Yeh kaisi ‘Maya’ hai?
Reply by the Estate Department of Uttar Pradesh to an application filed under the RTI Act has revealed that the Mayawati had spent over Rs 86 crores to renovate her sprawling Mall Avenue bungalow when she was Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. She is currently the occupant of the house in the capacity of the former chief minister.
The total money spent might touch Rs 100 crore as the Estate department is assessing the exact cost spent on it.
The House on the Lucknow's 13 Mall Avenue was earlier known as Speaker's House, and was occupied by Mayawati in 1995. The renovation work started in 2007 after Mayawati became the chief minister for the fourth time and was completed only towards the end of her tenure in 2012. The area of land on which the house stands is now 5 acres and was increased by adding the land of the adjacent cane commissioner's office and demolishing the building. The main features of the house are:
- The main single-storeyed building has six inter-connected rooms
- There is a wide corridor containing rows of lockers containing a large picture of Mayawati
- A verandah with only two windows, both fitted with bullet-proof glass costing Rs 15 lakh each
- A separate two-storeyed well-furnished guesthouse with 14 bedrooms
- Guesthouse has pink Italian marble flooring and a meeting hall
- Two 20-feet statues - one of Mayawati and the other of her mentor late Kanshiram
- Five marble statues of elephants
- A barbed fencing round the boundary walls
- A closed-circuit TV network
While an inquiry has been ordered, it is a mute question how such expenditures were allowed to happen and are such similar extravagant spending is happening elsewhere?
Reports of Mayawati having another set of four government bungalows with large-scale unauthorised constructions in New Delhi have surfaced.