Mumbai: The Maharashtra state government is eyeing the iconic Air India building at Nariman Point to accommodate its Mantralaya staff, according to a senior bureaucrat. Already, the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) has evinced interest in the purchase of the 23-storeyed building to set up shop, as reported earlier. “Since Mantrayala faces acute shortage of space, a few officers, at a meeting held earlier with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, suggested buying the debt-ridden Air India building to accommodate the extra staff. The location of Air India building is extremely convenient,” he said.
However, another source informed, Civil Aviation Chief Secretary R N Choubey will be meeting JNPT officials at the Sahyadri Guest House in Malabar Hill on Friday, to finalise the deal. Regardless of who buys the high-rise, the state government stands to gain revenue through the lease transfer rights. “The present market value of the land is Rs 200 crore and the state government will get 25 per cent out of it; there will be a profit share of at least Rs 50 crore,” added the official.
The building was Air India’s headquarters until February 2013, before operations were moved to New Delhi. It stands on a sprawling area of over 220,000 square feet and currently, has several vacant floors.