New Delhi, July 24 IANS | 4 months ago

Stylish fully-furnished apartments equipped with a small kitchenette each, a gym around the corner, a swimming pool and a restaurant -- these are part of swanky additions to the Rashtrapati Bhavan estate for the use of senior officers, aides-de-camp to the president, and visitors.

The 16 serviced apartments, called Peacock Service Apartment, will be inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee at an event Friday as part of events to mark his two years in office.

The name has been given keeping in mind the peacocks calling at all times nearby and also paying a flying visit to the garden there, said a presidential palace aide.

The apartments are also meant to accommodate artistes, writers and officers in transfer and other guests of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The president will also release three books -- "Thoughts and Reflections", a compilation of presidential quotes, "Winged Wonders of Rashtrapati Bhavan" on the birds of the President's Estate and "Indradhanush" on the cultural events organised in Rashtrapati Bhavan over the years.

He will also inaugurate a Knowledge Hub and other facilities at the Dr. Rajendra Prasad Sarvodaya Vidyalaya within Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Mukherjee will also launch a new design for the President of India website and a video on the important events of the second year of his presidency.

On Thursday, Mukherjee inaugurated the President's Estate Branch of the United Bank of India and the Rashtrapati Bhavan Post Office in their new buildings.

The President's Estate Branch of the United Bank of India was established Feb 28, 1976 and inaugurated by then president late Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed.

The Rashtrapati Bhavan Post Office started functioning as the Viceroy's Camp Post Office in Shimla June 10, 1904.

In 1948, it was renamed Governor-General Post Office and in 1950, it was again renamed as President-Camp Post Office.

On Dec 7, 1950, it got its present name. This post office caters to the needs of the President's Secretariat as well as residents of the President's Estate.

The bank and post office were relocated from a heritage building as part of measures to implement the Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan for the President's Estate.

A fitness centre for the staff of the President's Estate was also inaugurated by the President Thursday.

(Posted on 24-07-2014)

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