In a major development, several reports have stated that a Lok Sabha panel has asked former MPs overstaying at their official bungalows in Lutyens’ Delhi, to vacate their residence within a week. The officials have also been asked to disconnect power and water supply to these accomodations. CR Patil, Chairman of the Lok Sabha Housing Committee, told reporters, “Today, in the meeting of the Housing Committee, it was decided that in three days power, water and gas connections will be disconnected and former MPs have been asked to vacate the houses within a week.” He added that none of the MPs have stated that they will vacate the bungalow.
As per rules, former MPs are required to vacate the bungalows occupied by them within a week of the dissolution of the previous Lok Sabha. The previous Lok Sabha had been dissolved by President Ram Nath Kovind on May 25. And it has, therefore been more than two months since the dissolution of the previous Lok Sabha. As per a source, “More than 200 former Lok Sabha MPs have still not vacated their official bungalows, which had been allotted to them in 2014.” Republic claimed that the source also said, “Newly-elected MPs have been provided temporary accommodation at Western Court and several guest houses till the time they are allotted a full-time residence in Lutyens’ Delhi.”
Earlier, it had been reported that the newly elected members of the lower house would not be entitled to accommodation in five-star hotels. They would be put up in the Western Court premises and bhavans of various states instead. Lok Sabha Secretary Snehlata Srivastava had said, “Around 300 rooms have been arranged along with other extensive facilities to render all possible assistance to the Members of Parliament (MPs) so that they do not face any inconvenience when they arrive in the national capital.” She had further stated, “The newly-elected members will be accommodated in the Western Court and its newly-built Annexe and various state bhavans. Thus, the Lok Sabha Secretariat has done away with the system of transit accommodation in hotels.” As per an official close to former Lok Sabha speaker, Sumitra Mahajan, a meeting had been chaired by her concerning preparations for the induction of the lower house. It was during this meeting that the decision was taken to put an end to the practice of accommodating newly elected MPs until they are provided official accommodation.
The move of doing away with five-star accommodation led to cost cutting of Rs. 30 crores and also came as a loud and clear message against the VVIP culture. And now this move of ordering the MPs to vacate their bungalows comes as a strong blow to VVIPsm.