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Home Secretary gives the miss to fortified bungalow

Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi.  

The 3 New Moti Bagh bungalow, customised with communication and other security-related equipment for the Union Home Secretary, in southwest Delhi has so far not found favour with Rajiv Mehrishi, recently appointed to the post. The reason is that he does not want to move out of the house he now occupies on Lodhi Estate, a stone’s throw from Khan Market in Lutyens’ Delhi, sources say.

The bungalow has been earmarked for the Home Secretary, and the New Moti Bagh complex is home to the who’s who of the bureaucracy, including P.K Mishra, Additional Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Officials are in a fix as they will have to add the security paraphernalia in the Lodhi Estate house now. “Security features have been added to the bungalow as the Home Secretary may have to call a sudden meeting at his residence in case of an emergency. The entry points have been secured by boom barriers and door-frame metal detectors,” a senior official says.

The previous Home Secretary, L.C. Goyal, moved into the bungalow after Anil Goswami was also forced to resign from the post following a controversy over calling the Central Bureau of Investigation to favour Matang Sinh, an accused in the Saradha chit-fund scam. Once an officer demits office, he or she has to vacate official accommodation within 30 days. The bungalow was earmarked in 2012, and its first occupant was R.K. Singh, now a BJP MP from Ara in Bihar.

A senior official in the Union Urban Development Ministry, custodian of all government property in Delhi, says Mr. Goyal can keep the house if he wants, since Mr. Mehrishi is not shifting anyway. Post his voluntary retirement, Mr. Goyal has been made chairman of the Indian Trade Promotion Organisation.

The New Moti Bagh bungalow is of Type VIII, spread over an area of 8,250 sq.ft with eight bedrooms, front and rear lawns, two garages and four servant quarters.

Mr. Mehrishi moved into the Lodhi Estate bungalow, also of Type VIII, when he was appointed Finance Secretary. He can continue to stay there as it is a general-pool accommodation.

The present Finance Secretary, Ratan P. Watal, lives in a Type VII house in New Moti Bagh complex.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2021 7:53:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/home-secretary-gives-the-miss-to-fortified-bungalow/article7656529.ece

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