Major political parties have now started relocating their offices out of Nariman Point with construction of the Metro-3 project set to begin.
Earlier, the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) had issued notices to eight political parties asking them to temporarily vacate their party offices by December 26 as it plans to start work on the underground metro corridor that will link Colaba and SEEPZ in Andheri (East). The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) will spend more than Rs33 lakh a month for the new offices.
The Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, Shiv Sena, Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh, PWP, Peoples’ Republican Party of India, Republican Party of India (Democratic) and Samajwadi Party, which had their offices alloted by the state government at the barracks on Free Press Journal Road, Nariman Point, along with 25 government offices have started relocating to their new premises.
The Peasants and Workers Party (PWP) was the first to shift to its new place allotted at Thackersey House in Ballard Estate at Fort recently and the rest are expected to follow suit in the coming days except the Congress.
The Congress party’s office will be relocated to Apeejay House near KC College. The decision was taken after the party requested for space near Nariman Point , according to an official.
“Responding to the notice, the PWP has shifted its office. We are now expecting the Samajwadi Party (SP) to shift by this week and the rest of the parties in the coming weeks,” said a senior official.
All these party offices will be at the Thackersey House, Ballard Estate at Fort for the next three years until work on Metro-3 is completed, he added.
However, Congress will be the only party that will have its office at Apeejay House near Kishinchand Chellaram (KC) College instead of Ballard Estate as it had requested for space near Nariman Point, the official said.
“We have decided to relocate Congress office to Apeejay House on the condition that the excess amount in rent is to be paid by them”, a source confirmed.
A senior Congress leader too said they will shift to Apeejay House once the renovation work over there is completed. “We had told the government that the space at Ballard Estate will be inconvenient and hence requested for space near Nariman Point,” said the leader.
To relocate all the offices, the state government had taken two floors of Thackersey House on a monthly rent at Rs200 a square foot from the Mumbai Port Trust.
Once Metro-3 work is completed, the offices of the political parties will be relocated back to Nariman Point, but in two towers to be developed by the MMRC. The offices of all political parties and the other government offices will be accommodated in one tower, while the second one will be used for commercial purposes, sources in the government said.