Manora Amdar Niwas
Mumbai (Mumbai): The state government has selected the mighty company Larsen & Toubro to build the Manora MLA residence at Nariman Point. However, due to delays in construction, the cost of the project has gone from Rs 853 crore to Rs 1,266 crore in 5 years. The Public Works Department had initially estimated the cost at Rs 600 crore.
Two companies, Larsen & Toubro and Shapoorji Pallonji, had submitted technical tenders for the project. However, Shapoorji Pallonji did not submit the financial tender, the higher officials of Public Works Department explained. Built between 1990 and 1994, Manora Hostel consisted of four towers with 303 rooms. But the plaster was falling off due to extremely poor construction and one tower, D Wing, was declared uninhabitable. The state assembly then decided to bring down all the four towers. As the Public Works Department was ill-equipped to handle the reconstruction, the work was handed over to the National Building Construction Company, a central government initiative. In May 2021, a global tender was issued for the proposed hostel. However, due to lack of progress in the work, it was again handed over to the Public Works Department. Earlier in 2019, Bhumi Pujan was held here. In September 2021, three reputed companies namely ‘L&T’, ‘Shapoorji-Paloneji’ and ‘Tata’ submitted technical tenders.
It was said that 289 Vidhan Sabha MLAs and 78 Vidhan Parishad MLAs will stay in the redeveloped Manora hostel. Each MLA will be allotted a one-BHK flat measuring 600 square feet. There will be an additional 400 square feet area with a dormitory for accompanying visitors. The new hostel will have a total built-up area of approximately 7.75 lakh square feet and will also be connected to the Colaba-Sipz Metro 3. There were four MLA hostels in Mumbai namely Akashvani, Majestic, Old Vidhan Bhavan and Manora. Now while Majestic is being repaired, the tower is completely destroyed. The makeover ceremony of the Majestic MLA Niwas building was held recently.
Earlier the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) was the planning authority for the area while granting permission for reconstruction. This area has now been handed over to Mumbai Municipal Corporation. Municipal officials have been told to approve this proposal immediately. New environmental clearances are now required for the project. The delay in ‘Manora’ redevelopment is taking a heavy toll on the state exchequer. In the absence of hostels, MLAs have to pay up to Rs 1 lakh per month for alternative accommodation. Since February 2018, the state government has spent more than 125 crores on this.