Bangalore: DB Realty Ltd’s upscale residential project in south Mumbai has run into trouble with the state-level expert appraisal committee (SEAC) deciding to recommend that the Maharashtra environment department reject it. The committee has also asked the environment department to get the company to stop work and to take action against it for violating green norms.
The decision was taken in early October. The state-level environment impact assessment authority (SEIAA), which approves projects, can ask the committee to reconsider the decision and, if the latter refuses, reject it if it wants to.
The Orchid Crown project in Mumbai’s Prabhadevi area has three residential towers, all above 50 storeys in height. The project also includes a large public parking space that DB is developing for the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM). According to SEAC, the project’s total built-up area is 3,67,044 sq. m (including 1,21,080 sq. m for MCGM parking).
SEAC, a recommendatory and advisory body to the state environment department that grants environmental clearances, also said the company has flouted several rules by not stopping work on the project as it was instructed to previously.
A DB Realty spokesperson said in an email that the company responded to SEIAA on 4 October after SEAC communicated its decision. He said the project complied with all norms.
“We are certain that SEIAA, which accords the environment clearance (EC), is just, fair and equitable, and will only decide on merits and will not be affected by the current environment,” the spokesperson said.
DB Realty’s promoters Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka are in jail pending investigation into their suspected role in the grant of second-generation spectrum and licences to telecom firms in 2008.
The developer has also clarified that it has not done more work on the project than specified in the Commencement Certificate (CC).
DB Realty has already sold close to 39% of the space in Orchid Crown. At current property rates, the sale price would have been around Rs 25,000 per sq. ft, according to S.G. Maheshwari, a south Mumbai broker.
State environment secretary Valsa Nair Singh told Mint that SEIAA can either accept SEAC’s recommendations or send the project for reconsideration to SEAC again.
Earlier this month, DB Hospitality, which is an unlisted entity of DB Group and is largely held by promoters and some investors, was asked to stop work on a hotel project in south Mumbai for not paying Rs 200 crore in arrears to the municipal corporation. The spokesperson said the company has challenged the amount in question.