File Photo: KM/Umar Ganie

Srinagar: Former chief minister Omar Abdullah is looking for a new house in Srinagar as he has decided to vacate his official official residence at posh Gupkar by the end of October.

In a letter to the administrative secretary, hospitality and protocol department, Omar said consequent upon the change of entitlements for former chief ministers of J&K, he now finds himself in unauthorized occupation of accommodation at Gupkar road as no attempt has been made to regularize the allotment to him on the security or other grounds.

“This is a situation that is unacceptable to me. I have never held on to any government property I was not entitled to and have no intention to start now,” he said.

Omar said he has started searching for the house and it will take eight to 10 weeks for the process to complete. “This is to inform you that I have begun the search for suitable alternative accommodation. The process is taking longer because of the constraints caused by COVID 19. I intend to complete the process in eight to 10 weeks and should be in a position to hand over the Gupkar road accommodation accordingly,” he said.

Omar said he was allotted G-1 house in 2002 in his capacity as Member of Parliament representing Srinagar constituency. “Subsequent to my election as chief minister in 2008, the adjoining house was renovated and the complex of G-1 was used as the official CM residence from October 2019 onwards. I continue to remain in occupation of this accommodation subsequent to my demitting the office in January 2015, as the rules allowed me to retain accommodation in Srinagar or Jammu. I chose to retain accommodation in Srinagar,” he said.

Omar also tweeted that he was not received any notice to vacate the house and has chosen to do so on his own. “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 and have chosen to do so of my own accord,” he said.

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