Ending months of uncertainty, the state sealed the deal to acquire a three-storey bungalow in London on Thursday. The ‘exchange of contract’ between the state government and the owner of the three-storey bungalow in London, where B R Ambedkar had lived as a student in the 1920s, will take place on Friday.
File photo of the 2,050 sq ft bungalow on 10, King Henry Road in North London, where the architect of the Indian Constitution Dr B R Ambedkar lived during his student life in the 1920s. PIC/PTI
Speaking about the final process, Minister of State for Social Justice Dilip Kamble said, “The Indian High Commission in London will exchange contracts with the owner of the house by tomorrow afternoon. Once that is completed, the state government will pay money within the next two days after which the house will be ours,” said Kamble.
The state government, in January, announced the decision to acquire the 2,050 sq feet bungalow for Rs 31 crore and to preserve it as a memorial of Ambedkar, the iconic Dalit leader who headed the Constitution drafting committee. The actual purchase was, however, delayed because of bureaucratic hurdles.
Channel claimed to buy
Earlier, a Marathi TV news channel had claimed that it was in talks with a UK firm for buying the London house. Ravindra Ambekar, chief editor of Mi Marathi channel had said, “Associate Director, Goldschmidt and Howland (estate agent) in London, Adam French, has asked us to come up with an offer for the house.” He added, “We had contacted him expressing the channel’s interest in buying the house as we noticed that the state government was not expediting the process to acquire it,” he said. Putting the claims to rest Kamble said that the government had already paid a token amount of R3 crore 10 lakh to the owner. The rest was ready to be paid when required.