The state is cracking the whip on former ministers who have overstayed their welcome in official bungalows. It is all set to recover a penalty from them for not vacating the properties even after three extensions.
The ex-ministers will have to pay a penalty of Rs25 per sqft per month after the third extension, which ended on November 22.
The bungalows and flats occupied by the former ministers measure between 1,600 and 4,000 sqft and the penalty adds up to anywhere between Rs20,000 and Rs50,000, till Monday.
There are eight former ministers from the Congress-NCP government, who have not vacated their official accommodations.
The government gave the former ministers leeway in the form of three extensions after repeated requests from them and in the wake of the delay in the expansion of the incumbent government. Despite this, however, Jaidutt Kshirsagar (Satpuda), Arif Naseem Khan (A-6), Manohar Naik (Puratan), Anil Deshmukh (Jetwan), Hasan Mushrif (C-6), among others have not vacated their residences.
With 20 more ministers coming in after the swearing-in last Friday, the government has decided to serve notices to the former ministers.
“We have only 33 bungalows available for the ministers. Two of them have already been allotted to IAS officers, so we actually have only 31. With 30 new ministers, we need the bungalows to be emptied urgently,” said an official from the general administration department (GAD).
The official said the proposal has been sent to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. “The penalty translates to an amount that is meagre for them, but we cannot afford to allow them to continue occupying the bungalows because there is tremendous pressure to accomodate the newly-inducted ministers,” the officer said.
“Most of them have been orally telling us they are about to vacate the bungalows soon, but except for Rajesh Tope, none of them have given us firm reason. Tope’s father is being treated at a city hospital and sought extension till December end,” the officer added.