The minister however claimed he was ‘not aware’ that the project would cost over Rs 1 crore or that the staff canteen had been demolished for his new office.
New Delhi: Vijay Goel, who took charge as the minister of state for statistics and programme implementation five months ago, is getting a new office. A government office canteen in New Delhi’s Sardar Patel Bhawan is being demolished to make way for the Bharatiya Janata Party minister, reported the Indian Express. The canteen had been renovated last year at a cost of Rs 52 lakh and is now being done up at a cost of over Rs 1.09 crore – and the bill is being footed by the government.
“Most of the work already completed was done on the advice of the Minister’s personal staff. The Minister has suggested some more modifications and alterations according to Vaastu. To comply with the latest suggestions, we may need some more money for which we will send estimates soon,” a Central Public Works Department (CPWD), that is building the new office, said. The official said Goel had inspected the work at the new office.
A CPWD note with details of the construction work, dated January 12, 2018, accessed by the Indian Express said: “The toughened glass round table with single stainless steel frame is to be required instead of existing conference table; existing conference table, conference chair and Minister’s chair has to be replaced; existing window roller blinds should be replaced and existing window films should be removed in Minister’s room; existing corridor doors should be replaced or modified as per new wooden door.”
CPWD officials have said that Rs 71 lakh had been sanctioned for civil, electrical and furnishing work. “The minister’s office needs LED TV, Internet and telephone facilities for which we have sought sanction for another Rs 39 lakh.”
Speaking to the Indian Express, Goel, however, claimed he was “not aware” that the project would cost over Rs 1 crore or that the staff canteen had been torn down for his new office. The minister said when he had been given charge of the statistics and programme implementation ministry, he had asked for an office from the existing rooms. “It’s not my decision to construct a new office. I am not aware whether there was a canteen there earlier. I am also not aware about the cost of the construction of my office. It’s the job of CPWD. The new office is going to be ready in the next few days,” he said.
The canteen on the fifth floor of the building housing offices of the department of personnel and training, the Panchayati Raj ministry and the national security council secretariat, caters to hundreds of government employees. It has been temporarily shifted to the ground floor, near the parking area.