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Houses for ministers in pecking order

Chandigarh, April 27: Having faced displeasure of some newly inducted Cabinet ministers for not sticking to seniority while allotting portfolio, the government followed the pecking order while allocating official bungalows.
Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh is learnt to have categorically told his office that the seniority criteria has to be followed in allotment of houses.

As a result, some ministers’ desire to have posh bungalows out of the CM pool in the upmarket Sectors 2 and 7 has remained unfulfilled. Eight of the nine ministers have been allotted bungalows in Sector 39.

Minister of School Education and Environment OP Soni, who is fourth in the pecking order, is the only one to get a posh bungalow (No. 69) in Sector 7. But he will have wait for its possession as former Power and Irrigation Minister Rana Gurjit Singh, who had resigned in January, has not vacated the premises yet.

As per rules, the Public Works Department starts charging penal rent from the occupant if the house is not vacated within two months of resignation. While the government rental slab for the first two months is a few thousands, market rent is charged thereafter, which is much higher. Rana Gurjit said he was vacating the house.

Former CM Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, who is occupying a palatial government house in Sector 2, is facing a case for recovery of penal rent.
All other bungalows in Sector 2 have already been allotted to ministers inducted in March last year, when the Congress formed the government.

Other ministers, including Rana Gurjit Singh, Sukhjinder Randhawa, Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria, Gurpreet Kangar, Balbir Singh Sidhu, Vijay Inder Singla, Sunder Sham Arora and Bharat Bhushan Ashu, have been allotted houses in Sector 39.

Source: http://www.tribuneindia.com



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