By its looks, the place could be mistaken for Portofino, a fishing village-cum-resort in Italy—multi-coloured buildings crowd a waterfront and cafes flank a cobbled promenade. But the under-construction town is just an hour’s drive from Pune in Maharashtra and is independent India’s first hill city—Lavasa.
Planned on the principles of new urbanism where shops, homes, workplace and recreational facilities are within walking distance of each other, Lavasa is touted as a place that would offer quality life to its projected 300,000 residents and attract tourists. What the postcard images of the hill city hide is that its promoters, Lavasa Corporation Limited, bent rules, overlooked regulations and ignored environmental statutes while building it. This has jeopardised the ecology of the Sahyadri hills where Lavasa is located. The resultant landslides could pose a risk for Lavasa, too.
A report by Kumar sambhav Shrivastava and Arnab Pratim Dutta
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