State may approve 16 billion acquisition of Air India building

01 Nov 2023

The iconic Air India building at Nariman Point is anticipated to be approved for purchase by the state cabinet in its meeting, according to the state government's decision. The building, which was constructed in 1974 on land owned by the state government, is valued at Rs 16 billion. Since the 2012 fire at Mantralaya, four major departments—public health, medical education, water supply and sanitation, and rural development—have been operating from GT Hospital. It is planned to relocate these departments, along with others, to the Air India building, and officials have noted that numerous entities have expressed interest in acquiring the property.

The 23-storey building is presently owned by Air India Assets Holding Limited, a company established by the union ministry of civil aviation in 2018 to oversee all Air India-owned properties. Currently, nine floors of the building are vacant. GST offices occupy three floors, while the income-tax department occupies eight floors. The ground and first floors are under the possession of Air India. The government has conveyed to Air India Assets Holding Company that the building should be handed over without any encumbrances.

Sources reveal that the BJP was concerned that if the building were sold to a private entity, it could attract criticism. Therefore, the party preferred a government body to make the purchase. Earlier in the process, the Centre-owned Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority (JNPA) and the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India were also contenders. Ultimately, the bid from the Maharashtra government prevailed.

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