There is a flurry of activity at two of the VIP bungalows in the Lutyen's Zone of the national capital, with one preparing to bid farewell to its special guest of 10 years while the other is being decked up to welcome its new resident.
A sprawling bungalow at 3, Motilal Nehru Road, will now be the new abode of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, once he retires after Lok Sabha elections and the PMO said that the work is almost completed at the new address where he is to move in.
"The Motilal Nehru Road bungalow is almost ready to move in. Shifting of stuff from the official residence to the new place is underway. Lot of stuff has been shifted and more is on its way," Media Adviser to Prime Minister Singh, Pankaj Pachauri said.
"Prime Minister's wife Gursharan Kaur has herself been visiting the new bungalow to oversee the work being done there," he said.
A new sentry post has been erected at the main entrance while inside, horticulture staff are busy manicuring the lawns. Stone slabs and other raw materials were also seen being wheeled into the premises. Work on putting up the security cabin at the main gate is also underway.
But, movement isn't just at the new address. 7, Race Course Road, the official residence of the Prime Minister is also busy packing up, books, flower vases and gifts given to Singh, a Rajya Sabha MP, for whom the pristine bungalow has been home during two successive terms of the UPA government.
All gift items received by the Prime Minister, including many from foreign dignitaries, are being systematically listed. While Singh is taking away some gifts with him, the rest he is leaving behind and they will be kept at the 'toshakhana'.
Among articles that Singh is taking along are some books, four to five carpets and a few tea sets. Among other items, Singh had also received a bat gifted by British Prime Minister David Cameron, which he is leaving behind at the official residence, he said.
After serving as the office for the government for 10 years, the PMO too is getting refurbished and the upholstery, etc. is being changed there too, he added.
Pachuari said that Singh would shift to the new bungalow as soon as the next incumbent takes oath.
The residence at 3, Motilal Nehru Marg, a type VIII bungalow which comes under the CPWD and is spread over 2.5 acres, was vacated by former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit recently. (MORE) PTI KND
The four-bedroom bungalow with well-maintained lawns and office space meets the requirements of a former Prime Minister. Designed during the British era, the bungalow has been given a new paint job and the shining Doric columns in its portico only enhance the beauty of the building, which will soon be another landmark on the VIP address map of the city.
The new address, area-wise, falls under the jurisdiction of the New Delhi Municipal Council. Its top official said, "NDMC would do whatever is required of it, even though the bungalow belongs to CPWD". "Our job, as for any other bungalow falling under our jurisdiction, is to chip off any overhanging branches inside the bungalows, and maintain cleanliness in the streets adjoining them," NDMC Chairperson Jalaj Srivastava said.
"Lot of movement of raw materials is happening in and out of the building. So, after CPWD is done with its work, we will see if any smoothening of the kerbs are needed or not," he said.