The Congress party submitted a cheque of Rs 25 lakh to the Urban Development Ministry as the fee for a ‘special licence’ for a period between December 2015 to March 2017. The amount is being given for overstaying at 24 Akbar Road and three other Lutyens bungalows.
This comes after the opposition had brought to notice the three-year extension period that Congress has received to build new headquarters by February 2018.
Though the decision is yet to be taken by the Urban Development Ministry on whether or not the party should be allowed the lease, the cheque has been submitted. However, calculations show that the estimated rent for this period should amount to Rs 2.7 crore.
The matter came to light when BJP raised objection that Congress had leased the bungalows in June 2010 for building a party office at 9-A Rouse Avenue but even by the end of three years, which is the official duration any party can rent for, Congress did not vacate the buildings. A notice was thus served to the party in January 2015. This notice stated that the lease of the bungalows had expired and they would now require to pay ‘damage rate of licence fee’.
However, after the notice was issued, Congress got a revised building plans for the new office approved by the New Delhi Municipal Corporation. This was later also sent to the directorate of estates, who is responsible for allotment of Central government accommodation.