Former revenue minister Eknath Khadse is in the middle of another controversy. This time, it is because he continues to occupy ‘Ramtek’, a posh government bungalow situated in upmarket Malabar Hill.
Anil Galgali, an RTI activist from Mumbai alleged Khadse has not taken the required permission from the state government to continue staying in the bungalow more than 40 days after his ouster.
Fifteen days after leaving the ministerial post, permission has to be taken to occupy the official residence for the next three months at the rate of Rs25 per sqft. This rate goes up to Rs50 per sqft after three months.
Khadse, however, said he has applied for permission a few days ago.
Following a series of corruption allegations against him, Khadse was forced to resign from the minister’s post on June 4.
As the senior-most minister, Khadse was allotted the sprawling 8,857 sqft bungalow.
Galgali’s RTI query sought information about the two government bungalows allegedly allotted to Khadse.
SM Dhule, public information officer, general administration department (GAD), in his reply on July 13, 2016, confirmed Khadse was still occupying the bungalow, and no permission had been granted yet.
He, however, said Khadse was never allotted two bungalows during his tenure.
Khadse said he has applied for permission 8-10 days ago. “I am fully aware of the rules and thus have sought permission. I am also ready to pay charges to occupy the government residence,” he told Hindustan Times.