Rs 50 lakh sanctioned for maintenance of Ministers' residences amid civet invasion concerns

Cliff House, Order issued by PWD. Photo: Special arrangment

Thiruvananthapuram: The tranquil surroundings of residences in the Cantonment area of the state capital are facing an unexpected challenge with the invasion of palm civets, snakes, and mongooses, causing a unique headache for the occupants.

Amid rising concerns of civet invasion and pest infestation, the Public Works Department has issued an order granting Rs 48.91 lakh for the maintenance of ministerial buildings. The money was granted on February 26 just ahead of the chief minister's remarks about civets.
"Administrative sanction has been provided for an amount of Rs 48,91,000/ for the works anticipated in the balance period of the Financial Year 2023-2024 with regard to Maintenance Works in various Minister's Bungalows," the PWD order said.

Addressing the issue, the Chief Minister had mentioned that the palm civet menace at Cliff House has made it difficult to leave ironed clothes or open containers of water in the open. These creatures frequently traverse the wooden ceilings of decades-old buildings.

Opposition leader VD Satheesan said that he too had to deal with the civets and snakes at his official residence Cantonment House. "The civet was here too. I was also woken up by a civet around four in the morning. There were more than one of them,” Satheesan said while responding to a question at a press conference.

Last year, Governor Arif Mohammad Khan temporarily relocated to a hotel room due to the palm civet menace at the Raj Bhavan. Residences such as Rose House, belonging to Minister V Sivankutty, Kavadiyar House, occupied by V Abdurahiman, and Xanadu, the current abode of R. Bindu, are also severely affected by the pest.

Meanwhile, former minister Antony Raju highlighted that although many of the old ministerial buildings are in disrepair, ministers are hesitant to undertake renovations due to fears of potential controversies and accusations of financial impropriety.

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