Maharashtra legislators can occupy extra rooms without paying rent

Since one hostel for lawmakers will undergo redevelopment, leading to a shortage of rooms, the state had asked them to vacate their second room or pay Rs 2,000 per month as rent; this decision has now been scrapped

Legislators from the state, who were recently asked to vacate one of the two rooms in their possession, will continue to occupy additional accommodation without paying any rent to the government.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis made this announcement in the Assembly yesterday, after legislators demanded that they needed two rooms in the city. Fadnavis also scrapped a decision of charging Rs 2,000 per month from the legislators who would have an extra room in their possession.

There are three hostels for the lawmakers Manora, Majestic and Akashvani all situated in south Mumbai. According to the chief minister, the number of official quarters for the legislators would soon reduce because of the plans to redevelop the Majestic MLA Hostel near Gateway of India.

With a view of this situation, the government had sent notices to all legislators last month, asking them to vacate the extra room or shell out rent money for it. This decision has now been rolled back. “The BMC has already declared Majestic Hostel a dilapidated structure and we need to redevelop it.

We are in the process of making accommodation available in other places,” the CM said. Sources said another option could be to pay the legislators a fixed sum per month and ask them to find accommodation in the city themselves.

Dr Sunil Deshmukh, MLA from Amravati in Vidarbha, had suggested that legislators from Mumbai and Thane could give up one of their rooms and these could be allocated to those from the interiors of the state. Reacting to this suggestion, Fadnavis said the government was mulling over this decision.

There are some members of the last assembly (ex-MLAs) who are yet to vacate their rooms. Speaker Haribhau Bagde wanted to know whether these members would be charged the rent. The CM replied that this decision would be taken in consultation with all. The state Assembly has 288 (plus one nominated) members, while the Council has 78 members.

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