Different strokes: Story of 2 bungalows
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Government officials supervising the work said the renovation will be over in another month.
Central Public Works Department (CPWD) officials said the renovation involves "a lot of work" including refurbishing of rooms, increasing the height of compound walls, redoing the plaster and construction of a couple of additional rooms.
The contractor who won the bid began the renovation work about three weeks ago, said officials.
The six-room, 500-square feet house on a one-acre plot is called Raigad — named after a popular fort in Western Maharashtra — and is 20-25 years old. The plaster on all the walls was being removed to add a new layer, officials said.
The quality of all construction materials like gravel, sand, cement, bricks and steel being used is being closely monitored by CPWD officials. A good portion of the material is being brought from Mumbai, they said.
In view of increased security needs, all the compounds wall around the bungalow is being fortified and its height is being increased considering its proximity to the hills and the busy Pashan Road.
A cabin for security guards at the main gate and a modest office-cum-waiting room for visitors are being constructed on the premises, added the officials
Several agencies including the city police are said to be looking into the security aspects at the bungalow.
Senior officers with the police wireless headquarter said the bungalow has been provided on lease for the use of the former President.
"The property has been leased to the Central Government authorities for lifetime of the two (Patil and her spouse), after which it will be given back to the wireless department," said officials.
According to a source involved in the work, Patil's daughter Jyoti Rathore who is based in Pune has visited the site to take stock of the renovation work. "She visited on Sundays and took stock of the progress in the renovation work," said a source.
Patil, who was initially supposed to settle down in a specially constructed bungalow on a sprawling four-acre plot in Khadki area was allotted the comparatively smaller accommodation on Pashan Road following a controversy that forced her to forgo the Khadki accomodation.
The Pashan Road bungalow was recently vacated by Superintendent of Police (Pune Wireless Division) who retired in 2011.
In July last year, a security audit by the state police had concluded that the bungalow was 'unsafe' and cited its "uncomfortable proximity to the hills."
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