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Confusion among builders affected by SC order

There is much confusion and unrest among disgruntled builders who have been affected by the SC order restricting the sale and bookings or lease of property, reports Madhurima Nandy.

delhi Updated: Apr 26, 2007 23:04 IST

A day after the Supreme Court passed an order restricting the sale and bookings or lease of property on ‘forest land’ in the eastern and western suburbs of Mumbai, there is much confusion and unrest among disgruntled builders who have been affected.

The vast expanse of approximately 117.6 acres, now discovered as ‘forest land’ where development cannot be allowed, was once one of the busiest industrial hubs of the city. Over the years, the manufacturing units have closed down making way for the more lucrative, building industry gradually changing the character of the areas into a residential, commercial hub.

Projects, like Runwal Infinity and the one developed by Atithi Group, who were allowed to construct by the earlier high court order and had already begun bookings, are stuck halfway.

The 35-acre township of Atithi has already finished bookings for two of the 14 towers in the project. Bookings had begun for the third tower last October but after the Supreme Court order on Thursday, the sale or booking of any flat is stalled for the next four months. “We have started construction last year and there is still a long way to go. We are also planning a school and shopping mail within the township,” said Hiren Patel of Athithi.

Another project, Runwal Infinity, coming up in the earlier Rallifan manufacturing unit has reportedly completed around 70 per cent bookings. Sources in the property industry said there is confusion over the interpretation of the SC order whether allotment of already booked flats will be allowed now and if incomplete bookings can be processed.

The displeasure is evident among all the builders. Dharmesh Jain of Nirmal Lifestyles had procured all the necessary permissions while procuring the land and no government record shows the reservation under ‘forest land’. Jain’s gigantic retail mall, Nirmal Lifestyles, is one of the affected properties where 1.2 lakh square feet have been marked as ‘forest land’, as per the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) survey.

However, Jain insisted that the affected area is the rear portion of the mall, which is residential and is under construction.

First Published: Apr 26, 2007 22:58 IST