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Bihar to retain both guest houses in Delhi, will compensate Jharkhand for its share

Principal secretary, cabinet co-ordination, Brijesh Mehrotra, said Bihar would pay to Jharkhand the amount fixed by the ministry of urban development as one thirds of the total valuation of the two properties.

india Updated: Sep 15, 2017 18:53 IST
Anirban Guha Roy
Anirban Guha Roy
Hindustan Times, Patna
Bihar Niwas,Bihar Bhawan,New Delhi guest houses
Bihar Niwas, one of the two guest houses of the Bihar government, in New Delhi. (File photo)

After a long legal battle, that ensued in the wake of bifurcation of Bihar in November 2000 and carving out of the new state of Jharkand, the successor state of Bihar has finally won its claim to retain hold over both Bihar Bhawan and Bihar Niwas, the two guest houses of the undivided state in New Delhi.

The two prime properties, located in the posh Chanakyapuri locality of the national capital, have plush suites for the Governor and chief minister and are engaged for lodging top politicians and bureaucrats during their trips to New Delhi.

Under an arbitration award by the Supreme Court, the Bihar government has been asked to pay one-thirds of the valuation of the two properties to the Jharkhand government to retain the properties . The valuation of the two properties would be done by the union ministry of urban development.

Confirming this, principal secretary, cabinet co-ordination, Brijesh Mehrotra said the state government would pay to the Jharkhand government whatever amount was fixed by the ministry of urban development as one thirds of the total valuation of the two properties.

Officials said as per a rough valuation, the two properties in New Delhi were worth around Rs 300 crore. As such, one-thirds of the valuation would come to around Rs 100 crore and would be paid to Jharkhand to extinguish its claim on the said properties.

Soon after Bihar’s bifurcation, Jharkhand staked its claim over Bihar Niwas, the newer of the two guest houses and having more rooms as compared to Bihar Bhawan.

However, the Bihar government chose to challenge the Jharkhand government’s claim, leading to litigation over the said properties. But, officials said, the matter was finally settled following the Supreme Court’s order coming on August 22, after both the state governments agreed to settle the matter..

Meanwhile, the Bihar government has received two acres of land at Dwaraka in New Delhi for constructing a new guest house on the pattern of Bihar Bhawan to house top politicians and bureucrats from the state visiting the national capital for official reasons.

Sources said the proposed building would have all the modern facilities and have over 200 rooms so that there was no problem for accommodation of top officials and politicians visiting the national capital.

The cabinet secretary said the process of finalising the architect to lay out the design of the building had started and the formalities of approving the plan would start after that. “There are a few formalities before the construction could be taken up. The process is underway,” he said.

First Published: Sep 15, 2017 18:53 IST