Work on CM house marked as ‘addition’ but new structure built: Vigilance dept report

The work done on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s official residence on Flagstaff Road was marked as an addition and alteration but an entire building was constructed to replace the existing structure, the vigilance department report filed in the matter states.

The report states that the initial proposal for work on the building was sent by the then Public Works Department (PWD) minister, Satyendar Jain, in March 2020; and it said the existing accommodation was “not sufficient to cater to various meetings as well as formal meetings”.

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“It is, therefore, directed to construct two additional meeting rooms, one additional drawing room, and one additional formal dining room of capacity of about 24 persons at the ground floor…,” the report, quoting the proposal, states.

It adds that the accommodation on the ground floor is provided on the first floor by adding an additional storey.

In response, PWD officials said that since the building was constructed in 1942-43 and was old, with load-bearing walls, remodelling the ground floor to create an additional floor was not recommended.

The officials recommended that additional construction be done within the premises and the existing bungalow be “separated by barricading”.

“After the construction is completed… CM and his family may shift to the new bungalow and the existing bungalow be demolished,” the report, citing the recommendation, said. The officers also proposed an accommodation for security personnel and a parking facility.

The report, prepared by Special Secretary (Vigilance), YVVJ Rajasekhar, who has been at loggerheads with the AAP government over the past month, also states that the built and plinth area increased from 1,397 sqm to 1,905 sqm during the project’s execution and that an additional Rs 6.94 crore was spent on “superior specification work”.

This included “making artistic work to ornamental moulding over RCC”; a sky-light window over the main staircase area; and use of Burma teak wood.

The report also states that building plans were not sanctioned by PWD’s building committee and the work order does not speak about a camp office being created and only a staff block.

The report has been submitted by the vigilance department to the Lieutenant Governor.

The AAP, in response, said there was no irregularity. “It’s unfortunate that the BJP, after failing at all its attempts to malign the CM’s image over the past 9 years, is now targeting CM’s residence. There is nothing in the report to say any crime was committed. This is the first time an official CM residence complex was created in Delhi comprising the CM residence, office secretariat, auditorium, staff quarters etc… Modi ji is scared of the increasing popularity of Delhi CM and has unleashed all agencies against him. Modi ji has not been able to find irregularity worth a single penny,” it said in an official statement.