7, Race Course Road
|7, Race Course Road|
|Location||New Delhi, India|
|Current tenants||Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India|
7, Race Course Road (officially: Panchavati and also 7, RCR) is the official residence and principal workplace of the Prime Minister of India, where he lives and holds most of his official or political meetings. Situated on Race Course Road, New Delhi, the official name of the PM's residence complex is Panchavati. It is spread over 12 acres, comprising five bungalows in Lutyens' Delhi, built in 1980s, which are PM office-cum-residence zone and security establishment, including one occupied by Special Protection Group (SPG) and another being a guest house, though all are collectively called 7, Race Course Road. The entire Race Course Road, named the Delhi Race Course, which lies right across the road, is now closed to the public. Rajiv Gandhi was the first PM to stay at Race Course Road in 1984, while the present resident is Manmohan Singh since 2004.
Unlike 10 Downing Street, it does not house the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), which is located in the South Block of Secretariat Building, on Raisina Hill nearby in New Delhi, where Cabinet Secretariat functions. The nearest Delhi Metro station is Race Course. When a new Prime Minister is nominated his/her original house is for the time being given a security detail and the new office holder is then advised to move in the 7, RCR at the earliest possible date.
Earlier, the Prime Ministers of India lived in their own house or house allotted to them through Parliament allotment by virtue of being an MP. Jawaharlal Nehru took up residence in Teen Murti Bhavan, which used to be the residence of the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army in British India; it was formerly called Flagstaff House. After Nehru's death in 1964, the building was turned to a Nehru Memorial Museum & Library.
The next Prime Minister of India Lal Bahadur Shastri chose 10 Janpath, where he stayed 1964-1966. It was later allotted to the Congress (I) party, though a part of it became biographical museum, Lal Bhadur Shastri Memorial at 1, Moti Lal Nehru Place (formerly 10 Janpath), adjacent to the complex. The current resident of 10 Janpath is Congress President, Sonia Gandhi.
After the assassination of Indira Gandhi at her 1, Safdarjung Road residence garden while going towards neighbouring 1, Akbar Road office for an interview on October 30, 1984, it was converted into the Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum. Former Chief Justice of India Sudhi Ranjan Das had previously lived at this address before Mrs. Gandhi.
Rajiv Gandhi her son and successor as PM, along with his family, became the first occupant of 7, Race Course Road in 1984. The subsequent Prime Minister V. P. Singh made it into a permanent residence of the Prime Minister.
Today the word "7 Race Course Road", has become synonymous with the Prime Minister of India, in political parlance, especially when used in conjunction with its power tussle with 10 Janpath. In November 2010, Prime minister, Manmohan Singh hosted a private dinner for visiting US president Barack Obama and the American first lady at 7, Race Course Road.
The 12 acres Prime Minister's residence was built in the 1980s. It does not have his office inside the house, but has a conference room for informal meetings. PM's residence-cum-office and security spread across five bungalows 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9, including 5, Race Course Road, the Private Residential Zone for the Prime Minister, though he operates from 7, Race Course Road. Bungalow 9 is occupied by Special Protection Group (SPG), while Bungalow 3 has been converted into a guesthouse for PM's guests.
Over the years its security has gradually been beefed up, a bulletproof glasstube passage was built in 2003, connecting 3, Race Course Road, at the Prime Minister’s residence to Panchvati or 7 Race Course, where the PM meets people and delegations and holds official meetings. Also a concrete wall was added on the periphery, separating the house from the main road, to render any truck bomb or a car bomb attack ineffective. With S Venugopalachari, a TDP MP, vacating 1, Race Course Road, on government’s requests and the Special Protection Group (SPG) taken over the bungalow, the entire road with bungalows number 1, 3. 5, 7 and 9 came under PM’s offices. However PM residence is surrounded by various high rise building and public structures, from Samrat Hotel, Ashoka Hotel and state guesthouses on the one side to the Delhi Gymkhana Club (DCG), and Delhi Race Course which lies across the road, thus plans for a Helipad within the complex was muted for several years for the reason. In fact by 2004, the Intelligence Bureau (IB) took over most the of rooms of Samrat Hotel overlooking the PM's residence and watchtowers were erected inside Delhi Gymkhana and it can be accessed only via Safdarjung Road entry.
In 2004, the road was refurbished at a cost of Rs 1 crore to make it the permanent residence of the Indian Prime Minister.
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