The Centre has declined a request from Gujarat MPs for land in Delhi to construct another bhavan (guesthouse). Several MPs from the state had requested for another plot of land in Delhi, saying there is paucity of suites in the present bhavan located in Chanakyapuri.
But the Ministry of Urban Development, which allots land in the Capital, informed the state that no land was available to build another guesthouse, and they had already been given additional land to build an annexe building. The state argued that several states such as Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have more than one guesthouses in Delhi.
Uttarakhand, too, was recently allotted another land on Rouse Avenue in central Delhi.
In its letter, the state said that since there was only one main suite available in the guesthouse, it would be difficult to accommodate the governor, the chief minister and the Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court in case all of them visit the Capital at the same time.
“The argument the state government put forth was that one suite meant that either of the two guests — the CM or the governor — stays at the guesthouse and the other person moves into a five star hotel. They also said the five star hotel stay was an added burden as it involved the accommodation of the support staff,” said a senior ministry official.
But the proposal was declined by Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath citing paucity of land.
Sources said at least 14 MPs had written to the ministry. The state was allotted a 1418.166 sq metres of land at Kautilya Marg in Chanakyapuri in 1998, which has 81 guest rooms, including nine suites, 68 double bedrooms, and 4 single bedrooms.
“They were provided another piece of land where they have constructed the annexe building. There are many states who only have one guesthouse in the city,” said a senior ministry official.
The court also expressed its concern over rise in crimes in outer Delhi areas.