Malabar Hill bungalow to be demolished for luxury apartments

01 Sep 2023

The legislative body plans to demolish Ajantha bungalow in the upscale Malabar Hill area to make way for the construction of 12 luxurious sea-view apartments. Six of these apartments will serve as residences for prominent figures, including the speaker and deputy speaker of the assembly, the chairperson and deputy chairperson of the council, and the leaders of the opposition from both Houses. The remaining six apartments may be used as guest houses for visiting dignitaries from other states.

The new building will feature additional amenities such as an auditorium and a state-of-the-art gymnasium, as well as staff quarters.

Speaker Rahul Narwekar announced the demolition of Ajantha bungalow and mentioned that the necessary in-principle approval has been granted. A project management consultant will be appointed to finalise tenders and other project details. He emphasised that the current Ajantha bungalow, which was designated for the legislative council chairperson, currently sits vacant. The construction of these twelve new apartments will help conserve space previously occupied by twelve bungalows.

Notably, the chairperson position for the council is presently vacant, and the old structures were in need of significant maintenance, making the new construction a cost-effective choice. Narwekar explained that this initiative aims to provide dedicated residences to the presiding officers of both legislative houses and leaders of the opposition, eliminating the need for them to wait for bungalow allocations.

The decision on whether the project will be executed by the public works department or the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority is still pending, along with the determination of cost estimates. These apartments will serve as permanent official residences for presiding officers, and the remaining six flats could either be allocated by the government or utilised as guest houses for legislative dignitaries.

With 288 members in the assembly and 78 in the council, leaders of the opposition often face difficulties in securing official bungalow residences when the council of ministers exceeds 30, due to a shortage of available housing. Dedicated flats for presiding officers and leaders of the opposition will alleviate these challenges and provide them with suitable accommodations to manage their staff and accommodate visitors.

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