Sim­i­lar to Man­mo­han’s Sim­ple Life­style

The Economic Times - - Com­pa­nies -

In that at least, he shares a trait with pre­de­ces­sor Man­mo­han Singh, who’s also known for his sim­ple life­style.

Of­fi­cials in the spe­cial team at the Cen­tral Pub­lic Works Depart­ment (CPWD), which is en­trusted with get­ting the PM’s home ready, haven’t been asked to make any changes. Some sur­mise this could be be­cause Modi’s a bach­e­lor. Fam­i­lies of min­is­ters and par­lia­men­tar­i­ans who move into Lu­tyens Delhi bun­ga­lows usu­ally come up with spe­cial re­quests for changes in the colour of walls to up­hol­stery, fur­ni­ture and fit­tings. “Maybe be­cause the new PM comes with­out the baggage of a fam­ily, this time it’s dif­fer­ent,” said one of­fi­cial. “We are paint­ing the house now and we may change up­hol­stery if needed.” A se­nior of­fi­cial at the Na­tional Gallery of Mod­ern Art (NGMA), which loans art­works to the PM’s house, said there had been no com­mu­ni­ca­tion from the PMO for any changes. Modi’s res­i­dence as chief min­is­ter of Gu­jarat was min­i­mal­ist in na­ture, with the liv­ing room hav­ing just four chairs and a small cen­tre ta­ble. That home in Gand­hi­na­gar is in a com­pound shared with the gov­er­nor of the state and nes­tles in a grove in­hab­ited by swans, pea­cocks and other birds.

7 RCR is ac­tu­ally five bun­ga­lows — Nos. 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 — spread across 12 acres on Race Course Road, which has been blocked off for the PM’s house and of­fices for the past three decades.

These bun­ga­lows were orig­i­nally de­signed by Robert Tor Rus­sell, who was part of British ar­chi­tect Ed­win Lu­tyens’ team when he was de­sign­ing New Delhi in the 1920s and 1930s. Rus­sell also de­signed Teen Murti Bha­van, Con­naught Place and the East­ern and Western courts on Jan­path.

Af­ter the as­sas­si­na­tion of prime min­is­ter Indira Gandhi at her 1 Saf­dar­jung Road bun­ga­low in 1984, 7 RCR was cho­sen as a more se­cure lo­ca­tion for son and suc­ces­sor Ra­jiv Gandhi. To­day, 1 RCR is a he­li­pad, No. 3 is where Man­mo­han Singh stayed with his wife and No. 5 was the guest house, and pos­si­bly where Modi will choose to stay. 7 RCR, which lends its name to the en­tire com­plex, is where the PM has his home of­fice. The last bun­ga­low, 9 RCR, is oc­cu­pied by the Spe­cial Pro­tec­tion Group (SPG) that guards the PM.

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