MMRDA may redevelop Bandra colony for diplomatic enclave

May 05, 2015, 08:38 IST | Varun Singh

The government is coming up with a draft housing policy, which might permit the development authority to develop 100 acres of the Bandra (East) government colony for state staff accommodation and a diplomatic enclave

The state may be planning to redevelop the government colony in Bandra on its own, and also construct offices, and world-class apartments for foreign embassies.

The government colony at Bandra (East). File picThe government colony at Bandra (East). File pic

As per sources in Mantralaya, the draft housing policy which the government will be tabling soon suggests that MMRDA (Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority) will be given the task of redeveloping nearly 100 acres of the government colony in Bandra (East).

The entity will be building government staff quarters and a diplomatic enclave. All this will be apparently done by the MMRDA, which will appoint contractors, not builders, for the task. The state government is coming up with a housing draft policy, primarily drafted by the state housing department. It will be presented to the Cabinet soon.

The housing policy is expected to grant greater FSI, among other recommendations, but allowing government body MMRDA to redevelop one of the biggest government colonies comes as a surprise move. The earlier government had planned to give the contract to builders for redeveloping the government staff quarters.

But it looks like the current dispensation is in no mood to let go of this prime land and hand it to private developers. After constructing the new staff quarters on the land available, the government plans to construct houses and offices for foreign embassies, and call the area a diplomatic enclave.

Currently MMRDA is one of the topmost government authorities, which has constructed a number of big-ticket infrastructure projects in and around the city. Its elite stature is the prime reason why the government may be entrusting the task to the entity. However, Sanjay Sethi, additional metropolitan commissioner, denied having any information on this proposed move. He said, “I cannot comment on it as I do not know about it.”

Messages to Satish Gavai, state housing secretary, UPS Madan, metropolitan commissioner, Minister of State for Housing Ravindra Waikar and Housing Minister Prakash Mehta went unanswered. However, the source from Mantralaya claimed that this is not the first time that the government has had plans of constructing a diplomatic enclave.

Earlier, CIDCO (City and Industrial Development Corporation) had reportedly stated that it would come up with a facility for diplomats in Airoli, Navi Mumbai, but the plans never took off due to the paucity of connections between Airoli and Mumbai. The American Consulate has also recently shifted to Bandra-Kurla Complex.

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