In all likelihood, political parties that have been asked to move out of their offices near Vidhan Bhavan in Nariman Point for a proposed Metro station will be given alternative space in south Mumbai itself, close to the state headquarters of Mantralaya.
State government officials are in talks with Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd for office space in its building in Fort area, and also with the World Trade Centre to temporarily move the political parties and government offices that will be impacted because of the construction of a station for the underground Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro corridor.
“We are in talks with MTNL for four or five offices in its building in the Fort area on rent. They have also offered some office space in North Mumbai on rental basis. The other location being considered is World Trade Centre. As of now they have quoted rental prices based on the market rate, but we will negotiate,” a senior official said.
The options will be discussed with the political parties and government representatives in a meeting with the secretary of the state government’s general administration department on Saturday.
While most politicians had shown willingness to cooperate with the state and relocate so that the construction of the vital infrastructure project proceeds smoothly, some had expressed concerns, saying the existing location of the offices was ‘convenient’.
Anil Desai of Sena had even said the party would request the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation to consider if it is possible to move the location of the Metro station.
Ashwini Bhide, managing director of MMRC, said “There is no question of moving the Metro station . There is no space. There are buildings everywhere in that area. The spot that we have chosen is occupied by barracks. It is easier to break barracks to construct a station than bring down buildings.”
Bhide added that the MMRC would provide them the government offices and political parties to be displaced with alternate office locations in the same area as now.
The barracks where the Vidhan Bhavan Metro station is to come up are several political parties such as theNCP, Shiv Sena, Congress, Peasants & Workers Party, BRP Bahujan Mahasangh and Peoples Republican Party, among others.