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State Govt mansions to have a new look

As per the new look plan, the massive building blocks will be decked up with health spas, and cultural centres.

india Updated: Oct 18, 2006 16:16 IST

The demode state government bhawans in the Capital are all set for a makeover. As per the new look plan, the massive building blocks will be decked up with health spas, sprawling food courts, conference and cultural centres, exhibition areas, office space, hotel rooms, cultural centres, conference rooms fitted with state-of-the-art equipments.

Sample this: The huge blocks of AP Bhawan will get knocked down to pave way for the raising of an eight-storied edifice of what is being visualized as a 'multi-use property'.

Maharashtra Bhawan will double up its office and living space by erecting another structure over a six-acre plot at a prime location.

The Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadar & Nagar Haveli, Lakshwadweep, Pondicherry, Goa, Haryana - these are states/union territories that have either put up more than one state bhawan in New Delhi, or are in the process of doing so. In the queue for the juicy BOT contracts are prominent domestic and foreign construction companies including the L&T, DLF, India Bulls, Nagarjuna Construction Company besides the SsangYong Corp and MR Properties of South Korea apart from the state-owned CPWD.

The record of the Bhawan-related unsavoury activities is long. Sometime back, associates of some MLAs were reported to have been photographed in a compromising position with alleged prostitutes at the Rajasthan House. In the past, one Union Minister had continued to occupy two suites in the Meghalaya House for years. At one of the Sikkim Bhawans, one official has continued to occupy a suite for over a year. ' Misuse is common - illegal occupancy averages around 10% at any given point in time and drunken brawls are the order of the day," said a Bhawan official. At the current price index, building a Bhawan can cost anything between Rs.40 to Rs.500 crore and state governments, on an average, require to annually fish out an estimated Rs.10 crore as maintaince costs.

Some states have - or intend to build - upon land assets that have either been lying idle, or have lately been freed after decades of litigation.

Certain other Bhawans have been built on land awarded at concessional rates by the Union Government. Land allotment proposals for new Bhawans are pending from about six state governments, an Urban Development ministry official said.

First Published: Sep 02, 2006 03:36 IST