As a major fire gutted important offices in Mantralaya or the Mahrashtra government secretariat, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan held an emergency meeting on Thursday to discuss the situation and consider alternative arrangements.
Besides Chavan, the meeting was attended by
deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, top ministers, bureaucrats, police and civic officials, at multi-storeyed New Administrative Building, which is opposite the Mantralaya.
"A first-hand assessment of the situation arising out of the fire, the probable causes and precautionary measures to be undertaken for the future, were discussed at the meeting," said an official, who declined to be identified.
The blaze, which badly gutted the three top floors of the seven-floor Mantralaya, has virtually paralysed the functioning of several ministers and bureaucrats of key departments.
They include the chief minister, deputy chief minister, revenue, tribal welfare, forests, urban development and housing, education, besides the offices of the state chief secretary, the state disaster management cell and the chief minister's meet.
A main control tower atop the Mantralaya which is linked to all the district headquarters in the state has also been damaged and rendered non-functional in the blaze, besides furniture and fittings, computers, original files and documents of various departments pertaining to important official decisions.
It is not clear when the fire brigade authorities will complete its investigations into the fire and hand over the building back to the state government for repairs, renovation and making it functional again.
In the meantime, officials said that the ministers and officials concerned are likely to function on a temporary basis either from their official residences or their offices in the Maharashtra legislature, Vidhan Bhavan, barely a stone's throw away from Mantralaya.
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