Shimla, April 23: The dream of Priyanka Vadra, daughter of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, to have a summer holiday home in the cool clime of the Himalayas may take a few more months to be a reality.
More modifications are being done to the cottage under construction amidst verdant pine and cedar forests for the past four years at Chharabra, 15 km from here. The walls of Priyanka's cottage, which has been subjected to many architectural and structural changes, were being pulled down she was not happy with the size of the rooms, President of Shimla district committee of Congress Kehar Singh Khachi, who is supervising the construction, said. “The wall dismantling work is underway and new designs are being prepared but the number of rooms would remain the same”, he said adding there was no other problem except the size of the rooms.
It is for the second time that the structure under construction has run into problem as last time it was the slate roof that had become vulnerable to water seepage and was replaced by iron roof with wooden ceiling beneath. The typical slate roof of the cottages was the fancy of Priyanka who had wanted her house to be a model of hill architecture.
“There was some flaw in the designing of the slate roof resulting in seepage and it was dismantled and the idea of slate roof was abandoned”, said Neeraj Saini who was overseeing the construction work at the site at that time. The double-storey cottage, spread over an area of 3150 sq yards (three and a half bigha) of agricultural land is small in size with just five rooms, a family lounge and a guest room on the ground floor.
Both Priyanka and Sonia Gandhi had been taking keen interest in construction of the house and visited the place several times.
The cottage was expected to be ready by December 2010 but now it appears that a few moths more may be required to complete the construction and the interiors. As monsoon is expected to set in by the end of June to be followed by winter, time for construction is limited and the construction agencies were running against time to complete the work at the earliest, Khachi said.
The plot was purchased for Rs 47 lakh from US-based Satish Kumar Sood and Satinder Sood in 2007 in relaxation of section 118 of HP Tenancy and Land reforms Act which barred any non-agriculturist, including bonafide Himachalis, from purchasing land without special permission from the government. PTI