Mumbai: The cost for the construction of a barrack in Arthur Road Jail here has now doubled from its initial budget to Rs 4.49 crore. The cause, said an official, was that most of the funds allocated for the project 13 years ago were instead spent on setting up a high security cell for the 26/11 terror attacks convict, Ajmal Kasab.
The Maharashtra Home Department on Monday issued a government resolution (GR), sanctioning funds as per the fresh cost estimate for the construction and electrification work of barrack-1 in Arthur Road Prison in Central Mumbai.
"The prisons department was sanctioned Rs 2.62 crore in 2006-07 for the ground plus one-storey structure of the barrack," an official said on Thursday. The amount was authorised under the central government's Prisons Improvement Scheme, he said.
The official said that the funds had been sanctioned as per the rates prevalent then. "However, after the 26/11 attacks, Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab was brought to the prison and the construction of a high security cell to lodge him was given priority," he added.
He said that most of the funds for constructing the barrack were then diverted for setting up the high security cell. "With the remaining funds, work of the barrack's ground floor was carried out," the official added.
The Executive Engineer of Public Works Department (PWD) and Prisons Department had submitted a fresh proposal, stating the escalated cost of the project.
Ten Pakistani terrorists, including Kasab, had launched an attack on key locations in the city on the night of November 26, 2008. The terrorists killed 166 people and injured over 600 others.
On November 2012, Kasab was hanged at the Yerwada Central Jail in Pune.