After dilly-dallying for over a fortnight, the Union urban development ministry has cleared the allotment of two duplex flats for Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The two flats with a total built-up area of 6,000 square feet and 10 bedrooms are located next to each other on Bhagwan Dass Road.
While one will have the CM’s residence, the other will house his office. The houses, located in the DDA officers’ colony near Supreme Court, have five bedrooms each, a spacious drawing-cum-dining room, balconies, kitchen, vitrified tiled floors, chrome-plated bathroom fittings, a big garden, etc.
Sources said the flats allotted to Kejriwal were actually meant to accommodate DDA officers but since he was looking for a house in central Delhi, not very far from the Delhi Secretariat, and had refused an accommodation in Lutyen’s Bungalow Zone (LBZ) that houses the Capital’s who’s who, the government settled for the two houses in the colony.
While former chief minister Sheila Dikshit spent most of her tenure at 3, Moti Lal Nehru Marg residence, the first chief minister in the reconstituted Delhi government, Madan Lal Khurana, was allotted 33, Sham Nath Marg house in North Delhi.
"He worked out of his Kirti Nagar residence for first few months. He moved to the official residence eight months later," Khurana’s younger son Harish said.
His successor, Sahib Singh Verma, lived at 9 Sham Nath Marg, which currently houses Arvinder Singh.
In her first term as chief minister, Sheila Dikshit lived at a modest Mathura Road house.
It was only after Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vijai Kapoor vacated the Moti Lal Nehru Marg bungalow after completing his tenure and new L-G Banwari Lal Joshi settled at Raj Niwas in north Delhi that Dikshit got it allotted in her name.
The UD ministry had earlier turned down the Delhi government’s request for a flat in LBZ for Kejriwal.
The Delhi government then zeroed in on a five-room guest house belonging to Indraprastha Power Generation Company Limited to accommodate the CM and his family.
Delhi Government officials said they were getting the houses cleaned to ensure that the chief minister’s family moved in as early as possible.
"Some of AAP volunteers visited the house a few times and were supervising the work," a Delhi Government official said requesting anonymity.
The two flats can be converted to one by removing the boundary wall that separates them.