New Delhi. In order to provide relief from sweltering heat to the residents living in the National Capital Region, union government has decided to open hundreds of bathrooms lying unused in the President House i.e. Rashtrapati Bhavan for bathing and relaxing by the common citizens. The bathrooms would be open for the next five days starting today, before Her Highness Pratibha Devisingh Patil returns from her official tour of China.
“The bathrooms would be open from 10.00 AM in the mornings to 7.00 PM in the evenings for the next five days. A willing citizen will have to submit proof of his or her identity and complete a few formalities before he or she can enjoy the cool showers.” a press release from the President House read.
There was no immediate information on whether any sort of preferential treatment could be awarded to citizens on the basis of one’s caste, religion, gender or age, but an official working in the President House ruled out any such possibility for the first phase of the public bathing.
“We have opened the bathrooms on a test basis. If things go well and people like the idea, we could think of implementing such state policies in the next round.” the official remarked off the record, adding that their immediate concern was how to stop people from taking away bathroom fittings, as earlier dumbbells were stolen from Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The official added that the idea was not too outlandish for a head of state in India.
“In the ancient India, kings and rulers often used to build water tanks and pools for public usage, many of which were situated inside the palaces and forts. If we could open the gardens for public in the winters, it’s but natural that we open the bathrooms in the summers.” official referred to the ceremonial opening of Mughal Gardens for public by Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Delhi and NCR residents have reacted cautiously to the development, though most of them have welcomed the move and expressed keen interest in seeing the presidential bathrooms.
“I had heard that Rashtrapati Bhavan was the biggest residence of any Head of the State in the whole world and I had often wondered what our presidents must be doing in such a big mansion, given that they hardly have anything to do. I could finally get some answers.” Amit, a resident of Huaz Khas said.
“Well, this government might seem clueless about rising prices, but they surely seem to have some solution for rising temperature. I’m impressed.” Vivek, another Delhi resident said welcoming the move.