30-acre land parcel for HC in Bandra East will be available after a year, says PWD | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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30-acre land parcel for HC in Bandra East will be available after a year, says PWD

May 09, 2024 09:17 AM IST

HC has been scouting for space on Mumbai Port Authority land, and plots at Goregaon and Wadala. The Bandra Government Colony was deemed most suitable

MUMBAI: A day after Supreme Court directed the Maharashtra government to hand over a 30-acre land parcel in Bandra East for the construction of the new Bombay High Court (HC), by September 30, the Public Works Department (PWD) has said that it was too short a time to achieve the target. The plot in Bandra Government Colony, said PWD’s executive engineer Sachin Dhatrak, has many buildings where Class-1 to Class-4 government staff reside. He said it will take at least a year vacate and find alternate accommodation for the residents.

Mumbai, India - May 8, 2024: A top view of the Government Colony at Bandre in Mumbai, India, on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Satish Bate/ Hindustan Times) (Hindustan Times)
Mumbai, India - May 8, 2024: A top view of the Government Colony at Bandre in Mumbai, India, on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Satish Bate/ Hindustan Times) (Hindustan Times)

The high court has been facing a severe space crunch since 2018. The state sought to rent two floors in the Central Telegraph Office to create cabins for 10 judges at the time, but when the court demanded that a subway be created between the two buildings, the plan of relocation was dismissed.

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Since then, HC has been scouting for space, some of the options being the Mumbai Port Authority land, and plots at Goregaon and Wadala. The Bandra Government Colony was deemed the most suitable of all. The new high court complex at Bandra will also have residences for judges. The judges who presently reside in Malabar Hill will find an easy connect to the area through the Bandra Worli Sealink.

The government colony is spread over 90 acres, and strategically lies between Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) and the Western Express Highway. 370 buildings were constructed on the site with 4782 flats between 1958 and 1973. Since many buildings were near the creek, they became corroded and cracks appeared in some over time. The state has already demolished 68 buildings, and there are now 302 buildings with 4244 flats, of which 2623 are in use. This data was shared with HT by the Andheri division of PWD on Wednesday.

Beside the 30-acre plot for the court, the state has planned to construct 12 highrises of 16 storeys each on the remaining 60 acres. They will be used to partly accommodate state government employees and the rest put up for sale in the commercial market. According to Pankaj Kapur, director of Laises Foras, the real estate research and rating firm, “The price of apartments in the area is between 50,0000 and 60,000 per square foot.”

Two buildings are ready and have part occupation certificates and the rest are being constructed. “Due to certain norms, we will be able to construct only 10 high rises instead of 12 in this phase,” said Dhatrak.

The next plan is to construct 46 flats for Class-1 government officers, 72 for Class-2 officers. Three news buildings, intended for Class-3 and -4 staff, have got part occupation certificates.

Many government employees have asked for ownership accommodation in the government colony at the concessional rate. Shiv Sena (UBT) MLC Anil Parab said, “While PWD has completed a few buildings, basic infrastructure such as water supply and lifts are yet to be given. At the same time, government wants officials to vacate the old quarters. Some of them are in a dangerously dilapidated condition, joint surveys of BMC and PWD have stated.”

Parab said, in the last cabinet meeting of the opposition Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, a proposal was passed to give the existing residents houses at concessional rates, which was “not confirmed by the Shiv Sena-BJP government, though chief minister Eknath Shinde’s son Shrikant has also promised ownership houses for government employees of Bandra colony”.

Bandra East also houses Kala Nagar where the Thackerays reside, Sahitya Sahwas, Patkrakar Nagar and MIG colony. MHADA’s headquarters are located here, while union minister Ramdas Athavale also resides here. Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray had once said that Bandra East was mainly marsh land and that he took a boat from Dadar when he first wanted to see Kala Nagar.

(With input by Draupadi Rohera.)

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