LUCKNOW – Dalit ki beti Mayawati spent over Rs 86 crore of public money to renovate her 13 Mall Avenue bungalow that she is entitled to as a former chief minister. The renovation work began after Maya took over as chief minister in 2007 but the bulk of the work got completed towards the end of her tenure.
This was revealed in an RTI application that SP leader Shivpal Yadav filed when he was the leader of Opposition during Maya’s tenure. Though the RTI plea dates back a year, the estate department revealed the details recently.
“We are still assessing the total cost incurred and indications are that the money spent might even exceed Rs 100 crore,” a senior estate department official said on the condition of anonymity.
The house sprawls over 5 acres of prime land in Lucknow’s Mall Avenue and is guarded by 20-feet-tall walls made of sandstone from Rajasthan. Originally, 13 Mall Avenue comprised only 2.5 acres, but Maya added an adjoining plot which housed the cane commissioner’s office and had this building demolished.
The main building is single-storeyed and has six inter-connected rooms. They open on to a wide corridor, which contains rows of lockers. On a wall in this corridor hangs a neatly framed large picture of Mayawati taking her first oath as UP chief minister in 1995. Outside the corridor is a verandah with only two windows, both fitted with bullet-proof glass. Each window cost Rs 15 lakh and was specially designed for the house in Chandigarh.
There’s a separate two-storeyed well-furnished guesthouse with 14 bedrooms on the same campus. All rooms have pink Italian marble flooring in keeping with Maya’s fondness for pink stone. This building also has a meeting hall, a security room, garages and drivers’ rooms.