Omar vacates Government accommodation at Gupkar

File Photo of Omar Abdullah

A month after he took to social media saying he would be vacating the government accommodation at high-security Gupkar Road soon, former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Monday vacated this house. The accommodation was allotted to him in 2002.

An Estates department official told the Greater Kashmir that Omar has shifted from the government accommodation to the nearby house of his father and National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah.

“He has moved out to his father’s residence and no one is putting up in the government bungalow now,” the official said. However, the official said “several belongings of the NC vice-president, including gym equipment, were still lying at the government accommodation.”

“Shifting this out will take two to three days and possession of the house will be taken back by the department next week,” the official said, wishing not to be named.

A National Conference leader also confirmed Omar vacating the government accommodation and shifting to the nearby residence of Dr Farooq Abdullah. “Yes, he has already shifted to Dr Farooq’s residence”, the NC leader said, wishing anonymity.

On September 10, Omar posted on Twitter a letter addressed to administrative secretary Estates Department on July 31 saying that he was voluntarily vacating the government accommodation provided to him 18 years ago due to the change in rules of entitlement to former CMs.

“My letter to the J&K administration. I will be vacating my government accommodation in Srinagar before the end of October. The point to note is that contrary to stories planted in the media last year I received no notice to vacate & have chosen to do so of my own accord,” the NC vice-president had written on Twitter.

Omar was a Lok Sabha member when the government accommodation in the high security Gupkar area was provided to him in 2002. However, in his tweet last month, the NC vice-president said he has never held on to any government property that he was not entitled to and “I have no intention to start now”.

It may be recalled that last month the Estates Department had issued notices to 31 former legislators asking them to vacate the government accommodations they were “illegally occupying” in Srinagar and in case they failed to do so they had been warned of forcible eviction. Many of these legislators, including those who were released from detention had complained of being unable to find accommodations in “secure areas”.

However, as per these leaders they were told to vacate the government accommodation on the same day on which their release from house detention took place.

As per a report of the Estates Department presented in the High Court last month, “large number of former ministers, politicians and retired bureaucrats have been in unauthorised occupation of government quarters and bungalows.” The departmental report had also revealed that huge amount which is in lakhs of rupees is outstanding on account of rent against these categories of authorised and unauthorised occupants and “no steps so far have been taken by the Department either to vacate the persons or recover the outstanding amount from them despite court directions