Punjab: Coffers empty, ministers keep house renovation to minimum | India News

Captain Amarinder Singh, Captain Amarinder Singh, minister house, Captain Amarinder Singh house, Amarinder Singh house renovation, indian express news, india news The Punjab CM’s residence in Chandigarh on Wednesday. Source: Jaipal Singh

EMPTY COFFERS, already posing a challenge to the new regime to run the state smoothly, have forced most of the ministers to settle in their official bungalows with just a fresh coat of whitewash and much needed repair.

Barring Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, who is getting a few washrooms renovated at house number 45 in Sector 2, and state Advocate General Atul Nanda, whose house needs complete repair, most of the ministers are doing it with just a whitewash.

Sources said according to rough estimates, about Rs 25 lakh was required for the house allotted to Nanda and less than Rs 15 lakh for the CM’s house. “We are yet to get the final figures. We will know only after work is completed,” said a government functionary.

He added that former CM Parkash Singh Badal had not used a washroom designed by his wife Surinder Kaur Badal ever since she passed away. “This was lying unused. Hence, its pipes got clogged. The incumbent CM is getting it renovated along with another washroom. Repairs are being done wherever needed. There is no lavish spending.”

Badal had vacated the house soon after the new government took over. Former deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal also vacated his house (number 44). That, too, has been allocated to the CM.

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Sources said Nanda’s house was earlier with former Food Minister Adesh Partap Singh Kairon, who had not got it renovated. It was old construction and needed to be made liveable.

PWD Minister Razia Sultana has not opted for a house. She will continue to use her personal residence at the Mansa Devi Complex.

Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, allocated house 47, earlier with former Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia, too, will do with a whitewash. Sources say the house is in good shape. Manpreet had stayed in that house when he was FM with the Badal government from 2007 to 2010 before quitting.

Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, allocated house 42 in Sector 2, is yet to get possession. Former Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal is yet to vacate it. Sidhu, however, is getting his office on the fifth floor of the renovated state secretariat. Sources said the room had a stench as water was seeping in the walls. “The minister has told us to use the same furniture. He doesn’t want a lot of money spent on the office.”

Technical Education Minister Charanjit Singh Channi has retained his house 46. He was allocated that house by the previous regime being the CLP leader. “He has asked only for a whitewash.”

Power Minister Rana Gurjit Singh, who already has a palatial house in Sector 4, has been allocated a house, number 16, in Sector 7, where former transport minister Ajit Singh Kohar used to stay. The house was vacated on Tuesday.

Other ministers, Sadhu Singh Dharamsot and Aruna Chaudhary, have been allocated houses in Sector 39.