Six new bungalows constructed by the public works department (PWD) for Delhi’s ministers are finally complete and ready to be occupied. How many ministers will finally move to the new plush addresses is now everybody’s guess.
Government sources said most ministers have refused to shift to the new bungalows. The reason is common. With assembly elections just a year away, the ministers want to stay close to their electorate and remain accessible to them all the time.
The new bungalows — constructed at Civil Lines in north Delhi — are away from the constituencies of most ministers.
Urban development minister Arvinder Singh, who has been allotted an official bungalow at Sham Nath Marg — not very far from the new bungalows — said he was very happy and comfortable in the existing residence and had no plan to move to the new address.
"I am well-settled and happy where I am living right now. People of my constituency know my house and can meet me whenever they want," Singh said.
Singh is among the four Delhi who live in official bungalows allotted to them.
Power minister Haroon Yusuf shared the same sentiments. "My constituency is very close to my official residence. I'll prefer to stay as close to the people of my constituency as possible," said Yusuf, who lives in Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Marg.
While four bungalows have been being built at 8 Rajniwas Marg, the remaining two have been built at 2 Attatur Rehman Lane — a few hundred yards away from the office of the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi.
The type 8 bungalows have five bedrooms each with a separate drawing-dining and a guest room. Each bungalow has been built in an approximate area of about 930 square metres with all modern amenities.
There is imported marble flooring, modular kitchen, split air-conditioners in each room, modern bathroom fittings, separate rooms for servants and a huge lawn with a jogging track in the new bungalows.
Transport Minister Ramakant Goswami and Social Welfare Minister Kiran Walia currently live in official bungalows at Satya Sadan, Chanakyapuri. The two ministers also said they have no plan to shift to the new bungalows.
"My constituency Rajendra Nagar is spread up to Delhi Cantonment and is just about 5-10 minutes drive from where I stay now. I don't want to move away from my electorate," Goswami said.
Health Minister Ashok Kumar Walia could not be contacted but he had in the past indicated he would prefer to live at his Bharti Artist Colony residence.
Even the minister of the department that has constructed the bungalows will not shift to the new house. "I have always lived in my own house in Behera Enclave," PWD minister Rajkumar Chauhan said.