Out with old,Mantralaya to don corporate lookhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/out-with-old-mantralaya-to-don-corporate-look/

Out with old,Mantralaya to don corporate look

Work on phase I of the Rs 138-cr project is likely to be over in two months; tenders for phase II will be floated next month

A space-frame glass atrium over the central courtyard,grand steps leading to the façade,14 escalators for public use,advanced fire-fighting systems,central air-conditioning,dedicated lifts for VIPs and a roof-top garden are some of the aspects of phase one of the Mantralaya makeover project,which is due for completion in the next two months.

It’s almost a year since top four floors of the building were gutted in a major blaze,labourers are working in double shifts. It will be a stark transformation of the once unplanned building to a state-of-the-art corporate style headquarters with advanced fire-fighting systems.

Phase one consists renovating the fourth,fifth,sixth and seventh floors. Tenders for phase two to renovate ground-plus-three floors and construct an underground parking facility will be floated next month.

The Rs 138-crore project was started last November. There was a delay of three months as the lowest bid of Rs 168 crore by Unity Infrastructure was much higher than the state’s planned expenditure. The firm later quoted Rs 138 crore and bagged the contract.

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The Rs 1,800 crore makeover plan of 2007 bagged by IndiaBulls was scrapped in 2010 because of its extravagance.

Instead of cabins separated by wooden partitions earlier,the floors will now bear a corporate look with continuous seating in half cubicles.

Godrej is providing furniture worth Rs 15 crore while Philips is providing lighting worth Rs 5 crore. The west wing of each floor will have three standardised cabins for ministers measuring 1,800 sq ft,which will include a conference room,toilet,an antechamber and office space for staff.

The east wing will have five cabins measuring 600 sq ft each for secretaries. Earlier,the size of cabins was not uniform.

“We want to make this project the face of the Maharshtra government,” chief secretary J K Banthia told Newsline. Banthia was taken through the makeover progress on Sunday by officials from public works department (PWD),Unity and architect firm Raja Aederi.

An additional area of 1 lakh sq ft has been created,said Shamalkumar Mukherjee,principal secretary,PWD.

“An additional three-metre wide corridor has been created in the central courtyard space on each floor for public to move around. The floors will be connected through escalators,” he said,adding that the fourth and fifth floor will be completed by June-end while the rest will be completed by mid-August.

Six out of eight current elevators have been replaced with new ones from Germany.

The north and south part will have offices of other lower-rung secretaries,and administrative and clerical staff.