Putting the ball in the NDA government’s court, the Congress has replied to the Centre that they cannot vacate the party headquarters on Akbar Road as the building plan for the alternate site they have been offered has not been sanctioned by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, controlled by the ruling BJP.
The Urban Development Ministry had cancelled the allotment of four prime properties occupied by the Congress party, including the party headquarters on 24, Akbar Road in January this year.
An official from the ministry said that as per the policy on Allotment of Land to Political Parties, Congress was required to vacate four bungalows at 24, Akbar Road, 26, Akbar Road, 5, Raisina Road and C-II/109, Chanakya Puri in June, 2013.
The Congress has been given land on 9-A Rouse Avenue to construct its headquarters, but it never shifted there.
Responding to a notice from the Ministry, the party replied that their building plan for the new site has not been sanctioned by the civic body and they should be given an extension of six months, the official said.
In January this year, the Ministry issued a statement that the Congress will be charged a licence fee till it vacates the bungalows.
“Subsequently, Congress sought further three years time to vacate these bungalows,” a statement issued by Ministry said.
A senior official from North Delhi Municipal Corporation, however, said the civic body cannot be blamed for the delay. “The Congress party had submitted a layout plan about three years ago and we had cleared it. A couple of days after they were served the notice to vacate the bungalows, they came up with a new building plan. It is impossible to clear the plan within a couple of days as it has to go to several agencies. This was a delay tactic,” he added. While 24 and 25 Akbar Road are the party headquarters, 5, Raisina Road is the Youth Congress Office.