Maharashtra Institution for Transformation leases office space at Rs 21 lakh a month, ET RealEstate

September 18, 2023

MUMBAI: After allotting a BMC bungalow in Malabar Hill for state think tank Maharashtra Institution for Transformation‘s (Mitra) CEO Praveen Pardeshi, the Maharashtra government has decided to rent a nearly 8,000 sq ft office space for Mitra in a Nariman Point high-rise for Rs 21 lakh per month or around Rs 2.5 crore a year.

Mitra was set up in 2022 as a think tank along the lines of Niti Aayog to focus on comprehensive data analysis and to make studied decisions on various sectors.

The government had given it a 1,200 sq ft space in the state-owned New Administrative Building, but Mitra officials said the space was too small and asked for bigger office space.

While CM Shinde is chairperson of Mitra, Ajay Ashar, a developer from Thane and an aide of CM Shinde, is its vice-chairperson.

A government resolution (GR) issued by the planning department stated, “MITRA was allotted space on the 18th floor of New Administrative Bldg measuring around 1200 (sq ft). Officials said the space is becoming insufficient, a new space of 7,920 sq ft is being made available for the office of MITRA as per the demand of the CEO. This government has given administrative approval to the office of MITRA to lease an area of about 7920 sq ft at Nirmal Bhawan, 5th floor, Nariman Point, Mumbai from ECGC Limited. For the said place, the PWD has certified that a rent of Rs 21,38,400 to be reasonable. A rent increase of 5% per annum is applicable.” ECGC Ltd is a Centre-owned export credit agency under the Union ministry of commerce and industry.

The state’s decision comes amid a rising debt burden, with deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis showing in the budget he presented in March this year that it had grown to Rs 6.8 lakh crore.

The BMC recently allotted its controversial but sought-after hydraulic engineer’s bungalow in Malabar Hill to Pardeshi, a retired IAS officer who is Mitra CEO. Pardeshi was shunted out as municipal commissioner during the first wave of Covid-19 in May 2020. He also currently heads the Capacity Building Commission set up by the PMO.

The bungalow adjacent to Hanging Gardens has been controversial due to its allotment to ministers and IAS officers not posted in BMC. In 2020, the MVA government had given it to the then city guardian minister Aslam Shaikh. IAS officer Pravin Darade, who had been living there for 5 years, then moved out.

  • Published On Sep 17, 2023 at 04:00 PM IST

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