Stop the great memorial circus: How Lutyens' Zone 'tributes' are leading to bungalow shortage When the UPA government controversially allowed the Lutyens' Zone bungalow on No. 6 Krishna Menon Marg to be converted into a memorial and remain in the name of Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar's family for the next 25 years, it went against a Cabinet note dated 2000 of the NDA government to prevent precisely such situations. The bungalow on Krishna Menon Marg has been converted into the Babu Jagjivan Ram National Foundation and will stay with the foundation till 2038. Meira Kumar is Jagjivan Ram's daughter. She already has a bungalow on Akbar Road by virtue of being the Speaker. Kumar was the last official occupant of No. 6 Krishna Menon Marg, the bungalow where Babu Jagjivan Ram lived till he died in 1986, after she became Union minister in the UPA-1 government in 2004. In effect, Kumar now has two Lutyens' bungalows in her and her family's name. Many in the list The NDA Cabinet took the decision in 2000 and in its note said that "during informal discussion in the cabinet committee on accommodation, a suggestion was mooted that in view of the acute shortage of the bungalows, the government should consider imposing ban on further conversion of bungalows into memorials for departed leaders". The note also said that such memorials have created an "acute shortage of such type of accommodation" and couldn't be given to those entitled. Ministers, the seniormost bureaucrats and officers of the armed forces get this type of accommodation, of which there are fewer than 200 in the entire Lutyens' Bungalow Zone. The Cabinet note also said "the solution to the problem has to be found in better management of existing bungalows". Despite the 2000 Cabinet decision, the current government decided to allow the Krishna Menon Marg bungalow to be converted into a memorial. The decision was taken by the Union cabinet's committee on accommodation (CCA) on December 20, according to top sources. The Babu Jagjivan Ram memorial is not the only bungalow to have been converted. Mail Today had reported on Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati's "monster bungalow" on the Gurdwara Rakabganj Road. The Central Public Works Department (CPWD), which reports to the Union government, permitted Mayawati to combine three bungalows - Nos. 12, 14 and 16 on the Rakabganj road - into a single property for a trust that she can run for the next 19 years. Mail Today has found that there are many more memorials and trusts which have been allowed to run in the LBZ zone, including the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, Lal Bahadur Shastri Memorial, the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. 'Encroachment' Speaking of the Jagjivan Ram trust, RTI activist Subhash Agarwal, who petitioned government departments to uncover a lot of this information, said: "The Supreme Court should take suo motu cognisance of the massive irregularity by summoning all government records about this bungalow, where once a rent-bill of about Rs 2 crore was issued and withdrawn in the name of Meira Kumar." "This is a case of encroachment and trespass of prime government property with the Union government once even defying an order of the Delhi High Court for 19 months before allotting it to the family members of Babu Jagjivan Ram with retrospective effect."