23 August 2019: City-based developer Aniruddha Deshpande is among the three realtors bidding to revive the hill station project of Lavasa Corporation Limited, facing bankruptcy.
The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) would take a final decision on awarding the project by September 30. UV Assets Reconstructions Company Limited (UVARCL) from New Delhi and Developer Group India Private Limited (Developer group) from Gurgaon are the two other bidders.
The presentation of the resolution plans was made in the Committee of Creditors’ meeting held on August 19, a source said. After the bid is awarded, the final closure should take place by the end of December.
Deshpande told TOI that he was aware of the present condition of the Lavasa project as he was an investor in it in 2007. He later sold his shares to Hindustan Construction Company (HCC). Deshpande said he was sure about reviving the project in Lavasa.
The realtor said he had committed for the bid on his individual capacity and not on behalf of the City Corporation Limited that has the Amanora project.
“I am aware of the Lavasa project and I have expressed my interest. The decision will be taken by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT),” he said, adding that the issues of homebuyers should be resolved once the bid was awarded.
The NCLT had in August last year accepted a petition of the creditors of Lavasa Corporation Limited (LCL) to declare the company bankrupt. It appointed a resolution professional to find solution to the financial crisis being faced by the LCL. Till June, the resolution professional did not receive any bids for taking over the project.
According to sources, LCL owed Rs 5,559.14 crore to financial creditors and around Rs 400 crore to the property buyers in the project.
Lavasa resident Suresh Goswami, who had launched the online petition to revive Lavasa hill station, said those who had complete knowledge of the project could help revive it. “Deshpande has experience in creating quality and eco-friendly homes and is known for his integrated township such as Amanora city. We are hopeful that the best bidder will win and help revive the area,” said Goswami.
“The resolution professional must ensure that the homebuyers do not end up as losers. The maximum impact will be on those who have not been given possession despite having invested most of their savings in the project. Out of 3,378 residential units, only 1,283 have been completed and handed over. Another 2,090 are under construction. Of them, only 1,225 have been sold,” he added.
The Lavasa residents earlier sent a petition to the Prime Minister, requesting the central ministry of housing and urban affairs to revive the hill station under the Smart Cities Mission project.
HL: DREAM PROJECT
Lavasa was given the hill station title by the state in 2002
The project envisaged a new city on the banks of Varasgaon dam
Spread over 10,500 acres, it encompasses 18 villages
2,200 apartments and villas, hotels, numerous city amenities and convention centre constructed
The project ran into hurdles in 2010 when then Union environment minister Jairam Ramesh imposed a moratorium on the construction activity in Lavasa City, which was lifted in 2012
Multiple PILs were filed in Bombay high court over alleged environment rule violations and acquisition of land from tribals
The project comes under Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority
It also questioned why there was no development plan as per the Hill Station Policy