Brijesh Kalappa and members of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) have asked the government to withdraw its decision to convert the Balabrooie Guest House into a club.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Kalappa, who recently joined the AAP, said the government decision to turn the guest house into a constitutional club for the MLAs would reduce its sanctity. “The building has a history of 172 years and has trees hundreds of years old. Converting such a structure as a club for MLAs threatens its sanctity,” he said.
The club is unnecessary when the MLAs enjoy several other facilities, he said. “They are paid Rs 60,000 as field allowance and Rs 50,000 as travel allowance. They also have Rs 20,000 as salary for a personal aide. It is condemnable that the government intends to provide more luxurious facilities in the name of a constitutional club,” Kalappa said.
Heritage conservators also suggest that the place should be left untouched. “It is one of the oldest bungalows in the city and many important people who have contributed greatly to the state and the country have stayed at the place. Since it is one of the oldest buildings, it also carries archaeological significance. Hence, it is important to preserve it,” said Meera Iyer of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH).
While it would be a great relief if the building is preserved, she wanted the government to open it to the public.
“The public does not have access to many of the heritage structures in the city. It would be great if the government allows public access to this building at least,” she said.
In October 2021, the state government proposed to convert the building into a constitution club for legislators. Following the proposal, the Karnataka High Court had directed the government to maintain status quo with regard to the matter.