The Government Guest Houses in city are much in demand, not by the elected representatives and senior politicians but by government officials, judges and cronies of politicians. The officials and cronies would go to any extent to avail the guest house facility as it not only saves them money, but is also moderately luxurious and staying in them is considered a prestige issue. They would exert all kinds of pressure and bring in political influence to get accommodation in the government house.

There have also been instances of the cronies, tipsy and wobbling, demanding a room in the guest house on the grounds of being acquainted to so-and-so politician. These have resulted in fights between the cronies and the guest house staff too. Though the lower level staff may earn a small amount by giving the vacant room in stealth, it is the senior officers who are at risk because, if any untoward incident occurs, the officer will be in soup.

The PWD guest house in Nazarbad has six general rooms and two VIP rooms. At the Chamundi Guest House on JLB Road, the main building has 12 rooms while another eight rooms are in the backside.

According to PWD Guest House In-Charge Satish Vyas, MLAs from outside the State visiting Mysore usually opt for the Chamundi Guest House.

The Government House in Nazarbad has 11 rooms, of which seven are meant for VIPs, apart from the two suites reserved for the Chief Minister and the Governor. VIP rooms are allotted from the Deputy Commissioner’s office and arrangements for the stay of ministers and legislators are made as per government order.

The Jaladarshini Guest House on Hunsur Road has two VIP rooms, four cottages and four general category rooms. VIP rooms are equipped with television and air-conditioners.

While the rooms in PWD are reserved for the senior officers of the department, the Jaladarshini is reserved for prominent politicians, senior officers and ministers. All the guest houses are maintained by the PWD.

But the politicians shirk away from the guest houses because they expect more luxurious accommodation provided in private hotels. Hence they prefer to stay in hotels, albeit the bills are footed by the State exchequer.

When B.S. Yeddyurappa was the Chief Minister, he always preferred the Olive Garden Resort or Silent Shores for his overnight stay. Even now he prefers to stay in these hotels. For H.D. Kumaraswamy, another former Chief Minister, Hotel Sandesh the Prince is like his second home, since it is owned by his own party leaders.

But two other former Chief Ministers, D.V. Sadananda Gowda and Jagadish Shettar, have always stayed in the Government Guest House while in Mysore. Chief Minister Siddharamaiah, even though he visits the Government Guest House while in Mysore for meetings and work, stays at his residence in Ramakrishna Nagar.

Only the Governor and Union Ministers have stayed in the Government Guest House. This year’s VIPs at the Government Guest House were former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda and Governor Hans Raj Bhardwaj.

It does not mean that the guest houses remain vacant most of the time. The cronies of elected representatives and senior politicians avail the rooms using influence. Most of the rooms in all the guest houses remain occupied, says Satish Vyas, adding that keeping a few rooms reserved for VIP guests and maintaining them to their liking is a problem.

Very nominal fees are charged for the rooms, the highest being for the VIP rooms in Government Guest House at Rs. 600 each per day (24 hours), Rs. 300 each for general category rooms and Rs. 200 per cottage. These rooms are always reserved and are not allotted to non-officials.

At Jaladarshini, VIP room is for Rs. 200, general for Rs. 120. Top level VIP rooms are Rs. 300 each and Rs. 600 each for non-officials.

At the PWD Guest House, Rs. 300 is charged for a VIP room and Rs. 200 for general category room. At Chamundi Guest House, it is Rs. 150 for officials and Rs. 250 for non-officials.

Vishwanath and Siddu’s tiff over Guest House room

MP A.H. Vishwanath and Chief Minister Siddharamaiah once had a face-off with regard to the Jaladarshini Guest House. It was in 1999 when Vishwanath was the District In-Charge Minister and Siddharamaiah, then in JD(S), had lost the Assembly election. Siddharamaiah, whenever in Mysore, stayed in Room No. 1 in Jaladarshini, meant for VIPs.

Vishwanath had then passed an order not to provide the Guest House facility for those who are not elected representatives and reserve it for the legislators. Following this, Siddharamaiah started staying at his private residences in Aravind Nagar and Ramakrishna Nagar. This had resulted in heated brickbats between the supporters of the two leaders. Later Vishwanath himself brought Siddharamaiah to the Congress party and in six years, he is the Chief Minister now. Now that he can stay in any room of any guest house, he prefers to stay at his own home.

No aesthetic sense here...

This watchman’s shed built right at the entrance of the Government Guest House is an eyesore as it blocks the view of the majestic guest house building from the road, through the gate. Also, it is not in conformation with the heritage structure, for which Mysore is famous for. The authorities concerned who built this shed without any sense of aesthetics, instead of shifting it at least 10 ft back, are further perpetuating the blunder by ignoring the objections raised over it from various qaurters, displaying a typical official apathy. Also, while painting the gate, the intricate designs of Gandabherunda have been pasted with paint, making them look like crude lumps on the heritage gate.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore