No doubt ill gotten money of politicians is spent on building lavish houses which resemble palaces of the Modern Czars.
Industrialist by birth Mukesh Ambani might have built a model steel and glass palace for himself in Mumbai worth millions, but our own budding industrialist who has been in field for less than a decade has almost equaled the achievement of Ambanis - perhaps only in real estate.
The Kadapa MP, Y.S.Jagan Mohan Reddy built the he biggest house in the state capital near Lotus Pond of Jubilee Hills which even marred the glamour of residences of industrialists, film stars and the filthily rich families for generations.
Local people, awestruck by the sprawling building coming up in a 90,000-sq-ft area spread over one acre or 5807 sq.yard have started calling it Lotus Mahal due to its location and splendor.
Mr Jagan who runs four infrastructure firms named Marvel, Harish, Utopia and Capston, has termed it a “company guest house” as he and his four-member family will be staying in another ‘Raj Mahal’ - another luxurious house spread over 22 acres in Bengaluru.
The multi-disciplinary teams of Greater Hyderabad Municipal corporation. Income Tax, HMDA, CBI and NRSA which entered the complex on Thusday spent almost 10 hours in assessing the boundaries and external measurement of the complex.
Sources say that Lotus Mahal has nearly 30 bedrooms apart from an office complex. It also has ten high-speed elevators, badminton and squash courts, home theaters - big and small, waiting halls, drawing and dining halls beside a sprawling lawn.
The building is coming up in the land owned by Mr Jagan’s four companies that purchased six plots from private individuals who had got them from the then Hyderabad Urban Development Authority (now HMDA). The six plots come to 5,807 square yards which is more than an acre.
The land was purchased for Rs 24 crore and the cost of construction is estimated to be around Rs 55 crore. Already, Rs 35 crore has been spent on the house.
Jagan and his wife, Bharati Reddy, and their two children, Harshini and Varshini, will be staying in the house. His mother and Pulivendula MLA, Vijayalakshmi, will shuttle between Bengaluru, Pulivendula and Hyderabad.
The Kadapa MP’s sister, Sharmila Reddy, is also all set to take up construction of a residence shortly in the 1,800-sq yard plot which is by the side of his Lotus Mahal.
According to his election affidavit, Jagan Reddy is India’s richest Member of Parliament with declared assets (net of liabilities) valued at Rs 365 crore. His wife has properties, cash and jewellery worth Rs 47.25 crore (net of liabilities). That a mere MP can accumulate so much wealth is anyway cause for concern; that he has not disclosed all his assets - often held by proxies - shows how the powerful manipulate the system to accumulate wealth for their own ends.
Jagan’s wealth would not have been problematic but for the speed with which he acquired it.
In 2004, when Jagan’s father YSR Reddy was yet to become the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, he had only Rs 8.19 lakh of assets. Clearly, being the son of a Chief Minister is not injurious to one’s acquisitive streak.
Five years later (in 2009), by the time YSR completed his first term as CM, his son’s assets together with that of his wife had jumped to Rs 77.40 crore.
Recent CBI investigations have shown that Jagan had not disclosed everything.
Four companies which bought land for Jagan and transfered it to him are
- Marvel Infrastructure purchased Plot 6 in Huda Heights for Rs 4.31 crore.
- Harish Infrastructure purchased Plot 8 for Rs 4.10 crore.
- Capstone Infrastructure purchased Plots 3 & 4 for Rs 4.47 and Rs 4 crore.
- Utopia Infrastructure purchased Plots 2 & 7 for Rs 1.37 crore and Rs 3.76 crore.
Jagan’s modus operandi is old-fashioned; open several companies, transfer funds from one company to another and use these front companies to acquire assets. In his 2011 election affidavit he has revealed his direct and indirect ownership of 11companies.
The current construction cost in Hyderabad’s Banjara Hills area is Rs 10,000 per square ft. So construction on Jagan’s 4,933.15 square meters, or 53,099.984 square feet, would cost Rs 53.09 crore.
Add to this the cost of the land currently valued at Rs 30.46 crore. According to the sale deeds the price paid for the acquiring the land is Rs 22.04 crore.
(Costs mentioned here are for the skeletal infrastructure and not finishing and furnishing etc).
CBI officials said there were nearly 150 CC cameras inside the palace to keep track of activity every inch of the property including that of the two storey out house for the servants with a capacity to accommodate 25 members with five family quarters.
Swimming pool with municipal water connection (permission is still not approved).
Every bed room on the three floors has latest model of split A/c facility.
Central a/c for conference rooms, mini theatre , swimming pools, kitchen and dining halls, drawing rooms.
The floor plans show 14 escalators, 10 lifts, libraries, squash court, gyms, marble flooring in about 60 rooms and bathrooms which are of the size of a single bedroom flat.