Lakeview Developers run by the Hiranandani Group has been asked by the Bombay High Court on Tuesday to develop some 2,398 affordable houses in Powai before June 1, 2021, as per the undertaking given by them. The developer needs to build around 887 flats of 861 sqft each and 1,511 flats of 430 sqft each. The developer is also bound to sell a specified number of these flats to the Maharashtra government at a rate of Rs 135 per sqft.
If this deadline is not met, the developer would need to set aside an additional 10% of the flats for sale to the state government, observed the division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice Nitin Jamdar.
The latest order to the developer came during the course of hearing of an application by the developer over a 2012 order restraining it from constructing buildings on its Powai land without permission. The court's orders had come on a PIL that alleged violation of lease conditions.
Hiranandani had signed a lease for the 230 acres of land in 1986 in a tripartite agreement with the state and MMRDA. As per the agreement, the builder was supposed to construct 50% of the flats admeasuring 430 sqft and the remaining of 861 sqft. Instead, according to the petitioner, flats were allowed to be merged to as large as 4,000-5,000 sqft and sold at prices touching Rs 7 cr.
One of the important conditions was that around 15% of the floor space index consumed would have to be sold to the state government at a rate of Rs 135 per sqft. These flats would be used by the state to house its staff. The PIL had claimed MMRDA initially imposed a fine of around Rs 2,000 cr on the builder, which was brought down to Rs 89 cr and finally the state further slashed it to Rs 3 cr. As per the 2012 HC order, the builder has to construct 2,200 flats admeasuring 431 sqft and another 2,200 flats admeasuring 861 sqft.
Earlier this year, the HC appointed a committee to inspect and verify the affordable flats constructed and the remaining ones that needed to be built. The flats are to be situated in six residential towers.While some flats would be ready by December 2018, the rest have to be constructed before June 1, 2021. The court has allowed the developer one month to apply for permissions and around six months for the BMC to grant approvals. The developer will also need to open a joint account with the proto-notary of the HC, where the proceeds from around 207 flats would be deposited.