L-G seeks CS’s report on CM’s house renovation, NGT also forms committee to look into complaint

New Delhi: Delhi Lt Governor V K Saxena has sought a detailed report from the chief secretary within a week into allegations levelled by Congress leader Ajay Maken about “extravagant” expenditure and violations in the renovation of the chief minister’s official residence.

Also, the National Green Tribunal has formed a panel, which includes the chief secretary, to ascertain the factual position after a petition claimed violation of environmental norms by the public works department (PWD) in carrying out constructions at the chief minister’s residence and properties adjacent to it.

However, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) hit out at Maken over his letter to the L-G in which he has sought a probe into the alleged violations, calling him a puppet of the BJP in Delhi and stating that false claims were being made to tarnish Kejriwal’s image.

In a letter to the L-G, Congress’ senior spokesperson Ajay Maken had claimed that the amount spent on Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence was not Rs 45 crore but Rs 171 crore and that too during the time of the Covid pandemic when people were struggling to get hospital beds and oxygen.

Maken had also expressed his deep concern and disappointment regarding the “extravagant” expenditure, environmental damage, and violation of heritage protection and zonal plans in the construction of the chief minister’s residence in Delhi. After receiving the letter, the L-G in a communication to the chief secretary directed that a report be submitted to him within seven days.

“Hon’ble L-G has desired that a detailed report on each of the issues raised in the aforesaid representation be furnished within seven days,” the communication read.

The NGT, meanwhile, asked the committee it has set up to submit a report within three weeks and in case of violations, take remedial action in coordination with the statutory authorities in accordance with law.

It was hearing a petition alleging permanent and semi-permanent constructions were raised and more than 20 trees cut in the course of developing 6, Flag Staff Road (CM’s residence) and 45-47 Rajpur Road (properties adjoining it).

“In view of the significance of the requirement of compliance for cutting trees and providing green belt as a condition for constructions in the congested and polluted city of Delhi, we consider it necessary to ascertain the factual position by constituting a joint committee ,” a bench of chairperson Justice A K Goel said.

The bench constituted the committee comprising the chief secretary and Principal Secretary (Environment &

Forest) of Delhi along with a nominee of the Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC) and the District Magistrate of

North Delhi.

The AAP alleged that the BJP and Congress are colluding against it.

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