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Firm promoted by arms dealer’s kin gets permission to build township in Maharashtra

Centre has approved the 260-acre township in Raigad by Claridges Sez Developers, owned by Suresh Nanda’s family

mumbai Updated: Dec 13, 2017 10:06 IST
Ketaki Ghoge
Ketaki Ghoge
Hindustan Times
The township will be developed at Khalapur, close to Navi Mumbai international airport. (HT File Photo)

The Centre has given a go-ahead for a special township project, spread across 260 acres in Raigad, which is being promoted by arms dealer and former naval officer Suresh Nanda’s family.

The Centre’s expert appraisal committee on infrastructure and Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) projects approved the township to be built by Claridges Sez Developers Private Limited, in its meeting held on October 30.

According to documents registered with the ministry of corporate affairs, the company’s directors include Paul Nanda, Suresh Nanda’s brother and Peter Punj, his son-in-law.

“Suresh Nanda is no longer involved in this project. He has no stakes or interest in it. His family members continue to be directors. Our project has now got all clearances and we are looking for a joint venture partner before finalising the plans,” said a spokesperson associated with the township, who refused to be named.

The township project is estimated to cost nearly Rs 7,500 crore according to the minutes of the meeting. The project had got a clearance under the state government’s special township policy under the former Congress-NCP government, said a senior urban development department official. It got the locational clearance in 2015 under the BJP government.

The township being built in Khalapur tehsil of Raigad will have 148 buildings with approximately 13,520 flats to be built over the next six phases, including homes for the economically weaker section, as mandated under the state’s policy. The township will have several amenities to make it self-sustainable, including a school, hospital, IT park, hotels, resort, commercial buildings convention centre, market, among others.

The location of the township is close to the upcoming new international airport, which will witness the next realty spurt in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. The project falls in the Navi Mumbai Airport Influence Notified Area (Naina), an area that is bigger than Mumbai. A majority of the land in this region has been purchased by developers and is expected to now see a construction boom. The City and Industrial Development Corporation is also constructing a smart city within Naina.

Claridges Sez Developers Private Limited had initially purchased land to promote a multi-services Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in 2003. The formal approval for a multi-services SEZ was withdrawn in 2013.

The spokesperson, whose details have been registered by the company with the ministry of corporate affairs, said, “The decision to withdraw approval as a SEZ was due to market conditions.”

Suresh Nanda had run into trouble with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the Barak missile kickbacks deal in 2008, but the case against him has since been closed.

The state government is promoting special townships to be built over 100 acres of land near cities and its metropolitan areas. The policy was revised for a third time in 2016 with the Fadnavis-led government tweaking some of the earlier norms to make it more viable.

Nanda family also owns Claridges hotel in Delhi and erstwhile Sea Rock hotel in Mumbai

First Published: Dec 13, 2017 10:05 IST