A tent house, a tailoring shop, a Bengali newspaper and a dhobi shop. No, we aren’t talking about some marketplace in the city. These commercial establishments are running out of servants’ quarters and garages of residential premises allotted to MPs by the government in Lutyens’ Delhi.
Documents accessed by Newsline show that in a survey done by the Delhi Police in 2012 and 2013, more than 35 MPs from the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were found to have allotted their garages and servants’ quarters to such establishments.
The Delhi Police has written to the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) several times, citing how the running of these establishments are not only “inappropriate” and clear misuse of facilities but also a “security concern”.
According to the list, the establishments are running in the residential premises of four MPs belonging to the BJP, three to the INC, two to the SP, one to the JD-U, four to the BSP, one to the BJD, one to the DMK and one to an independent candidate. The remaining addresses in the list belong to MPs who have either passed away or to those who have been allotted new addresses.
Sources in the Delhi Police Headquarters said the matter had reached the Ministry of Home Affairs and the housing committees of both the Houses.
Police officers said they were only in a position to bring the matter to the notice of the authorities concerned. The authority to seal the garages or the quarters or prevent the commercial establishments from running in these premises lies with the CPWD, they pointed out.
In letters over three years, in 2011, September 2012, and in 2013, the Delhi Police has cited how the matter poses a security concern. “There is every possibility of a threat in these areas considering the establishments cater to the general public as well. Not everyone visiting these premises can be verified. This is a VVIP locality and the threat perception is always very high. With tailoring shops and dhobi shops running in these premises, the general public is bound to visit these areas. This poses a great risk,” a senior