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Mayas latest is sandstone mansion in Lucknow


Mayas latest is sandstone mansion in Lucknow

Last updated: March 15 2012
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  • Mayas latest is sandstone mansion in Lucknow

    Lucknow: It’s a two-storey palatial structure of deep pink sandstone, with granite floors and a massive dome. It’s coming up at 9 Mall Avenue in Lucknow — outgoing chief minister Mayawati’s latest acquisition of prime real estate in the city. It is fenced by high pink sandstone walls, with four watch towers manned by security personnel at the corners.

    Barricades on the road in front kept out the curious onlookers who went to look at the building on Wednesday after reading reports that Mayawati had bought it.

    The property is in Lucknow’s high-security zone, close to the BSP headquarters and Mayawati’s 13 Mall Avenue residence, allotted to her as former chief minister. Nobody is allowed entry into the building. A man at the massive brass entrance gate notes down details of every labourer who moves in or out.

    Most of the construction is over; a supervisor on the site said the finishing will take another three months.

    Mayawati bought the 71,000-square foot property on November 3, 2010. The affidavit filed with her Rajya Sabha nomination yesterday said its current market value is Rs 15.68 crore.

    Sources in the estate department said the property originally belonged to army officer G C Mishra, from whom it had been rented for Rs 360 per month many years ago. Former prime minister V P Singh stayed in it, and it later became the offficial residence of the assembly speaker. Speaker Mata Parsad Pandey stayed in it from July 2004 to May 2007, when Mayawati became chief minister.

    Navneet Sehgal, secretary in the estate department, said, “It was a private property. The estate department had taken it on lease for a few years. I have no idea when it was sold.” The old bungalow was demolished soon after Mayawati bought it, and work begun on the new structure. The property is off the main road, and not many noticed the change. People in the area did not know Mayawati had bought it; since stone and granite was liberally used in the construction, they assumed it was another of the memorials that she has been fond of building.

    A worker said the building has five rooms each on the ground and first floors. Two white marble statues of Mayawati stand near the portico, on either side of the entrance to the main building. CCTV cameras keep a watch on all activity inside the complex. There is a garden at the back, and rooms for servants by the gate. “The building was constructed under the supervision of Mayawati’s OSD Pawan Sagar. Mayawati herself never visited,” said a staff member.
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