The mayor, Ms Banda Kartika Reddy, wants to be allotted a bungalow in the city as her official residence-cum-camp office.
She has suggested to officials to consider allotting her the GHMC guest house-cum office building located at Indira Park.
Though the officials are yet to take a final decision, the Indira Park Walkers’ Welfare Association are up in arms. The association has even threatened to move the court against the mayor being allotted the bungalow.
The Association president, Dr Sudhakar Yadav, said that earlier too, past GHMC special commissioners, Mr Sanjay Jaju and Mr Praveen Prakash, had made it their residence. “Lots of vehicles used to come into the park as people and builders used to call on the officers. It had caused lot of inconvenience to walkers. Now, if a politician (the mayor) occupies it, things would be even worse for walkers,” he said.
There is no provision in the HMC Act to provide an official residence to the mayor and no mayor has ever been allotted a residential bungalow.
Officials fear that it will set a bad precedent for the other municipal corporations, municipalities and zilla parishads in the state as they will come under pressure to provide official residences to their respective mayors and chairpersons.
Moreover, the GHMC guest house in Indira Park is presently accommodating offices and employees of the civic body’s urban forestry and horticulture units. The units take care of improvement of greenery and maintenance in the city, and are now under the risk of being kicked out once again. They were earlier shifted from the GHMC head office due to lack of space.
In fact the mayor had written to the state government first to allot her a government accommodation in Kundan Bagh where IAS and IPS officers are allotted official bungalows. However, the government rejected her plea and asked her to ask the corporation.
When contacted, Ms Reddy told this correspondent: “The official residence-cum-camp office of the mayor in Mumbai is located near the beach. The Mumbai municipal corporation has provided the mayor with an official accommodation. I want the officials to earmark a bungalow as a permanent official residence for the first citizen.”