MUMBAI: Mumbai's civic authority has issued a stop-work order against Piramal Realty's luxury residential project at Worli Seaface, on the site that earlier housed Hindustan Lever's seven-storey building Gulita, comprising a residential complex and a training centre.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has stopped Ajay Piramal Group's realty arm from demolishing the sea-facing building after social activist Santosh Daundkar complained that the developer had not received permission from the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority and challenged the change in land-use from educational centre to luxury housing.
Mumbai-based Piramal Realty had acquired leasehold rights to the plot measuring nearly an acre from Hindustan UnileverBSE -2.80 % for 452.5 crore in April, 2012.
In response to a query from ET, the developer said its subsidiaries undertaking the development were awaiting the commencement certificate from the civic authority and Maharashtra Coastal Zone Authority for starting construction at the premise, but added that it had received an Intimation of Disapproval (IOD). The IOD is an approval of civil plans.
The developer needs to comply with the requirements and receive various clearances from environment authorities, tree authorities, fire officer, etc., to get a commencement certificate.
Piramal Realty confirmed that its subsidiaries Nival Developers, Gerbe Developers and Float Developers had received instructions from the civic authority to stop demolition of the premises until compliance of certain conditions mentioned that the companies were in the process of completing.
The corporation, in its response to the complaint, has mentioned that the training-cum-residential building was built by lease assignor Hindustan Unilever at its own cost and completion certificate for the building was issued in 1988. The civic authority has declined to categorise the building under public use. However, following Daundkar's complaint on the lack of environmental clearance, the corporation has asked the developer to stop the demolition activity and safeguard the partly demolished building.
On behalf of Daundkar, advocate and former IPS officer YP Singh had issued a legal notice to the Piramal Group companies before approaching the corporation. The developer is proposing to construct luxury apartments by seeking change of clause from civic authorities, Singh said in a statement.
Hindustan Lever held a perpetual lease from the corporation for the land parcel that housed its training centre and private residences for senior management. The Anglo-Dutch company was earlier planning to sub-lease the property instead of selling it.
However, it re-tendered the plot for sale following a Supreme Court order that set aside the corporation's move to raise the premium on the ownership transfer of its leased properties to 50% from 7.5%.