Sonia, Priyanka on private visit to Shimla

Sonia, Priyanka on private visit to Shimla

Sonia, Priyanka on private visit to Shimla

Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra arrived here on three-day private visit.

They flew to Chandigarh and arrived at a hotel near Charabra, 15 km from here, by road.
Priyanka had bought 4.25 bigha land in the serene pine surroundings near The Retreat, the summer holiday resort of the President of India, and was building a house there.

After a brief halt at the hotel, accompanied by two architects, Sonia and Priyanka visited the construction site.

After inspecting the site for about two hours, they returned to the hotel.

Priyanka had bought the land in 2007 for Rs 47 lakh, and got special permission for the purchase as section 118 of Tenancy and Land Reforms Act does not permit non-Himachalis to buy land in the state. The then state government under Congress had relaxed the rule.

Being in the vicinity of The Retreat, special permission was also taken from the Rashtrapati Bhawan for allowing construction of a house in the area.

The house was almost complete in 2011 but was pulled down as Priyanka was not happy with the size of the rooms and suggested massive architectural and structural changes to make it a unique specimen of hill architecture.

The walls of the cottage, which has been subjected to many architectural and structural changes, were pulled down, president of Shimla district committee of Congress Kehar Singh Khachi, who is supervising the construction, had said.

It is for the second time that the structure under construction ran into problem as last time it was the slate roof that had become vulnerable to water seepage and was replaced by iron roof with wooden ceiling beneath.

More modifications are being done to the cottage under construction for the past four years.