THE DIRECTORATE of Estates under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has sent notices to the Foreign Correspondents’ Club (FCC) and the Indian Women Press Corps (IWPC) to vacate the bungalows allotted to them as their tenures will soon end.
The notice sent to the FCC on May 4 — with the subject ‘Retention of Government accommodation Bungalow No. AB-19, Mathura Road, New Delhi allotted to Foreign Correspondents’ Club of South Asia’ — conveyed “in principle approval of the Competent Authority for retention” of the bungalow allotted to Foreign Correspondents’ Club of South Asia for a period up to July 31, 2022.
“You are, therefore, requested to find a suitable accommodation and arrange to vacate the aforesaid house on or before 31st July, 2022,” it states.
The notice sent to the President of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club was marked to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.
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A similar notice has been sent to IWPC about Bungalow No. 5, Windsor Place. Addressed to the IWPC President, it states: “You are… requested to find a suitable accommodation and arrange to vacate the aforesaid house on or before 31st July, 2022.”
A senior housing ministry official, requesting anonymity, said: “The tenures of both the clubs have been for nearly over a decade now and their tenures are ending on July 31. We have asked them to vacate and look for other accommodations.”
Shobhna Jain, President, IWPC, said, “It’s a routine procedural thing. We have been given an extension. The letter says that the government has approved in principle the lease renewal for three months. We are in touch with the authorities. We will request them to make it (the lease renewal) for a longer period. For the past 25 years we have been getting these lease renewals.”
The lease was renewed last in 2018 for three years, she said. “The government is giving us renewals and we are quite hopeful that this year too we will get the lease renewed for a longer period,” she said.
On the line that talks about finding a suitable accommodation and arranging to vacate the “aforesaid house”, Jain said, “That’s the standard format, because if lease is being given for three months, it will have to be vacated after three months. That’s a routine procedural thing. In the meanwhile, you get the lease renewed for a longer period.”
Munish Gupta, President, Foreign Correspondents’ Club, said, “We have not received any such letter or information as on date.”
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Last month, the Directorate of Estates (DoE) undertook an exercise to vacate bungalows allotted to a number of Union ministers during their tenures. It evicted MP Chirag Paswan from a bungalow allotted to his father, late Ram Vilas Paswan; BJP MP Ram Shankar Katheria from 7 Moti Lal Nehru Marg; Union minister P C Sarangi from 10 Pandit Pant Marg; and former Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank from 27, Safdarjung Road, the bungalow which was allotted to Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia last year.
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