Rs 12.5 million to be spent on residence management for new ministers

Published On: December 29, 2022 01:20 PM NPT By: Bhuwan Sharma

KATHMANDU, Dec 29: Following the recent change in government, around Rs 12.5 million is to be spent from the state coffers just on residence management for the new ministers. Before the new ministers move into the ministers’ quarters at Pulchowk, the Federal Secretariat Construction and Management Office gets them cleaned up and repainted and supplies other necessaries required by the ministers’ families.                 

The management office staff reached the ministers’ quarters on Wednesday and cleaned the vacated minister's quarters. On Thursday, they are supposed to deliver other supplies to each quarters separately. According to the staff of the office, preparations have been made to deliver materials such as gas stoves, beds, carpets, rugs, curtains, mattresses, refrigerators, heaters etc. If necessary and if requested by the ministers’ family members, sofas are also provided. The employees say that television sets and the internet are already connected to the ministers’ quarters. According to office storekeeper Pashupati Pokharel, a minister's quarter usually costs Rs 500,000 to Rs 600,000 for furnishing, decoration, painting and other management.

Similarly, Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000 is spent on cleaning. The management office has hired 19 employees to clean the ministers’ quarters. According to the office, the family members of the respective ministers have brought additional materials needed for the kitchen. The rent and housing management expenses of the ministers who are not using the ministers’ official quarters will be borne by the government.

Five new buildings were constructed in 2052 BS and 14 old buildings in 2028 BS in the Ministers’ Quarters located in Pulchowk. According to Pokharel, only deputy prime ministers and ministers can use the new buildings based on their seniority. According to him, Finance Minister Bishnu Paudel, Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane and Physical Infrastructure Minister Narayankaji Shrestha will receive the new building this time. As for the old buildings built in the year 2028 BS, there is a provision that the ministers’ family members can choose as they wish.

On Tuesday, the family members of Finance Minister Paudel, Home Minister Lamichhane, Ministers Jwala Kumari Shah, Damodar Bhandari, Abdul Khan went to Pulchowk and chose their residential quarters. Former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba moved from the Prime Minister’s Residence in Baluwatar on Wednesday. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal moved into the Prime Minister's residence on Wednesday evening. Dahal was welcomed by the staff of the Ministry of Urban Development.

After Deuba moved, the employees of the management office reached the Prime Minister's residence and cleaned it. According to Pokharel, this time for the new prime minister, residence management has not been expensive as only Rs 100,000 to Rs 200,000 has been spent at most.

Pokharel said that since Dahal has also moved into a new building, the management of the Prime Minister's residence has not cost so much. According to him, previously, if the Prime Minister changed, Rs 800,000 to one million rupees would be spent on housing management for the new Prime Minister. "This time, when the outgoing Prime Minister moved to a rented house, he did not take anything with him," said an employee of the management office.

“After the minister leaves, the old ministers take the belongings of the quarters where they live. It depends on the nature of the minister's family. Some pick up all the stuff. Some leave everything,” said another employee of the management office.

It will take six months to move to Bhaisepati

It will take at least six months for the new ministers to move into the new ministers’ quarters being built in Bhaisepati. According to Machakaji Maharjan, the chief of the special building project, all the work on the minister's residence in Bhaisepati will be completed within six months. He said that due to COVID-19, the construction of the ministers’ quarters was delayed.

A land plot of 96 ropanis and 10 annas has been allocated in Bhaisepati for the construction of the ministers’ quarters. Each building is built on about seven aanas of land. According to the project, a gym hall, a swimming pool, a community building, a grocery store and living arrangements for security personnel have been arranged in the ministers’ quarters.

Each building has a dedicated yoga room on the top floor. Similarly, on the ground floor of each building there is a waiting room for visitors, a meeting room (with space enough for 15 people), a private room and a personal secretary's room. On the second floor, a room has been allocated for accommodation. A worship room has also been built in each building. The building of the ministers’ quarters is made to reflect Nepali art, culture and tradition. Seven well-equipped buildings will be built in Bhaisepati itself for the liaison office and residential purposes for the chief ministers and the province chiefs.



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