Bungalow heat on VC

The Raiganj University vice-chancellor's stay in a six-room bungalow here has irked the officials of state water investigation and development department to which the property belongs.

By Our Correspondent in Raiganj
  • Published 25.07.15
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Raiganj, July 24: The Raiganj University vice-chancellor's stay in a six-room bungalow here has irked the officials of state water investigation and development department to which the property belongs.

The department asked VC Anil Bhuimali to pay over Rs 70,000 as rent for the occupation of Meghdut Bhavan and he is set to be told to confine his stay to two rooms.

Soon after assuming charge of the newly-formed university, Bhuimali started staying in the two-storeyed inspection bungalow in Karnajora. Bhuimali said he had been "granted permission" by water investigation and development minister Soumen Kumar Mahapatra to use the bungalow till the VC's official house was constructed.

Contacted, Mahapatra said the entire bungalow could not be occupied by one individual.

"The VC of Raiganj University had approached me for temporary accommodation. We allowed him to stay at Meghdut Bhavan. However, I have learnt that he is occupying the entire premises. That is not acceptable. Our senior engineers should have a place to stay at night during official work. I have instructed our engineers to tell the VC to use only two rooms and set aside the rest for our department," said the minister.

On July 9, the executive engineer of the department, Kaushik Chakrabarty, also sent a letter (a copy is with The Telegraph) to Bhuimali asking for payment of Rs 72,080 as rent for his stay in the bungalow.

"Bhuimali used three rooms on the ground floor from May 18 to 31, for which Rs 12,040 was fixed as rent. The department charges Rs 860 as rent for the ground floor a day. The rest of the amount, Rs 60,040, has been fixed as rent for the occupation of all six rooms from June 1 to July 8. The daily rent of the bungalow is Rs 1,580," said a source.

At the end of last week, Gautam Biswas, the Siliguri-based superintending engineer of the department, wrote to the North Dinajpur district magistrate, Randhir Kumar, drawing his attention to Bhuimali's occupation of the bungalow. Kumar said he had received the letter. "I have nothing to do. I have forwarded the letter to the department concerned," Kumar said.

Bhuimali, however, said he had every right to stay in the bungalow. "I had taken permission from the minister concerned to stay at the bungalow. Now, I do not know why an engineer of the department has complained to the district magistrate. I am on official work and staying in a government bungalow," he said.

Told that the minister had expressed surprise over the occupation of the entire bungalow, Bhuimali said: "I have not occupied the bungalow by force. That is all I have to say."