Almost 20 days after he took over as Delhi’s Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal has finally got a house in his constituency — New Delhi.
The Urban Development (UD) Ministry on Friday allotted a three-bedroom flat at Tilak Lane in Lutyens’ Delhi to Kejriwal.
The ground-floor flat — C II/23, Tilak Lane — with a built-up area of 1,600 sqft and a small lawn adjacent to it, was cleared by UD Minister Kamal Nath on Friday.
The Delhi government had made a specific request for this flat after sifting through the list of vacant properties on the ministry’s website.
Earlier this week, the Delhi government had sent a request for two Type-VI flats for the chief minister on consecutive floors.
The ministry in turn asked the government to clarify on what grounds it was asking for a house for Kejriwal from the Centre’s kitty when the Delhi government had a large pool of houses in the city.
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On Thursday, principal secretary, Public Works Department, Arun Baroka, revised the request and sent a letter to the ministry asking for one Type-VI flat for the chief minister.
“Earlier they were asking for two flats on consecutive floors. We expressed our inability citing non-availability of such flats. So they made another request, for one Type-VI flat, which will be the CM’s residence,” a UD ministry official said. The flat is close to a park where the CM can also hold public meetings.
“The flat allotted to him (Kejriwal) this time is meant for officers above the joint-secretary level. The flat above Kejriwal’s flat is occupied by a Supreme Court advocate who is on the government’s panel,” the official said.
The flat was last occupied by a member of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, he said.
The flat has been lying vacant since November. It was being cleaned up on Friday evening as Kejriwal is expected to shift out of his Ghaziabad house as soon as possible. The CM will have a garage to himself, but it is outside the compound.
Kejriwal had earlier refused to move into a duplex flat on Bhagwan Dass Road after the move elicited a public uproar. He had said he would like a smaller accommodation.
The UD ministry had earlier denied an accommodation to the Delhi CM on the ground that the houses in its kitty were earmarked for Union ministers, bureaucrats, members of the judiciary, Planning Commission officials and members and staff of Union Public Service Commission.
The Type-VIII bungalow allotted to former chief minister Sheila Dikshit on Moti Lal Nehru Marg was cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Accommodation (CCA) in 2002.