Uttar Pradesh ministers lobby for big Lucknow bungalows vacated by former CMs
A at least six ministers in Uttar Pradesh have requested allotment of bungalows in Lucknow vacated by former chief ministers, estate department officials said.Updated: Jun 21, 2018 20:50 IST
Senior ministers in the Uttar Pradesh government are vying for the large bungalows vacated by six former chief ministers, according to officials.
While health minister Sidharth Nath Singh has written to the principal secretary to the CM seeking allotment of one of the bungalows vacated by Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav and party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav respectively, estate department officials claim at least six other ministers are vying for these accommodations.
An estate department official, who did not wish to be named, said senior ministers had requested verbally for allotment of the bungalows vacated by former CMs Akhilesh Yadav, Mulayam Singh Yadav, ND Tiwari, Mayawati, Rajnath Singh and Kalyan Singh.
He, however, refused to divulge the names of the ministers.
Citing paucity of space in his 19, Gautampalli bungalow, the health minister had earlier sought the 4, Vikramditya Marg or 5, Vikramaditya Marg bungalows vacated by Akhilesh and Mulayam. The letter went viral on social media.
‘Rules Need To Be Changed’
However, the estate department is not convinced with the reasons cited by Singh and other ministers seeking allotment of bigger bungalows.
Estate officer Yogesh Shukla said as per rules, ministers are allotted Category 6 bungalows — located on Kalidas Marg, Gautampalli, Vikramaditya Marg and Vibhuti Khand — according to seniority. These are of the same size, facilities and furnishing, but the bungalows vacated by the former CMs are bigger.
“According to rules, the state government will have to fix the category of the former CMs’ bungalows before allotting it afresh,” Shukla said. Another estate department official said the government would have to amend the Act to decide who will be eligible for the bungalows.
No Takers For Mayawati’s Bungalow-Turned-Memorial
However, officials said there were few takers for the 13-A, Mall Avenue bungalow vacated by Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati.
Before vacating it, Mayawati had announced that the bungalow had been converted into a memorial of BSP founder Kanshi Ram on January 13, 2011, and was renamed Sri Kanshi Ramji Yadgar Vishram Sthal.
In a letter to chief minister Yogi Adityanath, Mayawati said the maintenance and security of the memorial was the responsibility of the state government.
Warning the government against amending the order through which the bungalow was turned into a memorial, Mayawati said: “The memorial has a library, museum, several artefacts and murals. If anything is vandalised, it may lead to a law and order problem across the country.”
Though the estate department has deployed security guards, sanitation workers and administrative staff at the bungalow, it is yet to decide its status.
Shukla said according to documents, it was a residential bungalow allotted to the former CM. “The decision to maintain it as a memorial will be taken at the top level,” he said.
Meanwhile, the technical committee constituted by the estate department to assess the damage to the bungalow vacated by Akhilesh is likely to submit its report soon. The committee comprised engineers of public works department, Nirman Nigam and estate department.
Refuting reports that he caused damage to the bungalow while vacating it, Akhilesh said it was a deliberate attempt to tarnish his image. “The bungalow was not in a shambles as being projected by the estate department,” he said.
First Published: Jun 21, 2018 19:37 IST