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One year after blaze, Mantralaya renovation still work-in-progress

Last Updated: Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 19:41

Mumbai: A year after top four floors of the imposing Mantralaya building housing the state secretariat here were gutted in a major blaze, labourers are working double shifts to complete the renovation.

A senior minister had assured last year that the work would be finished within six months. But going by the current pace, it may take a few months more.

The fire on June 21, 2012 left five people dead, apart from causing extensive damage to the six-storey building.

The Rs 138-crore project was started last November. There was a delay of three months as the lowest bid of Rs 168 crore by Unity Infrastructure was much higher than the state`s planned expenditure. The firm later quoted Rs 138 crore and bagged the contract.

However, Mantralaya sources said the total amount after project completion may be "even more than double" the estimated cost, including the cost of shifting offices elsewhere.

The new-look Mantralaya would house a space-frame glass atrium over the central courtyard, grand steps leading to the facade, 14 escalators for public use, advanced fire-fighting systems, central air-conditioning, dedicated lifts for VIPs and a roof-top garden.

There would be a dedicated lift for exclusive use of the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister.

The seating arrangement in redesigned rooms will be mostly `open office` type, doing away with cabins most of the officials are used to. Officers below deputy secretary level won`t have cabins in the new set-up, the sources said.

PTI

First Published: Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 19:41
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