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Mantralaya makeover: Rs 30-crore bill for furniture, interiors

In a review meeting to take stock of the ongoing renovation work at Mantralaya, Chavan is said to have ordered the deferral of the construction of an 18-storey tower. However, this doesn’t mean that the state government is stinting on costs. A clear indication of the grandiose nature of plans is given by the cost of furniture alone the state PWD has invited tenders for supply of furniture and interior works, costing a staggering Rs 29.85 crore.

Mantralaya
Mantralaya after it was gutted in fire in June 2012. File Pic

While the total cost of the ongoing makeover project is an estimated Rs 138 crore, it may go up to Rs 168 crore. This figure does not include expenses for electrification work and equipment for the same. At the meeting, the PWD officials pushed for the construction of a tower in place of the annexe building’s west wing. The tower, according to plans, will have at least 18 floors, along with a well-equipped control room fitted with a satellite surveillance system. The state-of-the-art surveillance system will monitor developments within a 200 km radius of Mantralaya. The control room will receive instant updates on developments taking place in the city, sources said.

After examining a presentation made by senior officials from the state PWD, the CM is believed to have suggested that the construction of the tower be taken up later, and instead approved plans for the construction of an underground car park He said that priority should be given to the two-phase makeover work for the headquarters. The first phase will involve rebuilding parts of the building that were affected by the blaze last year, while the second phase will focus on unaffected parts of the premises which however need renovation.

Discussions continued on the makeover plans for Mantralaya that had been drawn up in 2008. The project was awarded to India Bulls, but ran into trouble owing to some disagreements between the Congress and NCP, and a court struggle between the bidders. The CM is reported to have asked why the promising plan never really moved towards execution.

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