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Maharashtra police headquarters set for Rs 17 cr facelift

PTI | Mumbai | Updated: 08-08-2019 11:43 IST | Created: 08-08-2019 11:33 IST
Maharashtra police headquarters set for Rs 17 cr facelift
(Representative Image)

The British-era building housing the Maharashtra Police headquarters here is all set to undergo repairs and renovations at an estimated cost of over Rs 17 crore, an official said on Thursday. The 143-year-old ground plus two-floor heritage structure, also known as the 'Royal Alfred Sailors Home' since its original purpose was to house seamen, is located in south Mumbai's Colaba area, just a stone's throw away from the Gateway of India.

The iconic building, which houses office of the state Director General of Police (DGP), is in need of renovation since some time, the police official said. "The proposal for the building's renovation and upgradation at an estimated cost of Rs 17.31 crore has been sent to the DGP's office," he said.

"The Home department has approved the renovation proposal. The work will start after getting clearance from the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee (headed by district collector) and availability of funds," he said. The state government has asked the police department to furnish details of expenses required to be made to give the structure a facelift, the official said.

The estimated cost is based on the structural layout prepared by conservation architect Abha Lambah, he said. The construction of the building, adorned with several intricate carvings and sculptures, began in February 1872 and was completed in 1876 at a cost of Rs 3.66 lakh, he informed.

The imposing structure's pediment has a sculpture of Neptune, considered guardian of the seas, while the pitched roof is decorated with red Mangalore tiles. The sculptures were designed by students of the famous J J School of Art here under the supervision of John Lockwood Kipling, renowned writer Rudyard Kipling'a father, who was appointed a professor of architectural sculpture at the institution in 1865, the official said.

The building was acquired in 1928 by the then state government. In 1930, it became the Legislative Council and continued to function as the legislative premises until the new Council Hall was built in 1982. The same year, Maharashtra's first DGP K P Medhekar requested the government to hand over the building to the police force for setting up its headquarters.

The government then acceded the demand and the building is now the nerve center of policy-making, planning, and implementation of the country's largest police force, the official added.


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