Amidst the ongoing controversy surrounding the Lavasa project, Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) chairman Ajit Gulabchand on Wednesday reportedly met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Even as details of the meeting were not available, Gulabchand is believed to have briefed the Prime Minister about company's stand on all aspects of the ongoing controversy.
The environment ministry on November 25 served a showcause notice to Lavasa, saying it had failed to secure necessary environmental clearance before starting development work on its Hill City project near Pune.
The over 5,000-acre Lavasa project has been allegedly embroiled in environment and bribe-for-home loan controversies, which has led to the delay of Lavasa Corporation's Rs 2,000-crore initial public offering (IPO). The company received regulatory approval for its IPO after been hived off into a seperate company from HCC.
"I do not want to speak about the meeting. I have met him (the PM) and that's it," Gulabchand told Hindustan Times.
The Lavasa project initially found mention in the bribe-for-home loan scam where it was alleged that Money Matters Financial Services was associated with the firm and had arranged funds for the project. Money Matters is a Mumbai-based intermediary that has been the locus of arranging loans for developers after bribing bank officials.
Lavasa Corporation has denied both allegations. It had said that Money Matters was associated with the company on a brokerage basis.
The company has also challenged the stay order of the Ministry of Environment in the Bombay High Court.