After the 2012 fire at Mantralaya, the state secretariat building in south Mumbai, four major departments — public health, medical education, water supply and sanitation, and rural development — have been operating from GT Hospital.
These departments, along with others, may be shifted to the Air India building, an official said. The 23-storey building is owned by Air India Assets Holding Limited, a company created by the union ministry of civil aviation in 2018 to manage all Air India-owned properties. Nine floors of the building are vacant at present. Three floors house GST offices while the income-tax department has eight floors. The ground and first floors are currently with Air India, and the government has communicated to Air India Assets Holding Company that it should hand over the building free of encumbrances. One of Mumbai’s iconic buildings, the sea-facing Air India tower came up on state government-owned land in 1974.
It was built by John Burgee of the New York-based architectural firm Johnson/Burgee. Burgee was known for his contribution to post-modern architecture. The building was one of the targets of the 1993 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai. A car bomb exploded in the building’s basement garage, killing 20 people and destroying the offices of the Bank of Oman located above. The building was put up for sale in 2018 as part of Air India’s asset monetisation plans. It has an area of 4.99 lakh square feet.