Charabra (Shimla) : Four years after buying a land piece, close to the prime Presidential estate â€˜The Retreatâ€™, Priyanka Vadra (nee Gandhiâ€™s) dream cottage will take longer to come up than what was anticipated for the first construction already stands completely demolished.
â€œThe cottage was demolished after seeking permission,â€ said Mohinder Singh, minister for urban development. Citing reasons for demolishing the cottage the owners stated that we would be buying additional land. However, we are yet to receive the revised building plans for the cottage,â€ he said.
Sources privy to the matter disclosed that earlier under constructed two storied cottage for which the Bhoomi Pujan was done on 5th September, 2008 had to be razed because of design flaws as well as the material used.
Having settled upon a reputed local civil works contractor of Tibetan origin, the new cottage is expected to be constructed on a larger plot, with a hill design and plentiful use of wood, slate roofing and other local materials to keep it eco-friendly.
With senior congress leader Vidya Stokes helping in locating the land for the Vadraâ€™s, a patch of 4 bighas and 5 biswas (about 1 acre) was bought in August, 2007 for Rs 46.97 lakhs after the state government granted permission for allowing the land sale.
Sources disclosed that there were two other plots adjacent to Priyankaâ€™s plot that had been bought prior to them having a high profile neighbor but they had been unable to construct summer cottages on the north facing slope.
The demolished cottage was constructed under the guidance of a Delhi based architect. With Priyanka, on inspecting, not satisfied with a concrete roof and size of rooms, an attempt was earlier made to incorporate design changes that could not solve the construction problems.
Photo by Amit Kanwar