"The cost of its demolition was Rs 50 lakh and it has taken away the beauty of the entire building," Avinash Daund, general secretary, Brihanmumbai State Government Employees Union said.
The Maharashtra government’s PWD department has demolished the steps at Mantralaya that were mostly “unused” since 2012, citing a report from the fire brigade.
The steps, constructed after the devastating fire at the state secretariat in 2012, were demolished Sunday.
According to a Public Works Department (PWD) official, the fire brigade had recommended removal of these stares for smooth movement of its vehicles in case of a fire at the government’s administrative headquarters in South Mumbai.
Besides, no one was “using” these steps except on days of flag hoisting, the official said.
The demolition, which began Saturday and concluded the next day, drew criticism from an employee union.
As part of the renovation of the building (post the 2012 fire), a sum of Rs 2 crore was spent on constructing the steps, claimed Avinash Daund, general secretary, Brihanmumbai State Government Employees Union.
“The cost of its demolition was Rs 50 lakh and it has taken away the beauty of the entire building,” he said.
“My organisation had also opposed the construction of these unwanted steps in 2012 itself but no one listened to us,” he said.
“The money spent at both the occasions came from public. We must be answerable to their queries on reasons behind removal of these steps,” Daund said.