Ajay Maken of the Indian National Congress on Sunday alleged that the renovation of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence cost more than three times the previously reported amount of ₹45 crore, claiming that the actual figure was ₹171 crore.
“There are four bildings around Kejriwal’s house which house 22 officers. Since the renovation began, these flats are being vacated for the expansion of Kejriwal’s bungalow. Now, to accommodate the officers, the government bought 21 type-5 flats at Commonwealth Village at the cost of ₹6 crore each. This money comes from the state exchequer and this should be added to expenditure made for the CM’s bungalow,” Maken said.
When the controversy over Arvind Kejriwal’s bungalow first emerged, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government rejected the accusations and claimed that other Chief Ministers and even Prime Minister Modi had spent much more extravagantly.
Ajay Maken stated his intention to write to the Lieutenant Governor to draw attention to the apparent disregard for Delhi’s master plan. “Higher FAR (floor area ratio) shall not be permissible in redevelopment in Lutyens Bungalow area, Civil Lines area and monument regulated zone,” Maken said.
“I remember when I used to go there, this is a single-storey building. This area is older than Lutyen’s area. And today, they are making three floors across 20,000 square feet. I want to ask the people of Delhi whether this is not a violation of Delhi’s heritage,” the Congress leader stressed, adding that 28 full-grown trees have been cut down for renovation.
Despite the government passing the budget for the significant renovation project, there was no indication that the funds would be allocated to the Chief Minister’s residence.