Lavasa exposed

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

By Arnab Pratim Dutta, Kumar Sambhav Shrivastava
Last Updated: Monday 17 August 2015

Lavasa exposed


Lavasa is a destination for the well-heeled, upwardly mobile, aspiring for quality life. The streets bear names like Thicket and Celosia (an ornamental plant); the village that the town replaces—Dasve—has become the Dasve boulevard. The town centre boasts a town hall that does not resemble any municipal office but a corporate office, headed by an American designated town manager. Numerous buildings are at various stages of completion in about 700 hectares (ha). If completed, Lavasa will occupy about 5,000 hectares along the edges of seven hills in the Sahyadri range of the Western Ghats. Its unique selling point is its waterfront, provided by the backwaters of Warasgaon dam on the River Mose.

Ministry softens stand

Construction work at Lavasa was on full swing till November 25 last year when the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) intervened and issued a stop-work order and notice to Lavasa Corporation Limited (LCL), mostly owned by construction major Hindustan Construction Company. Reason: the company had failed to obtain environmental clearance from the Union ministry. It had proceeded on the basis of a clearance from Maharashtra’s environment department.

In March first week, the ministry’s Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) for new infrastructure projects and Coastal Regulation Zone said that planning and development of the whole project should be reworked and its environmental impact assessed afresh. At the same time the ministry also recommended permission be given to complete the semi-finished buildings being built as villas and apartments. It clarified that structures that did not reach plinth level, should not be allowed. The move to regularise illegal constructions is at variance with the ministry’s findings over the past four months.

 dasve town
Dasve town’s waterfront was created by building a weir (Photo: Arnab Pratim Dutta )
An expert committee constituted by the ministry on the directions of the high court at Mumbai, comprising Central and state EAC members and MOEF officials, had visited the project site in January. The committee’s report, dated January 13, confirms the violations of environmental laws, including haphazard cutting of hills.

The ministry had stopped work and constituted the committee in response to the public interest petition moved by the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), formed by activists and NGOs, in the high court of Mumbai. Lavasa challenged the ministry’s order in the high court, saying it had taken the requisite clearances from the state and the ministry had no jurisdiction over the project. The petition named environment minister Jairam Ramesh and two ministry officials in person.

LCL later applied for post facto clearance from MoEF for the first phase of the project, on February 1; Lavasa is being developed in two phases of 2,000 ha and 3,000 ha. While seeking clearance from the ministry, the company argued it has already spent about Rs 3,000 crore on the project and investors have gained third party rights in the city. The project has brought employment and development to a neglected area, LCL said.

 stone quarrying
Stone quarrying has dried water sources of villages (Photo: Arnab Pratim Dutta )
EAC said it was ready to consider post facto clearance on certain conditions, which include a penalty for violating laws and creation of an environment restoration fund by the company. EAC observed that substantial development has already taken place in about 700 ha. “In view of this and considering all related consequences, there is no other alternative before EAC, except appraising the project post facto,” the panel said.

But activists are unhappy with EAC’s recommendations. On March 10, NAPM moved court, challenging the retrospective clearance. “There is no provision in the Environment Protection Act for post facto clearance. At the time of issuing show cause notice on November 25, MoEF had asked the company why the unauthorised structures should not be removed. They cannot legalise it now,” says Vishwambar Choudhari of NAPM.

“The Adarsh housing society in Mumbai was ordered to be demolished under Section 5 of the Environment Protection Act. The same law applies to Lavasa,” adds Choudhari.

EIA notifications flouted

LCL has denied charges of violating environmental laws.

The environment department of Maharashtra gave the final clearance to LCL in March 2004 under the Maharashtra Hill Station Regulations of 1996. The company did not apply to the Centre though the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) notification of 1994 mandated clearance from MoEF for tourism-related projects between 200m and 500m of high tide line and for projects at an elevation of more than 1,000m from sea level, involving investment of over Rs 5 crore.

Since 58 ha of Lavasa city is above 1,000m height and the project cost more than Rs 5 crore, LCL ought to have applied to the Centre for clearance. Further, the mandatory public hearing and assessment of EIA report (see ‘EIA reports raise alarm’, p31) and environment management plan by EAC were bypassed.

imageThe state, in fact, misled the Centre on the applicability of EIA notification on Lavasa. In July 2005, MoEF had written to the Maharashtra environment department saying the project attracts provisions of EIA notification and asked it to ensure all clearance processes are followed. The member secretary of the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board replied that the project did not require clearance from the Centre because it was at a height below 1,000m. The state environment department’s letter to the ministry in August 2010 reiterated this stand. The letter said EIA notification of 1994 did not apply to the project as all constructions were between 640m and 900m altitude.

A senior official in the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board confirmed the ministry’s letter was ignored by the state. When the case was revisited after the MoEF stay order, the original copy of the ministry’s letter was found missing from the files of the board and the environment department. “When the letter could not be found, LCL gave us a duplicate copy,” the official said, implying the company was aware it needed environmental clearance from the Centre. But in its affidavit in the high court, the developer claimed otherwise.

The company claimed the amended EIA notification of 2004, too, did not apply to the project. The notification said “all new construction projects”, including townships and colonies meant for more than 1,000 persons or involving an investment of more than Rs 50 crore, need the Centre’s environment clearance. When this requirement was pointed out in court, LCL argued the project was not a “new project” because it had sufficiently progressed by 2004 when the notification was issued. But the documents submitted by LCL to the ministry show the company obtained the first permission for construction only in August 2007.

A letter by Pune’s assistant director of town planning, dated November 2008, has clarified that Lavasa qualified as a new construction project. The investment made by the company as on July 7, 2004, was less than 25 per cent of the cost, a condition for an industrial project to be considered a “new construction project”, requiring clearance from the Centre, the letter says.

