With her earlier choice of post-retirement home mired in controversy, President Pratibha Patil, whose term ends on July 24, will now settle down in a consideably smaller bungalow in the pensioners’ paradise.
The house is however not yet ready and she will temporarily move to a bungalow at 2 Tughlaq Lane in New Delhi before shifting to Pune. Raigad, a bungalow on the busy Pashan Road located between a school and a law college, is currently occupied by the Superindent of Police (Pune Wireless Division) PP Sharma, who retired earlier this year.
Pune Collector Vikas Deshmukh said that although the state government had given the go ahead to the Central Public Works Department (CPWD), which will refurbish the bungalow, the department is yet to revert. “We had received a request from the CPWD regarding “Raigad” as Patil’s residence. We had given a go ahead from our side but have not heard back from the CPWD,” Deshmukh said.
“Sharma will soon vacate the bungalow, following which it will be handed over to the CPWD,” Deshmukh said. The bungalow is built over 2,500 sq ft on a one-acre plot. Patil had earlier selected a five-acre plot belonging to the defence forces but gave it up following a controversy.
This had broken in April, when Suresh Patil, a retired lieutenant colonel of the Pune-based Justice for Jawan, a part of the NGO Green Thumb, released details of plans to house Patil on a 2.6 lakh square foot plot, saying it belonged to war widows. The house allotted to her now is reportedly within the specifications of the President’s Emoluments and Pensions Act.