The Marine Drive police station will soon make way for the construction of a swank apartment block for senior IAS and IPS officers in the state. The apartment block will also take up land originally meant for a multi-level public parking lot.
The police station, presently housed in barracks that will be demolished, is all set to move into a nearly ready new building in the same plot.
Rivalling Yashodhan, the most sought-after senior officers’ accommodation at present, the 28 apartments in the planned seven-storey block will measure 180 sq m (1926 sq feet) with three bedrooms-hall-kitchen and attached quarters for domestic staff, officials said.
A senior officer of the general administration department said the flats will be allotted to officers above the rank of principal secretary in the IAS and above rank of inspector general of police in the IPS.
The location is right behind Yashodhan, a 60-year-old building located opposite the Cricket Club of India and a stone’s throw from Mantralaya. Yashodhan has a long waiting list, which the new block is expected to ease.
The PWD has changed the reservation on the plot. Earlier, it had been reserved for residential quarters and a public multi-level parking tower. Now the plot will have only the residential tower and the new Marine Drive police station. Official sources said having a parking lot next to the apartment tower would have made it extremely noisy for residents.
Dilip Hinge, the deputy engineer of PWD’s Mumbai presidency division, said, “Behind Yashodhan building, we have some barracks that house the Marine Drive police station, PWD office and some other government offices. We are in the process of getting these vacated and this was delayed because of the COVID pandemic. These barracks will be demolished and a seven-storey tower with 28 apartments will come up here.”
Hinge said the total plot is 4425 sq metres and all permissions are obtained except the commencement certificate from the BMC.
The project will cost around Rs 41 crore and the present police station will be shifted to an adjoining plot of 325 sq m (3497 sq feet), said Hinge.
The new building for the police station is nearly ready. “It may not have the same space for storage, but we had allocated the barracks as a temporary measure,” said Hinge, adding that the police would have to vacate the barracks soon.
With more than two dozen retired bureaucrats being posted on various government commissions and organisations, and continuing to occupy apartments in Yashodhan, the Maharashtra government is facing a shortage of official quarters for senior officers.
A retired additional chief secretary said, “Most senior IAS officers are given some kind of post-retirement posting and they remain in government quarters. Even collectors of Mumbai city district and Mumbai suburban district, who otherwise get overriding priority in this matter, are kept in waiting as the apartments are occupied by retired officers. Most of these retired officers may have their own accommodation in the suburbs, but they insist on staying near Mantralaya.”