Mumbai: Relied upon by most visitors from Himachal as a home away from home, in metropolis Mumbai, the Himachal Mitra Mandal Bhawan has not only hiked up rates but the hygiene standards have dropped to make the place unlivable at places.
With the city having no Himachal Bhawan, like the one at Delhi or Chandigarh, students, job seekers, employees on transfer and cancer patients knocking the doors of the country leading institute, the Tata Memorial Cancer Hospital, are the people who mostly rely upon the affordable staying charges at the Himachal Mitra Mandal Bhawan.
Sources claimed that to keep the needy people out from occupying the Rs 100 bedding charges for an overnight stay at the Mumbai Bhawan dormitory accommodation, the management doubled the charges about six months back, even though the same accommodation is said handed out freely to known contacts, driver, helpers and others by the staff.
“Not only has it become unaffordable for us,” says Mayank (name changed), “but the bedding provided for the basement accommodation is a mattress with two bed sheets that has to be laid out on the floor.”
A store room that does not have proper ventilation has been vacated to make for the basement accommodation. This dormitory run room is not even cleaned regularly, he adds.
Operated by a registered society, the Himachal Mitra Mandal Bhawan is located at Sarvay No. 320; Road No. 5, Postam Sagar, Chambur, Mumbai-89 and a foundation stone shows that it was inaugurated by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on 23 October, 1985.
The Bhawan was built by people from Kangra, who had settled in Mumbai.
Constructed with their own savings, the objective was to provide affordable boarding and lodging facilities to people from Himachal visiting Mumbai, which happens to be the costliest city in India.
The Mitra Mandal Bhawan also has a roof top banquet hall and some portion of the Bhawan has been rented out that fetches a good and steady income from the property.
Efforts to contact Shambu Ratta Shastri, (Mobile: 09892135135), president of the society, to seek a comment failed as he could not be reached over the mobile phone, despite repeated attempts.
Himachal Mitra Mandal Bhawan, Landline Phones 022-25251693, 022- 25253098