Power supply to the offices of the Shiv Sena, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) at Nariman Point has been cut since Saturday as these parties had refused to vacate the buildings, delaying work on the Metro-3 corridor.
An underground Metro station linking Colaba to SEEPZ in Andheri (East) has been proposed on the government-owned plot where these party offices are built. Despite the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) issuing three notices to the political parties asking them to temporarily vacate their offices, none of them have budged, saying their alternative accommodation is not yet ready.
The parties said that not only had they been working in the dark over the weekend, the MMRCL also did not inform them of the power cut beforehand. The agency also cut off power to Mafco, a state-owned undertaking, which operates in the same building.
Sachin Sawant, Congress party spokesperson said the power cut took them by surprise. “We were constantly in touch with MMRCL officials and told them that we were in the last stage of finalising alternative accommodation. That is why the power cut took us by surprise,” he said.
“You are requested to shift to the temporary allotted accommodation from April 3, the demolition of the barracks will start. Hence, we won’t be responsible for any inconvenience caused,” reads MMRCL’s last notice to the parties, sent on March 23.
MMRCL has provided the parties with temporary housing at Thackersey House at Fort, where they can stay until new offices are constructed at Nariman Point.
All the political parties are expected to shift to Fort, except for the Shiv Sena and the Congress. Shiv Sena minister Ravindra Waikar has offered the party his official residence, while Congress members are likely to move to either Tanna House at Colaba or Raheja Chambers at Nariman Point. Both parties had requested accommodation near Nariman Point, saying it would be inconvenient for them to move any further.