The possible eviction of the Congress from its headquarters in central Delhi is being considered by the government, the Urban Development Ministry has said. The party occupies four bungalows, including its head office at 24 Akbar Road, in the national capital, exceeding what it is entitled to, the ministry said in response to a Right to Information (RTI) query. The other three bungalows are on 5 Raisina Road, 26 Akbar Road and C-II/109 Chanakyapuri. The Raisina Road bungalow is used by the Indian Youth Congress, while 26 Akbar Road and the Chanakyapuri quarters are used for party work. The Directorate of Estates under the ministry said the allotment for the four was cancelled with effect from June 26, 2013.
The Congress party was given land in June 2010 for building an office in the capital. The party was required to have the building constructed within three years of the land allotment, and then vacate the four bungalows by June 2013.
The RTI reply said the All India Congress Committee had requested for an extension of three years and also to review the decision that it had to pay a “damage rate of licence fee” with effect from June 26, 2013. This rate, also referred to as the market rate of a bungalow, is considerably higher than the concessional rate that political parties enjoy. The party has also requested the ministry to charge the “normal rate of licence fee till further extended time”, it said.
The request was under consideration in the ministry, the Directorate said in its reply to the RTI application filed by Delhi college student Aniket Gaurav, who said he was exercising his right to information to expose irregularities. While the house at 5 Raisina Road (Type VII) has been under occupation since July 5, 1976, the one at Chanakyapuri has been in its possession since February 23, 1985.The party’s 24 Akbar Road office is under occupation from July 18, 1990, and the 26 Akbar Road bungalow since March 8, 1994.