Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has expressed its interest for the taking over of Air India’s iconic tower at Nariman Point in Mumbai, located at Marine Drive.The Central Bank is learnt to have offered 10 years’ lease rental as advance payment, as per a top reliable source of IANS.
State-controlled LIC and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) had also expressed interest to buy the signature building with the latter ready to shell out about Rs 1,300 crore but not on the rental basis.
Air India in December floated a tender to sell its 23-storeyed tower as part of a larger asset-monetisation plan. That time, it had allowed only government entities to participate in the bidding for leasehold rights after facing a huge debt.
The government had mooted the plan to sell the Nariman Point building after its plan to sell majority 74 per cent stake in the carrier proved a damp squib with no private investor turning up for the offer.
The iconic Nariman Point Tower of Air India was built in 1974, the building was designed by US architect John Burgee and was the first centralised air-conditioned office in India. Inspite of many towers springing up in the neighbourhood, it still remains a landmark on Mumbai’s skyline, identified by a centaur icon on top. The building served as the AI headquarters till 2013, before it was shifted to Delhi.