Law soon against renovation of Vidhana Soudha, ministers' quarters

Law soon against renovation of  Vidhana Soudha, ministers' quarters

The State government will soon bring a law prohibiting renovation of government buildings, including the Vidhana Soudha and ministers’ quarters, according to IT and BT Minister S R Patil.

Even in the name of Vaastu, the redesigning of and changes to government buildings will not be allowed, Patil said in the Legislative Council on Friday during a discussion on a private bill which seeks to prohibit the disfigurement of government structures.
“It is not correct to change the design or break the walls of government buildings,” he stressed. “Only those (people) who lack maturity will indulge in such acts.”

Even Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was “not aware” of the recent demolition of a wall at the Vidhana Soudha, Patil claimed, referring to the reported incident during the renovation of a chamber belonging to Social Welfare Minister H Anjaneya.

In 2008, JD(S) MLC, M C Nanaiah, had moved a private bill — the Karnataka Legislature Salaries, Pensions, Allowance and Other Law (Amendment) Bill, 2008 — seeking to ban disfigurement of government properties, including the Vidhana Soudha. It also sought to prohibit superstitious practices.

On Friday, Nanaiah sought to know the status of the bill and reiterated that even religious activities such as homa, havana, etc, should be prohibited in government buildings. Patil, however, did not respond to this particular suggestion.

Nanaiah explained how ministers were “splurging” on renovation of their government bungalows. He said a minister had spent Rs 16 lakh on “modernising” a toilet, whereas another spent Rs 80 lakh on renovating a government bungalow allotted to him. How would original plans remain intact if walls and pillars were demolished in the name of modernisation and renovation, he wondered.

He said ministers should use government offices and houses without making structural changes to them. There should be no change even in the name of Vaastu, he demanded.

Most Cabinet ministers own houses in Bangalore. Instead of staying in them, why do they move into government quarters and demolish them in the name of Vaastu, Nanaiah asked. Even if a minister stays in a private home, he/she is entitled to a monthly house allowance of Rs 25,000 and maintenance allowance of Rs 5,000.
Nanaiah further pointed out that until 2009, not a single wall in the Vidhana Soudha had been demolished. When Patil assured that the government itself was considering making a law to prohibit such practices, Nanaiah withdrew his private bill. 

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