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Addressing the address problem: Why mantris are refusing to vacate their homes

Despite talk of downsizing, the sarkar needs more and more space for housing itself

ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Feb 15, 2020, 11.53 AM IST
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This post-Independence variant of the Permanent Settlement of the British raj might help to explain why the Union minister for housing and urban affairs, Hardeep Puri, has placed on record the dearth of residential accommodation for representatives of the sarkar.
This post-Independence variant of the Permanent Settlement of the British raj might help to explain why the Union minister for housing and urban affairs, Hardeep Puri, has placed on record the dearth of residential accommodation for representatives of the sarkar.
Passing by the White House without realising what it was, a visitor to Washington, DC, asked an individual strolling on its lawns as to who lived in the impressive mansion. The stroller — who happened to be the then-president, Calvin Coolidge — replied with characteristic verbal economy, “No one — they just come and go.” That observation doesn’t always apply to India where incumbents ensconced in official quarters only too often exercise squatter’s right by refusing to vacate even after they have demitted office.

This post-Independence variant of the Permanent Settlement of the British raj might help to explain why the Union minister for housing and urban affairs, Hardeep Puri, has placed on record the dearth of residential accommodation for representatives of the sarkar — from MPs and MLAs, to babus at various levels — in New Delhi and in Chandigarh that, respectively, have a shortfall of 20,054 and 207 housing units for the officialdom. While retirement rules and the glorious uncertainties of the ballot box ensure that our latter-day nabobs and burra sahibs must perforce vacate their offices, there seems to be little compulsion for them to give up their officially provided des res homes, presumably on the premise that having once been the acknowledged lords of the land, they are perpetually entitled to be their own landlords.

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Honouring The Best In Cricket

13 Jan, 2020
One of the most awaited nights in Indian cricket, the BCCI awards, took place in Mumbai on Sunday. The awards were meant to honour the best in cricket for the year 2018-19 in over 25 categories.The who’s who of Indian cricket, from captain Virat Kohli, team coach Ravi Shastri to teammates Shikhar Dhawan, Jasprit Bumrah, Rohit Sharma and others were in attendance. Honouring the cricketers with awards were the newly appointed BCCI Chief Sourav Ganguly and BCCI Secretary Jay Shah. Here are all the major highlights of the star-studded night.
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