Water, power connections to ex-Assam CM Prafulla Mahanta's quarters snapped for overstaying
Former Assam CM Prafulla Kumar Mahanta

Guwahati Water and electricity connections to former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta’s quarters inside the Assam Assembly complex were snapped on Wednesday as he has not shifted to a new accommodation despite receiving several notices to do so, officials said.

Mahanta is not an MLA at present and his official residence is not the responsibility of the Assembly Secretariat, the officials said.

The General Administration Department of the Assam government is the nodal agency to provide accommodation to a former chief minister.

“During April, the Assembly Secretariat decided to build new multi-storeyed residential towers for the MLAs in place of the old Assam-type houses. Accordingly, notices were sent to all the MLAs in the first week of May to vacate the premises,” a senior official told PTI.

Assam-type houses have walls of bamboo or reed mesh, plaster set in a wooden framework and wooden floors that are highly earthquake resistant.

Some MLAs live in the existing six-storeyed residential towers, while many reside in the old houses due to lack of available quarters, he added.

The Assembly Secretariat decided to pay Rs 60,000 per month to each of the MLAs, who will take rented accommodation outside the high-security complex in Dispur locality, till the new towers are ready, the official said on condition of anonymity.

“Almost 55 per cent of the MLAs vacated by the deadline of July 18. Some took an extension and all of them vacated by August 15, except ex-CM Prafulla Kumar Mahanta. He kept on seeking seven-day extensions to vacate the place,” he added.

Mahanta has been living in the Assembly complex in a house which was made by joining quarters numbered 54, 55 and 56, since 1985 when he became the chief minister for the first time.

“Though his accommodation is not our responsibility as he is not an MLA anymore, still we provided him with an accommodation. His wife did all the interior designing in the new place by changing the original structure,” the official claimed.

The former chief minister’s wife Joyasree Goswami Mahanta claimed that they have already moved into the new quarters.

“As construction works are going on, so workers snapped electric wire. However, water connection is still there,” she told reporters.

An official claimed that about two months back, the water and electricity connections to the quarters had been disconnected.

However, it was restored after Mahanta’s wife requested the Speaker, the official said.

“As they have not moved out, we were left with no option but to snap the connections. We are paying Rs 60,000 to around 35 MLAs every month for their rented places. The delay in the construction of the new buildings means financial loss,” the official said.

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