Weddings or cultural events inside BSP memorials can wait; the unutilized administrative buildings of these monuments could soon have VIP occupants, if sources in the government are to be believed.
Lying vacant now for years, the administrative blocks at Kanshi Ram Smarak and Baudh Vihar Shanti Upvan on the erstwhile Jail Road in Lucknow would now serve as offices of some newly appointed ‘netas’ conferred the minister-of-state rank in the Samajwadi Party Government.
Bowing to the growing pressure and clamour among party leaders for the ‘lal batti’ (red beacon light), the SP had recently appointed around 50 people as advisors, chairmen of various institutions, corporations and government bodies.
The posts come with a minister-of-state rank, a position, which besides requisite personal staff also includes other perks like a red-beacon car, an official accommodation and an office.
Forget staff, over two dozen of these VIPs had complained that they did not even have a proper office space from where they could function.
“While we somehow managed to provide a vehicle to each of these ministers, these is a severe space crunch in providing office space to them,” said an official of the Estate Department requesting anonymity.
His office receives a pile of letters daily from these newly appointed VIPs requesting “suitable” office accommodation and office staff.
“The pressure was mounting on us. On Monday, the chief secretary finally took up the issue and held a meeting on how to tackle the problem,” he said.
The officials were told to outsource the manpower requirements of these VIPs, send the proposal related to expenditure to be incurred on this to the finance department and proceed after obtaining approval of the chief minister.
It was on providing office space to these ministers that the recommendations of the 10-member panel appointed by the Samajwadi Party Government to suggest utilization of vacant buildings and unused space inside BSP memorials came handy.
The committee had suggested that administrative blocks of Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar Samajik Parivartan Sthal in Gomti Nagar, Rama Bai Rally Maidan, Kanshi Ram Smarak and Bauddh Vihar Shanit Upvan could be given to government agencies on rent.
“The panel’s recommendations were accepted by the monument’s management committee headed by principal secretary, Housing, Sadakant on May 21,” said an official on the panel.
The State Government was now considering letting out rooms in these administrative blocks of the memorials as offices to these ministers, he said.