Bungalows allocated in UPA govt's last days put on hold

Bungalows allocated in UPA govt's last days put on hold

Allotment decision was not legal, says Urban Development Ministry

The NDA government has put on hold the UPA regime’s decision to allot bungalows to many of its (UPA) loyalists and leaders, including former prime minister’s advisor T K A Nair and wife of late Congress leader Arjun Singh. 

According to the Urban Development Ministry, the decision on the allotment of bungalows has been put on hold as it was not legal and made during the elections when the model code of conduct was in force.

“There were certain decisions not to be taken when the model code of conduct was in force. Certain decisions should not have been taken after the polling was over. If this has happened (allotment) and somebody is trying to do something (putting on hold) about it then nothing wrong about it,” Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu said here on Thursday.

 During the UPA reign, the Cabinet Committee on Accommodation (CCA) had extended the allotment of bungalows to Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, former UIDAI chief Nandan Nilekani, former Prime Minister’s advisor T K A Nair and the late Arjun Singh’s wife Saroj Kumari among others.

There are about 15 such persons who have been allotted Lutyen’s bungalows through the former urban development minister and the allotment was approved by the CCA.“All these allotments are to be cancelled as they have not been made as per the criteria,” a senior Ministry official said, adding that “a list of such allotments is being prepared for suitable action”.

Meanwhile, Naidu asked all ministers of previous government to vacate their bungalows at the “earliest” so that it could be alloted to new ministers. “I request all ministers of the outgoing government to vacate their houses at the earliest. They should understand the problem,” Naidu said.

He also said that while allotting accommodation, seniority of the concerned person would be taken into account.

The Ministry also decided that in future, Lutyen Zone government bungalows will be allotted to the Union Council of Ministers and heads of constitutional bodies and not to the MPs. The UPA government had allotted bungalows to MPs from discretionary quota or through the CCA. 

The minister also made a surprise visit to the ministry here and expressed “displeasure” over the late arrival of officials and poor maintenance of the place.Naidu reached Nirman Bhawan, the headquarters of the ministry, at 9 am and walked into rooms of several officers and their supporting staff, an official statement said.

After noticing that rooms of several officers and reporting staff were empty as they were still to reach office, the Minister called Urban Development Secretary Sudhir Krishna and other senior officials and conveyed his “displeasure” over late arrival of officials and poor maintenance of the working place, the statement said.