in South Mumbai
MUMBAI: The state government will spend Rs 119 crore on turning a coveted British-era bungalow in Walkeshwar into an 18-storey apartment complex for ministers, with each flat getting an unrestricted view of the sea.
State Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta cleared the construction at a meeting on Thursday.
The 25,000-sqft government bungalow, Puratan, on BG Kher Road was declared dilapidated two years ago and will soon be demolished, said Additional PWD Chief Secretary Manoj Saunik.
The apartment complex that will come in its place will have a single flat, with four bedrooms, on each floor. A floor space index of 4 has been approved for the building, which will allow a built-up space of 5,000 sqft for each floor. The building will have five separate lifts—two for ministers and their relatives, two for visitors, and one for domestic help.
Puratan was the official residence of some ministers, until 2013. That year, the Maharashtra Police Housing Corporation constructed a 16-storey building, Nilima, on a portion of the nearby Malabar Hill police station for IPS officers. The unobstructed view of Marine Drive that the high-rise offered prompted many IAS officers to ask for similar quarters for themselves. They pressed the government to allot Puratan to them and allow construction of 14 3-BHK flats there. Sources said the government agreed to their demand after a handful of meetings, but initiated no action.
The city has 36 government bungalows. Since 43 ministers have been inducted this time as opposed to 34 in 2014, there just aren’t enough government bungalows for all. At present, eight ministers stay in flats meant for bureaucrats near Mantrayala and in Malabar Hill.
Until Nilima’s construction, Yashodhan building opposite the Cricket Club of Indian in Churchgate was the most sought-after address among top bureaucrats and police officers, owing to its close proximity to Mantralaya.