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After collapse at Manora hostel, temporary housing for legislators to cost Maharashtra Rs12 cr a year

Societies and developers hesitate to rent flats to politicians, making the Maharashtra government’s attempts even more difficult

mumbai Updated: Aug 02, 2017 13:24 IST
Surendra P Gangan
Surendra P Gangan
Hindustan Times
Manora hostel collapse,Maharashtra government,Maharashtra legislature
The government plans to house 367 legislators from both the houses at four sprawling towers to be built on the 12,000-sqm plot.(HT File Photo)

Giving 175 legislators temporary accommodation in south Mumbai, until the Manora MLA hostel — the ceiling of which collapsed on Monday — is redeveloped, may cost the government Rs12 to Rs15 crore a year. Finding accommodation in south Mumbai is difficult owing to a lack of small flats and high rent.

After a slab collapsed in a Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA’s room at Manora hostel in Nariman Point, the state legislature issued advertisements seeking furnished two-bedroom flats in Colaba, Nariman Point, Malabar Hill, Napean Sea Road to Wadala and Dadar on a rental basis for 175 legislators.

The state specified that the flats should be 450 sq ft to 550 sq ft. However, market sources said it is difficult to find flats that fit the bill.

“If they want flats at Marine Lines, Malabar Hill or Napean Sea Road, the rent will be Rs1.5 to Rs2 lakh a month. Flats measuring 550 sq ft cost Rs3.5 to Rs4 crore. The monthly interest amounts to at least Rs2 lakh a month. Secondly, there is a shortage of smaller flats. The government will have to go northward if it wants to accommodate legislators in one area. It must also keep in mind the high rent, legislators’ security and the maintenance of the flats,” said a south Mumbai MLA, who did not wish to be identified.

He said societies and developers hesitate to rent flats to politicians, making the state’s attempts even more difficult.

“It is difficult to find so many flats readily available in south Mumbai. They may be available in Dadar, Worli or Wadala for Rs50,000 to Rs70,000 a month,” said Shrigopal Maheshwari of Maheshwari and Maheshwari firm, which deals in south Mumbai’s real estate.

Mantralaya sources said renting flats for the next three to four years would cost the government large sums. “We plan to construct a multi-story tower with 850 flats. This will cost Rs600 crore. We have asked the national buildings construction corporation to complete it in two years, but pre- construction permissions may take at least eight to 12 months as the building falls under the Coastal Regulation Zone. This means the legislators will need temporary accommodation for at least four years. We plan to have of 400-sq-ft and 600-sq-ft flats in the redeveloped Manora, which will also have eight-story parking facility,” the official said.

Anant Kalse, principal secretary, state legislature told HT that the Manora structure was in bad shape. “We need to vacate the premises, but will have to make alternative arrangements before notices are served,” he said.

First Published: Aug 02, 2017 13:24 IST