Homebuyers approach Maharashtra RERA for delay in Lavasa Project

Lavasa-RERA

Lavasa Corporation Limited launched first planned hill city ‘Lavasa Project’ with assured delivery by 2015.  A homebuyer Pushkar Ghokale booked a home for his parents hoping to get the possession within the stipulated time period. But the wait has not ended yet. Gokhale is one of the hundreds of other buyers who had invested in the project and are now left hopeless.

The project was launched in 2005, the project was advertised with glitzy pictures and a high decibel marketing campaign. But every since the commencement of the project it has been in controversies, be it land issue or environment clearances.This project is promoted by Lavasa Corporation Limited, which is a subsidiary of HCC. When CNBC-TV18 approached Lavasa Corporation, it said in an email statement that it has every intent to deliver as soon as its huge debt of Rs 5,000 crore is restructured.

“When I went there again in November 2015 around the time when the delivery was promised, I saw that the construction had come to a complete standstill. There was no infrastructure, which was promised to us. After paying almost 50 percent of the total value I am stuck here. This has caused a lot of frustration for the last 4 years,” Gokhale said.

“We expect to achieve this by the end of 2017-18. This will ensure revival of Lavasa project. This entire restructuring process, which involves multiple lenders was agreed in September 2015, but has taken time at banks level, impacting the project’s progress. Lavasa is committed to hand over possession to home buyers once the entire restructuring exercise is completed,” the Lavasa spokesperson said.

The Lavasa Project is actually a collection of smaller projects and each of them has a different delivery date. The Lavasa project on the MAHA RERA website, has only a few of the projects registered. Also, these projects now display a delivery date of 2020.

However, the company has not informed the homebuyers about the change in delivery date. These homebuyers are now working on reaching out to Maharashtra’s real estate regulator  (MAHA RERA) for relief and experts say it doesn’t matter if the project is not registered.

If the Lavasa project is not registered with MAHA RERA then they have to send an email to the specific email ID of the MAHA RERA and then the authority will take a suo motu action, says Milind Deshpande, RERA Consultant.

For the civil remedies they have to go to the consumer forum and consumer court. They can apply for the compensation and alternatively, they can file criminal proceedings. Besides these another procedure buyers could look into is — negotiations, which means going to the developers and talking to get their money back with 9 percent interest as per the law,” says Sudip Mullick, Partner at Khaitan & Co.


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