Public Works Department (PWD) officials were in a tizzy after Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal ordered the removal of all air-conditioners from the north Delhi bungalow where he is likely to shift next month.
The chief minister is currently putting up in Kaushambi at a house allotted to his wife.
The house at 6, Flagstaff Road has two lawns, a drawing and dining area and two servant quarters. It has about six window air-conditioners.
Sources close to Kejriwal said he does not use an air-conditioner even in peak summer due to health issues. “He doesn’t have an AC in his room in Kaushambi and when he shifted to Tilak Lane last year, even there he did not use AC. At the party office, he used to ask the staff to switch off the AC. Even when we were campaigning in Varanasi during the Lok Sabha elections, he used an air-cooler in his room,” said a party member.
Kejriwal is likely to shift on Navratra (April 29) as it is considered auspicious. But PWD officials busy renovating the north Delhi property are in spot over the last-minute demand to remove all ACs.
“It will leave large openings in the walls that would then have to be filled either by making windows or through some other makeshift arrangement. We are trying to convince him to not to remove all ACs as his parents’ room in Kaushambi has an air-conditioner,” said a PWD official.
Even officials at the Delhi Secretariat are worried as he may ask to switch off the AC there too. Since the secretariat is centrally air-conditioned, an entire floor or the whole building could be affected if the chief minister decides to switch off the cooling system.
The house on Flagstaff Road was the official residence of the Delhi assembly Speaker. Former Speaker Prem Singh also lived here. Kejriwal, elected from the New Delhi constituency, stayed at Tilak Lane when he first became CM.