Residents of Lavasa project have written to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to resolve the issue and include the project under Smart City Mission as the fate of about 10,000-odd investors are stuck in the project, which is facing insolvency with no immediate solution in sight.
The project, conceptualised two decades ago by Ajit Gulabchand, was envisioned as a hill city, on the lines of the cottoncandy harbour of Italy’s Portofino.
The project was designed by HOK, creators of LaGuardia’s Airport Central Terminal B in New York and the Barclays World Headquarters in London.
However, it takes more than investors and architect to build a working city and it was reduced to a weekend getaway for residents of Mumbai and Pune.
Today, Lavasa is an incomplete shell housing some 10,000 people. The financial mess and mounting debt have finally pushed the project to NCLT court Mumbai.
Lavasa Corporation Limited has started the corporate insolvency process under the insolvency and bankruptcy code (IBC) on August 30, 2018, turning the dream of thousands of high profile investors into a nightmare. According to Lavasa’s website, it owes more than Rs 6,200 crore to its financial creditors and more than Rs 400 crore to 840 homebuyers.
The company owns about 20,000 acres in Maharashtra. A government registered valuer has estimated the land price alone at Rs 9,280 crore.
Earlier, Mauritius-based Royale Partners Investment Fund (RPMG Investment) and few Maharashtra based builders had submitted an expression of interests (EoI) to acquire the debt-laden Lavasa Corporation, but they did not submit their bids.
The desperate homebuyers had also written to Chief Minister Devendra Phadnavis expressing their concern but to no avail.