Judges Bungalow lives up to its name no more

Judges Bungalow, one of the iconic addresses of Ahmedabad city, has moved away from its name, literally.

Built as residences for High Court judges, this enclave in Bodakdev locality is fast turning into a colony for bureaucrats.

At present, the Judges Bungalow colony on the Judges Bungalow road has 30 bungalows, each spread over an area of 500 square yards or more.

Only nine of these are occupied by High Court judges, including the Chief Justice. While six other bungalows are occupied by IAS and IPS officers, an officer of the Indian Account Service resides in one of them. Two others are occupied by state-government appointed commissions (D K Trivedi and B J Shethna commission), two by district-level judges and one bungalow is used as Judges Guest House. Nine of them are vacant.

Three IAS officers S Jagdeesan (MD, Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd), Hasmukh Adhia (Principal Secretary, Education Department) and Rajesh Kishor (Principal Secretary, Health & Family Welfare department) have been allotted bungalows in "very special case" on state government's instructions.

Others who occupy these bungalows are retired additional chief secretary B K Sinha, retired IPS officer and member of State Human Right Commission Sudhir Sinha, Additional DGP (Prisons) P C Thakur and Indian Account Services officer P Mukherjee.

"For reasons unknown, many of the serving High Court judges do not prefer to live in the Judges Bungalow colony. Of the 30 bungalows, almost 20 bungalows were lying vacant for the last several years, and so, the state government requested the High Court to allow it to allot these bungalows to senior IAS/IPS officers so that these can be maintained on a regular basis. The High Court agreed last year and seven bungalows were renovated at the cost of around Rs 50 lakh each and allotted to six senior IAS/IPS and one Account Services officer," a senior official of the state Road & Building department said.

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