Mumbai: Malabar Hill bungalow is out-of-bounds for Mayor

Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) cannot guarantee the Malabar Hill bungalow of Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) additional commissioner as a replacement to the existing Mayor’s residence.

The Shiv Sena wants the bungalow for the Mayor since the existing Shivaji Park structure will soon be converted into a memorial of Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray. In quest for the same, the party has locked horns with the MMRDA personnel. The BMC, last week, even went onto serve an eviction notice to Pravin Darade, additional metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA, to vacate the premises citing the bungalow is ‘in a dilapidated condition’.

However it does not guarantee the bungalow, civic sources said, to Mumbai Mayor. Ironically, the couple had also been served eviction notices in the past stating the bungalow is needed for the Mayor. The government had allotted the Malabar Hill bungalow to Pravin, when his wife, Pallavi Darade, was the additional municipal commissioner in the civic body.

Eventually, Pallavi was transferred out of BMC who currently heads the Food and Drug Administration. As per the government order, the bungalow would remain with the Darades until his retirement in 2028. But as luck would have it, when a structural audit was conducted, it was found that the Malabar Hill reservoir requires extensive repairs and the bungalow was also found in a dilapidated state and hence needs to be demolished. “It seems the tricky situation has resolved itself. The audit says the bungalow needs to be demolished. So neither the couple nor the Mayor will get it,” a civic officer said.

The BMC ordered the Darades to vacate or show cause why he should not be made to do so. He will be given a hearing on August 27.

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