Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati spent a staggering Rs. 86 crore of government funds to renovate her sprawling Mall Avenue bungalow when she was Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh with some windows costing Rs.15 lakh each.
Details of the renovation work and the expenditure incurred were brought in public domain in an RTI reply by the Estate Department to an application filed by PWD minister and Samajwadi Party leader Shivpal Singh Yadav when he was leader of Opposition.
The house is being occupied by Ms. Mayawati in her capacity as former Chief Minister.
Mr. Yadav said an inquiry has been ordered and strict action would be taken against those found guilty of irregularities.
Details of the RTI reply were released by the Samajwadi Party in a statement released to the press on Wednesday.
The money, which was spent by the Estate department, could touch Rs. 100 crore as the department is assessing the exact cost spent on it, according to an official.
The renovation work of the house, which covers about five acres of prime land in Lucknow’s 13 Mall Avenue, commenced soon after Ms. Mayawati became Chief Minister for the fourth time in 2007, but was completed only towards the end of her tenure early this year.
Ms. Mayawati added the land from the adjacent cane commissioner’s office and demolished its building to include the area in 13 Mall Avenue which was originally only 2.5 acres.
The main single-storeyed building has six inter-connected rooms which opens to a wide corridor containing rows of lockers. On a wall in this corridor hangs a neatly framed large picture of Ms. Mayawati taking her oath as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister for the first time in 1995.
Outside the corridor is a verandah with only two windows, both fitted with bullet-proof glass. Each window cost Rs. 15 lakh and was specially designed for the house in Chandigarh, according to the RTI reply.
There is a separate two-storeyed well-furnished guesthouse with 14 bedrooms, with pink Italian marble flooring and a meeting hall on the same campus.
The campus also had two 20-feet statues on the premises, one of Mayawati and the other of her mentor late Kanshiram besides five marble statues of elephants, it was stated.
For the security of the house, an issue of concern for Ms. Mayawati, there is a barbed fencing round the boundary walls. A closed-circuit TV network was also installed to keep a close watch on the visitors.
Though bulk of the expenditure was incurred by the Estate department itself, some funds were spent by the Nirman Nigam and some other agencies like the Lucknow Nagar Nigam, Home and Culture Affairs department, sources said.
Ms. Mayawati occupied this house, earlier known as Speaker’s House in 1995 when she first became Chief Minister.