Turned down by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah as his official residence, the grand Hari Niwas complex located near the world famous Dal lake is all set to be converted into a VVIP guest house.
The complex has also served as the official residence of former Chief Minister Gulam Nabi Azad for less than a year and is located in high security Guptakar area in foot of Zabarwan hills.
"The Hari Niwas complex at Srinagar shall be transferred from the Estates department to the Hospitality and Protocol department for its proper upkeep and management," an order issued by the state government said.
The government shall have the option of re-using it as the official residence of the Chief Minister in the future, it said adding that a complete inventory of the assets shall be prepared before the complex along with the assets is taken over by the H&P department.
"The complex shall be properly maintained and managed by the H&P department as a valuable property of the state. It shall essentially be utilised as a VVIP state guest house and also for holding high level/selective banquets, receptions and conferences," the order said.
Before Azad gave it a facelift and made it as his official residence, it served as headquarters of Criminal Investigation Department. In the peak of the militancy, it was used as an interrogation centre and a safe house to keep arrested militants.