Ruchika M Khanna
Chandigarh, July 15
Finding accommodation for members of the Legislative Assembly is proving to be a difficult task for the government. Whether allocating apartments for officers or buying new ones in Chandigarh or Mohali, the government is exploring its options to ensure that all MPs get accommodation in the state capital. .
As the state government plans to purchase apartments for MPs in the Purab apartments developed by GMADA in Mohali, it plans to immediately allocate the apartments for officers in Sector 39 to MPs.
Soon, legislators’ lounge at the Sectt
A lounge for MPs is being set up on the fifth floor of the Punjab Civil Secretariat. It is being prepared on the instructions of the CM, which has received comments from MPs about the “lack of respect” shown to them by officers in the secretariat.
A meeting to find accommodation for MPs took place today. It was decided that the government should start the process of buying more apartments for elected officials.
It is learned that earlier the state government was considering buying apartments from Chandigarh Housing Board at Rajiv Gandhi IT Park but the proposal seems to have been dropped.
With 73% new MPs in the Assembly – 85 in all, including 82 from the ruling Aam Aadmi party – the majority of these MPs don’t even have private residences here. It is for this reason that finding accommodation for MPs is proving to be a challenge. Until the last Assembly, the majority of MPs had served multiple terms and had their own private accommodation in the city or its satellite towns of Mohali and Panchkula, and were unwilling to seek formal accommodation.
Many deputies, all from the ruling party, are crying that they have not been granted an official apartment in the city. Interestingly, in the very first meeting of all AAP MPs, after winning the election, National Party Leader Arvind Kejriwal and Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann asked them to live in their constituencies, not Chandigarh.
The AAP has 92 MPs in the Vidhan Sabha and only 50 of them have a government apartment. Of the remaining 42 deputies, 17 (all ministers as well as the president and vice-president) were allocated bungalows.
There are 117 MPs in the state, but the number of apartments available from the state government to accommodate these MPs is only 64. Up to 38 MPs can be accommodated in Sector MPs’ apartments 3 and 4, 26 deputies were allocated officers’ apartments in Sector 39.
2 ex-deputies have not yet left their apartment
According to Vidhan Sabha officials, two former MPs – Raminder Awla and Sukhpal Singh Bhullar, both from Congress – have still not left their apartment. The family of a former Congress minister lives in Awla’s apartment.