There is a shortage of VIP housing in the Capital. It is not just MPs who are cross that they have not been allotted houses, which they feel they are entitled to, there are several Central ministers who believe they have been short-changed over their accommodation. It is surprising, therefore, to find that a government bungalow in the heart of Lutyens' Delhi has been reserved for the SPG's dog squad. Sniffer dogs have been housed in a bungalow on Safdarjung Lane ever since the squad was formed. No one has paused to consider whether the canines could not be kept at a further distance in less pricey kennels. They could easily be transported in a dog van to the locations where their services are required.
Private, not public
Raj Kumar Chauhan is the Delhi government's controversial PWD minister and a great favourite of Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit. Chauhan has encroached the children's public park next to his residence in Bhera Enclave, west Delhi, for the exclusive use of his family and guests. Instead of children playing in the garden, one sees politicians and hangers-on in a huddle waiting for an audience with the minister. Not only has Chauhan taken over the park next to his house, he has also closed the main gate of the colony. Besides the park, he has appropriated the vacant plot next to his house. The Delhi minister seems to have forgotten the appellative of his portfolio, Public Works Department. Instead, he looks upon Bhera Enclave as his private estate.
His predecessor General V K Singh was unusually forthcoming with the media, in fact, rather garrulous and judgmental for an army chief. General Bikram Singh is the complete opposite. He has kept away from the media and given instructions to his principal staff officers and army commanders that they should not talk to the press. The army chief was accustomed to dealing with journalists; during the Kargil War, he was the colonel responsible for daily briefings. But Bikram Singh, who has been one of the targets of V K Singh's barbed attacks, feels that restoration of harmony in the army is priority and this will come only if everyone in uniform maintains a stiff upper lip.