The renovation of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s official residence cost a total of Rs 52.71 crore, according to a “factual report” submitted by the Delhi government’s Directorate of Surveillance to the lieutenant governor, official sources said on Thursday.
The cost of Rs 52.71 crore included Rs 33.49 crore spent on the construction of the house and Rs 19.22 crore on a camp office for the prime minister, according to the report, citing records from the Department of Public Works ( PWD).
It is “unfortunate” that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), after failing in all its attempts to smear Kejriwal’s image for the past nine years, is now targeting the prime minister’s residence, the Aam aadmi Party (AAP) said. it’s a statement.
“There is nothing in the report to say that any crime was committed. This is the first time that an official residence complex for the prime minister has been created in Delhi, comprising the prime minister’s residence, a secretarial office, an auditorium and accommodation for staff,” he added.
The report said that the then PWD minister had, in March 2020, proposed additional accommodation arrangements (a living room, two meeting rooms and a dining room seating 24) and the addition of an upper floor through redevelopment. of the existing structure. .
The PWD, however, proposed demolition of the existing structure on the grounds that it was an old one, built in 1942-43, according to the report.
“The bungalow at 6, Flag Staff Road is claimed to have been built in 1942-43 and is a load-bearing construction. In view of the fact that it is a very old construction and has load-bearing walls, it is not recommended to remodel the ground floor or to create an additional floor,” the report said, citing a PWD note.
The PWD had recommended that additional construction be carried out within the premises and that the existing bungalow be barricaded. Once the construction is complete, the prime minister and his family can move into the new bungalow and the existing bungalow can be demolished, according to the report.
“However, it was at the recommendation of PWD engineers that a new bungalow was built on the same premises as the existing structure, built in 1942-43, had outlived its life in 1997. PWD had argued that the old construction there were ‘load-bearing walls’ and it was not recommended for redevelopment of the existing ground floor or to create an additional floor,” he added.
The PWD, however, was unable to provide the file on the demolition of structures adjoining 6, Flagstaff Road, the official residence of the Prime Minister.
Amid allegations of irregularities in the renovation of the prime minister’s official residence raised by the BJP and highlighted by the media, LG VK Saxena ordered Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar in April to secure all relevant files and submit a factual report.
The report, signed by Special Secretary (Surveillance) YVVJ Rajasekhar, was submitted to the LG on May 12, a day after the Supreme Court handed executive control over service matters in Delhi to the AAP government.
According to the report, the PWD had initially estimated that the construction would incur a cost of Rs 15-20 crore. The first tender of Rs 8.61 crore was awarded on 20 Oct 2020 and did not mention construction of a new building.
Subsequently, several new proposals for extensions and reforms were made that expanded the scope of the work both in the built-up area and in the plinth area.
The additional cost was necessitated by higher specifications in all components, including a modular kitchen, pantry, cloakroom and laundry, according to the report.
He also noted that the construction work was carried out during the COVID-19 pandemic contrary to a 2020 order from the finance department that required emergency spending only.
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