Former NDMC bureaucrats turn squatters in posh Lutyens’ Zone, despite eviction notices
New Delhi:The four top officials and bureaucrats formerly working with the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), or employed in previous Delhi governments, have been accused of squatting on government accommodations in prime locations of the city.
Kanwar Singh Tanwar, formerly vice chairperson of the NDMC, is still occupying his NDMC-allotted New Moti Bagh multi-storey residence.
Tanwar ceased to be the NDMC vice-chairperson after he lost his membership of Delhi Legislative Assembly from Delhi Cantonment constituency in February this year.
Elsewhere, Pawan Khera, the political secretary to former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit, is living on extensions obtained from the NDMC at his Kaka Nagar residence.
V C Chaturvedi, who was a legal adviser with the NDMC, continues to live in his Pandara Park government apartment despite notices.
Meanwhile S S Rao, who was a director with NDMC for over 22 years, has approached the court seeking more time to stay at his Golf Links bungalow, a stone’s throw away from the India Gate.
All of these ex-officials and bureaucrats have been served with several eviction notices and orders, but they have not budged.
However, sources say there are more former bureaucrats living in government homes who were senior in rank and are too well-connected today to be served eviction notices.
Two former NDMC chairpersons, who retired from the agency as well as from the Delhi and Central governments, are still enjoying the luxuries of a government residence in New Delhi.
Officers, who do not wish to be named, said upsetting these retired officials may invite uncomfortable situations.
NDMC employees are provided with housing in the New Delhi area depending on their rank and salaries. These vary from Type-I quarters to Type-VI bungalows in the Lutyens’ zone and its periphery.
The Type-I quarters are valued at over Rs 1 crore.
Officials are allowed to stay on for eight months after their exit or retirement, but rules for contractual employees, advisers and re-employed officials are not well defined, leading to confusion and abuse of power and authority, say officials currently serving with NDMC.
S S Rao joined NDMC in 1992 as a senior administrative officer and later served as a director in health, education, horticulture and several other departments.
After he retired in January 2013, he was appointed as an ‘adviser’ in NDMC and served till December 2014.
An adviser, NDMC officials say, has to leave the accommodation immediately after his service ends, but Rao overstayed.
The Court of Estate officer of the NDMC, where he last worked, has now served him an eviction order.
Rao alleges discrimination and lack of clarity in the rules, saying: “I was not served any notice when my tenure as an adviser was about to get over. Later, I suddenly received this order to leave. I have paid a market rate of Rs 58,000 per month when other officials I know have stayed for 15-20 years at a licence fee of Rs 700 a month only.”
Kanwar Singh Tanwar was NDMC vice-chairperson on account of being the Delhi Cantonment MLA, but he resigned to contest the Delhi Assembly elections and lost to Surinder Singh of the Aam Aadmi Party.
His son Bhuwan Tanwar points at his neighbours — the other “illegally squatting NDMC officials” — to justify his father’s action.
“Why single out us? There are so many others who should be taken to task,” he told Mail Today.
“Surinder Singh, the present NDMC member, in his capacity as the Delhi Cantonment MLA, is not entitled to any facility, room or transportation, but he is enjoying all of these,” he further alleged.
There are questions about why Pawan Khera, ex-CM Sheila Dikshit’s political secretary, and a non- NDMC appointee, should have received NDMC accommodation at all.
He reasoned that he retained the house till October 2014 as an Officer on Special Duty to Sheila Dikshit when she was the Governor of Kerala.
“Now I have got an extension from NDMC on account of my mother’s ill-health. I am anyway planning to leave the house in one-and-a-half months.”
The entitlement of NDMC legal adviser VC Chaturvedi to accommodation is also under a cloud, as the facilities due to an ‘adviser’ are unclear.
He completed his term in December 2014. His wife, though, when visited, didn’t protest the eviction.
Mridula Chaturvedi said: “We are in the process of leaving.”