NEW DELHI: Scarcity of bungalows with no scope to construct any more in Lutyens’ Delhi has put the government in a fix on how to meet the growing demand from senior politicians besides chairpersons and members of different commissions and quasi-judicial bodies. Out of the nearly 625 bungalows in the top categories (Type-7 & Type-8) in central Delhi, only 305 are available under the ‘General Pool’ to meet the demand of central ministers, secretaries, heads of constitutional authorities and ex-ministers awaiting accommodation from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha as per their entitlement.This category also takes care of demand of some institutions while 18 have been allotted to chairpersons and members of commissions and tribunals.
Sources said there is no problem or delay in providing accommodation to judges of the Supreme Court and Delhi high court as 76 bungalows are in the ‘Judges Pool’. But officials admitted that it’s actually a problem to provide high category bungalows to ex-judges attached to tribunals and commissions, though they are entitled to get Type-7 and Type-8 accommodation. Chief Justice of India T S Thakur had pointed out on Saturday how former SC judges were declining to serve as chairmen of tribunals because the government “is not ready even to do the bare minimum of providing a dignified place for them to occupy“. In his response, law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said it was not possible to provide every retired judge with bungalows of same size as that of sitting judges.
While Type-8 bungalows have five bedrooms, Type-7 have four bedrooms. Both have servant quarters, lawns and garage.
Sources said there are about six dozen tribunals and commissions and they require about 220-222 houses. Till recently, there was no separate quota for chairpersons and members of tribunals and commissions, so they were getting accommodation from the ‘General Pool’. The urban development ministry has pooled 38 Type-7 flats and 100 Type-6B flats in the Commonwealth Games Village to meet a part of this requirement. A few of these have already been allotted but in most cases, allottees are reluctant to take them, sources said.
TOI has learnt that in 2013, the UPA government had decided to develop a complex in Ghitorni in South Delhi where all tribunals would be located and residential facilities provided. But nothing has moved so far. Officials said a group of ministers in the last government had recommended that ministries relating to the tribunals should pay a lump sum amount to office-bearers for rent, travel and daily allowances rather than seeking government accommodation.
Credits ET Realty