30 MPs to be shifted out from Ashok hotel

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NEW DELHI: Nearly 30 Members of Parliament, who are staying in Hotel Ashok for the last 8-10 months would now be shifted to either state guest houses or to hotels where charges are less. Government sources said that the exercise could be over in the next few days.

TOI has learnt that the first preference would be to find accommodation for Lok Sabha MPs in state guest houses where the daily rent is up to Rs 1,000 per day. In some state guest houses, daily rent is as less as Rs 45 (Odisha Bhawan) and Rs 50 (Assam Bhawan). “In case there is no room availability in the state guest houses, then they can be accommodated in Samrat hotel or Janpath rather than continuing their stay in Ashok, which is comparatively expensive,” a source said.

In a response to RTI application by Delhi resident Ved Pal, the urban development ministry had given details of the rent in state guest houses and the three hotels run by Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC). According to the reply, hotel Ashok was charging Rs 7,000 per day only for accommodation till September 2014, and now it has been increased to Rs 9,000. Similarly, in the case of Samrat and Janpath the rent has been revised from Rs 6,000 per day to Rs 7,000.

Last month, the parliamentary house committee, which allocates accommodation to MPs, had asked the MPs either to shift to government flats or be ready to foot the hotel bill for their stay. Sources said this was done to create moral pressure on the law makers, but the government in no way can shed the responsibility to provide transit accommodation to new MPs until they get permanent ones.

So far government has released about Rs 35.75 crore on the transit accommodation of MPs between 1990-91 and 2013-14. Sources said the outstanding bill from ITDC-run hotels and state guest houses would be another Rs 20-25 crore. Earlier ITDC had raised the issue of the high outstanding amount, which has become unbearable for it.

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