 80 feet on both sides of a corridor. The chief engineer would thus be shifted to another space possibly on the same floor.
The adviser’s personal staff would be put up on one side of the corridor, while he will be on the opposite side.
The adviser already has a significantly large space assigned, but Dev has not occupied that since he joined in the last week of December. His predecessor KK Sharma had been operating from the assigned office, but Dev is working from what is designated as the administrator’s office space for when he visits the secretariat or takes meetings.
Dev’s expansive office would also include a retiring room for the adviser as well as the waiting area and a conference room. These features exist already. But work now would include everything from redrawing the basic division of area to windows, furniture and interior features such as the lighting and making the whole complex centrally airconditioned, sources further said.
When and by whom
Tenders would be floated in about a week, and around a month later the work is likely to start if all goes as per plan. Cost break-up calculation for different works is underway. The work — covering a large part of the floor — is estimated to take around five months.
A private agency “recommended by a senior officer” is taking care of the redesigning, said an official. The architecture wing, thus, has little role to play.
“Since the new adviser liked to have a direct say in all departments, and therefore has a larger staff and paraphernalia, this office would now be like his own secretariat,” said an official involved in the planning who refused to be named.
While the adviser could not be contacted since he is abroad, finance secretary Sarvjit Singh, when asked about the plan, said he could not yet confirm any amount or timeline, but the tenders would be out in “about a week”. He said the office space and even the waiting area was being redone to “accommodate the rush of visitors” and “have a larger space for meetings”.
Most other officials refused to come on record on the issue since there is already a row over the renovation of the adviser’s residence in Sector 7.
However, justifying the splurge, an official remarked on the condition of anonymity, “If corporate offices can be fancy, why shouldn’t we match them?”