MUMBAI: Lavasa Corporation Ltd (LCL) which is bankrupt and owns the controversial hill station project Lavasa City near Lonavala, has finally got a buyer.
Pune-based City Corporation Ltd. led by Aniruddha Deshpande has placed a Rs 540-crores bid to take over the ailing project.
In August last year, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) had accepted a petition by the creditors of LCL to declare the company bankrupt, and appointed a resolution professional to find resolution to the financial crisis being faced by the LCL.
However, till June, the resolution professional, Shiv Verma, had not received any bid for taking over the project. Although one Mauritius-based company, and a few builders in the state had shown interest in the project, but they did not submit any concreate resolution plans.
As per company’s website as on April 30, the company owed Rs 5,559.14 crores to financial creditors, and around Rs 400 crore sto property buyers in the project.
If the resolution plan submitted by Deshpande is accepted by the committee of creditors, then the financial creditors will have to take haircut of nearly 90 per cent.
Launched in the early part of the last decade, the Lavasa City project has been marred with controversies since its beginning. There were controversies over the way the project was granted land and other permissions by the state government. Other controversies related to the way it was given a status of a special planning authority (SPA), and allowed to construct a barrage for water supply to Lavasa City. Permissions for cutting of hills for construction of roads and residential and commercial properties were also questioned.
In fact, in 2010, the then Union environment minister Jairam Ramesh imposed a moratorium on construction activity in the Lavasa City. The moratorium was lifted in 2012. Multiple PILs were filed in the Bombay High Court over alleged environmental violations and acquisition of land from tribals.
Interestingly, Deshpande owned a stake in the project in its initial phase around 2002 along with NCP MP Supriya Sule’s husband Sadanand Sule. However, the two exited the project in 2007.
Source: ET Realty
Image Source: Live Mint