According to a “factual report” sent to the lieutenant governor by the Delhi government's Vigilance Directorate, renovations to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's official house cost a total of 52.71 crore rupees, according to official sources on Thursday.
According to the report, which cited Public Works Department (PWD) data, the cost of 52.71 crore comprised 33.49 crore for building the residence and 19.22 crore for a camp office for the chief minister.
The Aam aadmi Party (AAP) stated in a statement that it is “unfortunate” that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), after failing in all of its efforts to damage Kejriwal's reputation over the previous nine years, is now attacking the chief minister's house.
“The report contains no evidence that any criminal was committed. This is the first time a complex of official residences for the chief minister has been built in Delhi; it includes the chief minister's home, a secretariat for the office, an auditorium, and staff housing,” it said.
According to the report, the then-PWD minister suggested modifying the current building to add an upper floor as well as extra living space in March 2020, including a drawing room, two conference rooms and a dining room with seating for 24 people.
However, the PWD suggested demolishing the current building since it was an outdated construction that had been constructed in 1942–1943, according to the report.
The home at 6, Flag Staff Road was allegedly built in 1942–1943 and is a load-bearing structure. It is not advised to modify the current bottom level or to add another storey since the building is quite ancient and has load-bearing walls, according to the report, which cited a PWD note.
The PWD had suggested that new building might be done there while separating the old home with barricades. The chief minister and his family may relocate to the new home when work is finished, and the old bungalow may be torn down, according to the article.
But a new house was erected there on the advice of PWD experts since the old one, which was built in 1942–1943, had already outlived its usefulness in 1997. The PWD had contended that the older building had “load-bearing walls” and that neither modifying the bottom level nor adding another storey was advised.
However, the PWD was unable to give the paperwork on the destruction of buildings close to 6, Flagstaff Road, the chief minister's official house.
In response to BJP accusations of anomalies in the renovation of the chief minister's official house that were exposed by the media, LG V K Saxena asked Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar to gather all pertinent documents and provide a factual report in April.
The report, which was given to the LG on May 12 and was signed by Special Secretary (Vigilance) YVVJ Rajasekhar, came one day after the Supreme Court granted the AAP administration in Delhi administrative responsibility over service-related issues.
The PWD originally predicted that the work would cost between 15 and 20 crore rupees, according to the article. The first tender for 8.61 crore was sent out on October 20, 2020, and it made no mention of constructing a new structure.
The scope of the work was later expanded in terms of both the built-up area and the plinth area by a number of additional additions and modification plans.
According to the research, the improved standards in every component, including a modular kitchen, a pantry, a closet, and a laundry, made the extra cost necessary.
Additionally, it made note of the fact that the building work was carried out in defiance of a 2020 directive from the finance department that restricted spending to only emergencies during the COVID-19 epidemic.