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Delhi Gets Ready To House New MPs

By Anushka Bhardwaj
May 27, 2024 08:54 IST
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'We don't have a say which MP stays where. We prepare everything and allot according to the list we get from Parliament.'

IMAGE: The outgoing 17th Lok Sabha. Photograph: ANI Photo/Sansad TV

The Lok Sabha election will draw to a close on Saturday, June 1, 2024. Preparations have already begun in the national capital to house first-time elected members of Parliament.

The Western Court Annexe, located in Delhi's Janpath region, is preparing to accommodate nearly 100 new MPs after June 4, the day the results are scheduled to be declared.

"The maintenance of the rooms has already begun. We will be able to easily serve nearly 100 MPs," says Himanshu Saini, junior engineer (civil) at the Western Court.

"Additional preparations like maintaining aesthetics, placing wall paintings in rooms, are also being done," he explains.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Western Court Annexe inside the Western Court building in 2018 to accommodate the transit MPs until they are allotted their government residence. 'When new MPs stay in hotels, they make headlines,' Modi had said.

The Western Court Annexe housed over 80 rooms, but there were 312 new MPs -- 267 fresh MPs and 45 were MPs who served in the earlier Lok Sabha. The 16th Lok Sabha had 359 MPs.

Apart from the Western Court building, the state bhavans located in Mandi House and Chanakyapuri serve the new MPs, according to the respective state government orders.

"We get calls from Chandigarh to prepare rooms as soon as the result declarations begin," says a worker at the Punjab Bhawan.

The person handling bookings at the Haryana Bhavan said: "Usually the rooms are vacant so we don't have to reserve any rooms for the result day. We just open the locked rooms according to the demand," he adds.

Saini adds that the list comes to him from Parliament. "We don't have a say which MP stays where. We prepare everything and allot according to the list we get," he elaborates.

A worker at the New Maharashtra Sadan says that they start preparations in advance but the lack of availability is not something they fear.

When asked about the security measures that were being implemented for these MPs, Saini says: "Mostly, Parliament is responsible for the security arrangements. We try to manage the hospitality, which includes food and maintenance."

According to an RTI response in 2014, the government had spent nearly Rs 24 crore (Rs 240 million) on the transit stay of the members of the 16th Lok Sabha in the national capital. Before the construction of the Western Court Annexe, the MPs could reside in either state bhavans or India Tourism Development Corporation hotels like The Ashok and Hotel Samrat.

The cost of the accommodation is borne by the directorate of estates, which is under the aegis of the Union ministry of urban development.

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Anushka Bhardwaj
Source: source
India Votes 2024

India Votes 2024