The Maharashtra government has offered Rs 1,400 crore as part of its bid to acquire the Air India building in Mumbai; the property will be converted into new offices for the Maharashtra secretariat if the deal goes through, reports The Indian Express.
Although the price being offered is Rs 200 crore below the reserve price set by the national carrier, the airline has decided to go ahead with the deal as part of its plans to sell off its real estate assets.
Other bids for the property included Rs 1,375 crore and Rs 1,200 crore offered by the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) and the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) respectively.
Interestingly, the land on which the building is located was leased by the Maharsthra government itself to Air India back in 1970 as part of a 99-year contract.
Although the state government to take possession of the property prior to June, it might take more than two years before the office space can be utilised by the secretariat, since most of the floors on the building have already been rented out.
The Maharshtra government has asked Air India to make sure that the present rental agreements are not renewed any further. The national carrier is likely to be allowed to retain its booking office on the ground floor of the property.