Immediately after Narendra Modi's swearing-in ceremony, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Mo nday shifted to his retirement abode at Motilal Nehru Marg in the heart of the city after staying for 10 years at the official residence of Prime Minister at 7 Race Course Road.
The 3 Motilal Nehru Road bungalow was all decked up to welcome its new occ upant.
The former Prime minister was accompanied by his wife Gursharan Kaur when he checked into the house after attending the swearing-in ceremony of Modi and his cabinet at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
All of his belongings had already been shifted to his new address from the 7, Race Course Road residence where he stayed during his stint at the helm of two successive terms of UPA government.
Singh's new address is a spacious Type-VIII bungalow amid a sprawling three-acre plot. The place with well maintained lawns and office space meets the requirement of a former Prime Minister.
Earlier, the four-bedroom bungalow was the official residence of Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit who vacated it after her party's loss in the Delhi Assembly elections.
CPWD completely renovated and restored the bungalow by re-doing the entire flooring and pillars after Dikshit vacated the it.
Several security features have also been added to the bungalow including a new sentry post at the main entrance and the height of the periphery walls have also been increased as per the specifications provided by Special Protection Group (SPG).
Singh, being a former Prime Minister, will enjoy SPG protection along with his family, although the security cover will be toned down from the days when he was in office.
With the allotment of a Lutyen's bungalow, Singh and his wife would be entitled to occupy the house for their lifetime.
The bungalow is home to about 40 full-grown trees, including peepul, arjun, goolar, marorfalli, jamun, neem, mango and seemal, which shelter about 60 species of birds and mammals.
The sprawling lawns of the property also provide shelter to a sizeable number of bats.
"Although no count has been taken, the bats could number more than 200," said a senior CPWD official who was involved in getting the house ready for Singh and his family.
Commonly known as fruit bats or flying foxes, these creatures can be seen hanging from the trees inside the bungalow compound.
Besides bats, one can spot several varieties of birds such as green pigeon, mynah, koel, parakeet, owl, kingfisher and bulbul in the trees in the bungalow. There is also a small lotus pond in the spacious lawn.
While renovating the bungalow, CPWD was careful about not disturbing the flora and fauna of the property, which has been there since the time of its earlier occupant, Dikshit.
In fact, Dikshit had made efforts to protect and enrich the ecology of the premises during her stay there, said Lima Rosalind, an environment expert who was involved in the Green Canopy Interpretation Programme for schoolchildren at the bungalow.
"The 3, Motilal Nehru Place bungalow has rich flora and fauna and a 'Nature Trail' was constructed along the wall of the bungalow to show various kinds of trees, shrubs and birds to the schoolchildren as part of the programme," said Rosalind, who has also written the book, 'Flora and Fauna at 3, Motilal Marg.