Mumbai, Jan 23 (IANS) Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis inaugurated the new nine-storeyed headquarters of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) in the Bandra-Kurla Complex here on Saturday.
“The new office building is indeed iconic. Its elegant and represents the modern culture that was created by MMRDA by undertaking various infrastructure projects not only in Mumbai but also in the metropolitan region,” Fadnavis said.
He added that a government organisation undertaking such mega projects invoking global attention required such a state-of-the-art facility.
The eye-catching building is equipped with a modern auditorium, board rooms, two-level basement, two service floors, public address systems, sophisticated security and fire fighting systems, rainwater harvesting, solar energy and sewerage treatment plants.
“The added space will be useful for accommodating additional workforce to be hired for upcoming projects like the Dahisar-DN Nagar Metro-2 and Dahisar East-Andheri East Metro-7 corridors and other big ticket projects,” MMRDA Commissioner U.P.S. Madan said.
However, RTI activist Anil Galgali questioned the need for such a lavish headquarter for MMRDA when hundreds of farmers were killing themselves in extreme drought conditions in Marathwada and Vidarbha regions of the state.
“The building proposal was given in December 2007 at an approved cost of Rs.87 crore and to be completed within five years. However, three extensions were granted but yet the work remains incomplete even as the cost shot up by Rs.19 crore,” Galgali claimed, citing RTI replies from MMRDA.
The MMRDA has attributed the project delays to other agencies, changes in the original plans and related issues.
The project has been completed by Relcon Infraprojects Ltd, the interiors by Godrej Ltd and the electrical work and air conditioning by Pravin Electricals Ltd.
“Despite having its own headquarters and another modern building Tantri nearby, the MMRDA had no need to spend Rs.106 crore for constructing such a building. This is sheer wastage of resources and akin to mocking the dying and hungry farmers in drought-hit regions,” Galgali said.