In Mumbai, Malabar Hill bungalow to give way for flats for netas

September 13, 2023

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MUMBAI: The legislature plans to sacrifice a bungalow in Malabar Hill to construct 12 luxury sea-view apartments, six of which will house the speaker and deputy speaker of the assembly, the chairperson and deputy chairperson of the council, and the leaders of the opposition of the two Houses, reports Chaitanya Marpakwar.

Ajantha bungalow on Narayan Dabholkar Marg, used as the council chairperson’s official residence, will be pulled down to construct the 6,500sqft luxury condominiums. While six apartments will be used as residences, the remaining six might be used as guest houses for dignitaries from other states.

Officials said the new building would have an auditorium and other amenities like a state-of-the-art gymnasium, besides staff quarters.

Announcing the razing of Ajantha bungalow in Malabar Hill for new luxury apartments for the presiding officers of the legislature, speaker Rahul Narwekar said that an in-principle approval had been given and the project management consultant would be appointed to finalise the tenders and the finer details.

“Ajantha, which was allotted to the legislative council chairperson, is vacant at the moment,” he said. “Twelve new apartments will be created. So the space occupied by 12 bungalows will be saved.”

There is no chairperson for the council at the moment. The post has been vacant since NCP member Ramraje Nimbalkar’s term ended. NCP MLA Narhari Jirwal is the deputy speaker of the assembly. Narwekar said the old structures required much maintenance and the new construction would save on that cost. “The presiding officers of both houses of the legislature and the leaders of the opposition would get dedicated residences and they would not have to keep waiting for allotment of bungalows,” he said.

Narwekar said it was yet to be decided whether the project would be executed by the public works department or Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority.

“The cost estimates are also being worked out,” he said. “These will become permanent official residences for presiding officers. The remaining six flats can be given to the government for allotment or kept as a guest house for dignitaries of the legislature.”

While there are 288 MLAs in the assembly, the council has 78 members. Officials said usually the leaders of the opposition find it hard to get official bungallow residences if the council of ministers exceeds 30 because of a shortage.

An official said that often leaders of the opposition had to adjust in small flats and dedicated flats would save them a lot of hassle as they need to maintain a staff and get many visitors. “The presiding officers will also get dedicated flats,” an official said.

Last month, deputy chief ministers Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar along with Narwekar and deputy chairperson of the council Neelam Gorhe performed the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the Rs 1,300-crore new Manora MLA Hostel in Nariman Point. Officials said two highrises of 40 and 28 storeys would come up and legislators would get one-BHK flats.

  • Published On Sep 13, 2023 at 09:09 AM IST

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