The Maharashtra government may disconnect the electricity and water supply of two bungalows and an apartment that have not been vacated by former ministers of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
The ministers have been given an ultimatum of four days, after which the drastic step is expected to be taken next week.
After three extensions of about two months, all the former ministers belonging to the Congress and NCP had to vacate their bungalows by November 22, 2014. A few of the ministers missed the deadline, but vacated the bungalows a few weeks later. However, Manohar Naik, Jaidutt Kshirsagar and Sanjay Savkare (all were NCP ministers) are still to vacate the official accommodations. Naik and Kshirsagar have been occupying Puratan and Satpuda bungalows respectively (about 2,500 sqft) at Malabar Hill. Savkare occupies a 3-BHK flat (1,665 sqft) in Amber building, opposite Mantralaya.
The general administration department (GAD) has prepared the final notice to be served to the VIP squatters, warning them about the disconnection of water and electricity supply. “The notice has been prepared because despite several reminders, the former ministers have failed to vacate the accommodations. We have prepared a final notice warning them about the disconnection, which will be served early next week if they fail to adhere to their promise. All of them have assured us they will vacate the accommodations in two to three days,” said an official from the department.
The GAD had served them a notice, two weeks ago, warning them of ‘serious action’ if the accommodations were not vacated at the earliest.
The ministers, however, will pay the penalty for their overstay after the final deadline. “The two ministers living in bungalows will have to pay about Rs 1.25 lakh, while Savkare will be charged about Rs 80,000 for the overstay of two months. A few other ministers who vacated after the deadline too have been issued notices by the public works department for the recovery of the penalty,” the officer said. The government recovers a penalty at Rs 25 a sqft a month for the first three months of overstay. It goes up to Rs 50 a sq ft per month thereafter.
Savkare — who is in the BJP now — said he has completed the process of the handing over the keys of the flat and the accommodation will be completely vacated by Friday.
Naik’s personal assistant claimed they are waiting for accommodation in the MLA hostel and the bungalow will be vacated in the next few days. Kshirsagar was not accessible despite several attempts.