Bungalow controversy: Nath gives clean chit to Meira



New Delhi: Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath on Wednesday tried to set at rest the controversy over a bungalow alloted to Babu Jagjivan Ram saying that it was not occupied by his daughter Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar after his death and she did not owe any levies for it.

"The question was that the ministry had waived the levies on the speaker Meira Kumar, this is absolutely incorrect. She had not occupied the house (bungalow number 6, Krishna Menon Marg). The house was, after Babu Jagjivan Ram, occupied by his wife and after she passed away, it was empty," Kamal Nath said speaking to reporters here.

"The question of Meira Kumar occupying that house or having any levies against it is just not there," he said.

An RTI query filed by activist Subhash Agarwal had found that a bill of Rs 1.98 crore was was due as pending rent from Kumar for occupation of the said premises since 1986. The ministry, however, claimed that it had issued a no-dues certificate on 27th march, 2009.

Nath said that some of late Babu Jagjivan Ram's belongings lay in the bungalow but it was yet to be decided whether the bungalow was to be converted into a memorial or not.

"No decision has yet been taken on that memorial, so that's why whatever is there....(but) there is no memorial. Some of Babu Jagjivan Ram's things are lying there," Nath said.

"No decision has been taken about how that's going be to addressed by various governments uptill today. As and when a decision is taken, it will be dealt with," Nath said, on whether the Bungalow would be converted in to a memorial.

Nath was also asked whether his ministry had taken cognisance of news reports about alterations done at official accommodations allowed to the BSP supremo Mayawati and her party.

"We have no information on her properties, this has come as a news item and where it concerns the ministry of Urban Development, we will examine it," he said.

The minister said that BSP MPs were entitled to bungalows and if those bungalows were being used for party activities, it was permitted.

Nath also commented that the proposal for the Kochi metro would be taken to the Cabinet very soon.

In response to another question, Nath said that the Kolkata Metro may be shifted to the Railway ministry as per a proposal.

PTI