Mumbai civic body and Maharashtra government in tug of war over IAS officer’s residence

The BMC is looking to allot it to the city mayor, but it’s been assigned to MMRDA additional commissioner Pravin Darade

mumbai Updated: Feb 09, 2018 00:40 IST
Eeshanpriya MS
Eeshanpriya MS
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,BMC,Mayor's bungalow
The mayor’s bungalow is set to be converted into a memorial for Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray.(HT)

A bungalow located at Malabar Hill area is now in the midst of controversy with the state administration insisting that it should remain with an officer who is residing in it and the Shiv Sena-ruled civic body demanding it for the city mayor.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to approach the Maharashtra government and ensure that the BMC-maintained bungalow at Malabar Hill, presently allotted by the state government to IAS officer Pravin Darade, is handed over to the civic body. The BMC has been looking to take back the bungalow to allot it to mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar, but it has been assigned to Darade. Darade is currently serving as additional commissioner in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).

The bungalow presently being held by the mayor, near Chaityabhumi at Shivaji Park, is set to be converted into a memorial for Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray. However, this cannot be done unless an alternative accommodation is alloted to Mahadeshwar.

The group leaders of political parties in the BMC in a meeting on Thursday decided that Mahadeshwar and municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta will further take up the issue with the state government.

The decision comes in response to the state’s General Administration Department writing aletter to the BMC stating it would be inappropriate to ask Darade to vacate the bungalow that had been allotted to him till he retires in 2028. The letter also says the civic body must not send the Darades any more notices of eviction. The letter also stated that an additional municipal commissioner from the BMC resides in a state government-maintained bungalow. As such, it was valid that a state government officer resides in a BMC-owned bungalow.

Following the BMC’s decision to allot the Malabar Hill bungalow to the mayor, the civic body sent multiple eviction notices to the Darades. Darades is married to Pallavi, an Indian Revenue Service officer who also served as additional commissioner in the BMC till recently.

Leader of the Opposition in the BMC, Ravi Raja, who brought up the issue for discussion, said, “A position as high as the mayor’s must be alloted with a suitable residence. At present there is no other property that can serve the purpose. The mayor must be alloted a bungalow -- the Darades are occupying a BMC-maintained bungalow.”

Similarly, Leader of the House, Yashwant Jadhav said, “It is a civic body-maintained property. It is illogical that a state government employee uses it.”

First Published: Feb 09, 2018 00:40 IST