Unauthorised construction rampant in the government bungalows
As per the rules, the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) is the only agency authorized to make any alteration or construction in the government quarters. However, reply to an application filed under the Right to Information Act has revealed that unauthorised changes were done to the government Bungalows in Delhi by at least 230 members of parliament during the last 10 years. The reply shows that unauthorized construction on area ranging from 400 to 5,000 square feet has been left standing for several years and in 150 cases, the CPWD is yet to bring down the illegal structures.
A typical bungalow meant for ministers has a plot size of 8,250 square feet. It consists of eight bedrooms, four rooms for domestic staff and two garages alongwith a lawn in front and back.
Some of the unauthorised construction revealed is as under:-
· At bungalow No. 13 on Teen Murti lane, (former residence of Nitin Gadkari) the unauthorised construction includes a room in front, one in the backyard and one near the servants' quarters, measuring a total 1,000 square feet.
· At 10, Talkatora Road bungalow (residence of Shatrughan Sinha), the unauthorised construction includes an additional room and an office on 1,173 square feet.
· There are two unauthorised air-conditioned cabins in the bungalow of consumer affairs, food and public distribution minister Ram Vilas Paswan.
· Amongst others,
· At 23, MT Crest bungalow of Ahmed Patel (Room, toilet and shed);
· At 12, Safdarjang Road bungalow of Harsimrat Kaur Badal (Temporary shed for office and garage);
· At 2, Akbar Road bungalow of Ram Jethmalani (toilet, shed and badminton court);
· At 8, GRG Road bungalow of Sumitra Mahajan (Additional rooms covering 1,560 square feet);
· At 34, GRG Road bungalow of Satish Sharma (Office, rooms and toilet);
· At 171, South Avenue bungalow of Naveen Jindal (cabin of 430 square feet);
The CPWD has issued notices to some of the MPs.
· Suresh Kalmadi was sent a notice for constructing an office, room and shed over an area measuring about 3,300 square feet.
· Kalraj Mishra was sent a notice for an unauthorised construction of temporary sheds and toilets, covering about 3,000 square feet and a badminton court.
· Deepender Hooda, son of Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda, was sent a notice for constructing rooms, toilets and sheds covering 6,113 square feet area at his official bungalow on 9, Pandit Pant Marg.
· Ajay Sancheti was issued a notice for unauthorised alterations in the Bungalow including the removal of windows in the entrance hall, breaking down walls separating bedrooms and toilets besides removing the front portion of the main hall.
The mute question is whether the law makers should be allowed to break the law. The long duration for which the unauthorised construction has been ongoing indicates that the CPWD has been turning a blind eye to it. Further, it also shows that the CPWD norms perhaps do not fulfill the requirements of the MPs. The reply is silent about who paid for the construction and who would pay for the demolition of the unauthorised construction.