Mumbai Police Headquarters can be spotted by anyone from a distance, thanks to the Anglo-Gothic style heritage building that houses such an interesting history since its inception.
The heritage building which was built about 121 years ago, will now undergo a major overhaul and restoration project.
The old world charm that the landmark building exudes, located amidst the hustle-bustle of Crawford Market in South Mumbai, is also commonly known as the Mumbai police commissioner’s office.
The exceptional architectural finesse of the landmark building was given by engineer and surveyor John Adams, the construction of which began on 17 November 1894 and was soon inaugurated on 24 December 1896.
Since its inauguration, the iconic building has seen quite a few influential police commissioners operating from this historic building including Jehangir Bharucha, Julio Ribeiro, Hasan Gafoor, Satyapal Singh, Sanjeev Dayal and Rakesh Maria.
It wouldn’t be wrong to admit that the pre-independence constructed ground-plus-three storeyed building, which still stands strong even today, the restoration project will cost a whopping Rs 15 crore, which has been entrusted to the Public Works Department’s presidency division.
The Anglo-Gothic structure, in all its glory, post-restoration will house a police museum in its ground floor. It will showcase exhibits and fragments of the landmark incidents in Mumbai’s crime chronicles.
Attached to the museum will be a big library. The museum and the library together are sure to evoke the bygone memories and echo the valiant incidents since the time this iconic building was erected. The restored landmark will also boast of a spacious record and storage room along with a lavishly appointed corridor. Similarly, on its first floor, a state of the art conference room with a seating capacity of 50, a lounge and a waiting room, shall be constructed.
As the renovation kick-starts, the offices of the police commissioner and the joint commissioner of police (law and order) shall be under its folds too. Adding to the profligate restoration proposal, the revamping plans for the second and third floors respectively are yet to be rolled out.
Additionally, the entire electrical wiring will be changed, interestingly, back then the construction happened burning the midnight oil, quite literally. The work was carried out in the light of gas lamps at night.
It has also come to light that the internal refurbishment is expected to be completed in the next three months while the exterior work will take about a year.
Apparently, keeping in mind the heritage status of the building, the permission of the heritage committee was sought before starting the restoration work. The panel includes district collector, PWD’s executive engineer, deputy director of town planning and a professor from the JJ School of Arts.
The heritage building, that dates back to 1894, its’ about time the structure needed a face-lift. As they say, “it’s an oldie, but goodie!”