The developer also ignored the provisions of the EIA notification of 2006, which supersedes the previous two notifications. The notification says all townships and area development projects, covering an area of over 50 ha, commenced or upgraded after September 2006, need environmental clearance from the respective state EIA authorities. Since Maharashtra’s State Environment Impact Assessment Authority was constituted by MoEF in April 2008, all new projects should have been appraised by the Centre till that time. But the developer chose to apply to the Maharashtra EIA authority in August 2009. This proposal was too late and by then the environment had been damaged, as MoEF notes in its order dated January 17.

The damage report

The site inspection of MoEF notes that the company has resorted to large scale hill-cutting to extract construction material and for making roads. This has rendered the hills barren. The Pune collector had granted LCL lease to quarry minor minerals like stones. The ministry report says “the haphazard hill cutting is expected to result in landslides, high erosion, and consequent siltation of water bodies.”

The ministry EAC, too, endorsed these findings in its meeting on February 14 and 15. “The removal of deep-rooted trees and large rocks would lead to landslides in the event of intense rainfall or cloudburst. Any such occurrence may result in total destruction of the buildings and will have potentially grave threats to buildings down slope,” read the minutes of the meeting.

Lavasa, in its submissions to the ministry, said using locally available construction material was more ecofriendly than transporting it to site. People living in the area disagree. The blasting of hillsides for quarrying stone has spoilt their water sources. “Many springs in the region have dried. We get very little water now,” says Leelabai of Mugaon village, one of the 18 villages affected by the project.

Planning norms violated

Lavasa has also flouted state rules. Its plan does not conform to the procedures in the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act of 1966, which include inviting public objections and obtaining approval from the state government. MoEF’s site inspection report notes there is no approved landscape plan, parking and circulation plan or baseline environmental information within and around the site.

The city’s master plan is essentially a layout plan for 580 ha which was approved by the Pune collector in 2006. This was revised by LCL after it was appointed Special Planning Authority (SPA) by the state government in June 2008. This bestowed LCL powers to sanction its own plans.

Once the developer acquired the powers of a planning authority, it modified the layout plans. The hill station regulations do not allow construction on steep slopes. This made LCL shift most of the development in the valley. The original hill station policy permits only two storey buildings; Lavasa structures have six storeys. This was achieved by transferring the floor space index (FSI) of the buildings that would have come up on the slopes to the buildings in the valley. “By interpreting the global (floating) FSI to their benefit, they have almost doubled the floor space in 80 per cent residential area,” says an official in the town planning directorate of Pune.

Another major planning violation is that the buildings are almost touching the water body; the state government had permitted LCL to construct at a distance of 50m from the reservoir which was reduced to 30m and then 15m. At site, the concrete pavement almost touches the reservoir. The developer allegedly reclaimed land from the reservoir bank. All this may have a negative impact on the flora and fauna of the water body, says MoEF’s site report.

The Maharashtra Krishna Valley Development Corporation, the water resource department of the state, had leased 141.15 ha to LCL to build checkdams. LCL used a portion of the leased land which was above the submergence zone to construct commercial and residential buildings.

Residential: Laws changed to allow construction on steep slopes. Height of apartment buildings increased from Ground (G)+1 to G+4, some adjacent to water body.

Commercial: Laws changed to allow mixed land use—commercial and residential—in the town centre. Height of buildings was increased from G+2 to G+5, which was illegal in the original hill station policy

Water: Check dam at the mouth of Dasve. Buildings and roads close to the water body, at 5 to 15 metre distance. Oil and sludge from vehicles and runoff could affect lake’s water quality. Land reclaimed to set up the waterfront commercial area Lavasa’s population density is likely to be 4000 persons/sq km

Hospital: No plans for disposal of bio-medical waste on-site. Biomedical waste to be transported but no studies done on its impact.

Water at Pune’s cost

The Warasgaon reservoir is integral to Lavasa’s landscape and its water needs. In an undated white paper on the township’s water use, distributed to the media, Lavasa claims water usage would not affect downstream Pune.

Eight check dams are being constructed by LCL upstream of Warasgaon dam to store water for the project. Two dams are already constructed in the water body; the remaining six are to be built in the catchment of the dam. These eight dams will store 24.67 million cubic metre (MCM) water, which is around seven per cent of the storage capacity of Warasgaon dam. MoEF fears the checkdams will reduce the flow of water in the main reservoir.

The Warasgaon dam contributes to the Khadakwasla dam which provides drinking water to Pune. LCL claims the water requirement of Lavasa is minuscule compared to the water requirement of Pune. The current requirement of water for Pune is about 325 MCM. All of this is met by Khadakwasla Dam where water from three dams, including Warasgaon, converges. Warasgaon contributes about 373.9 MCM water and Khadakwasla releases 1041 MCM for various uses, including Pune’s water supply. B G Ahuja, Pune-based former engineer with the Central government, says with the increasing population, Pune will face water crisis. “By 2021, water requirement of Pune will exceed the storage capacity of Warasgaon dam. During the summers, the Warasgaon dam reservoir dries up and Pune suffers from water crisis. From where will Lavasa get water then?” asks Ahuja.

LCL informed the ministry that Lavasa hill station is a part of the final Regional Plan for Pune Region and its water requirements are considered while permitting the development. It said the Pune Municipal Corporation will recycle the water it draws from Khadakwasla dam and reduce distribution losses to 15 per cent from current level of 40 per cent. What’s more, the supply norms for Pune may need to be reduced from 300 litres to 125-200 litres per person a day.

Lavasa acknowledges in its red herring prospectus, filed at the time of initial public offer, that water scarcity may be problem for the township. Their contract with state water resources department states that under extraordinary circumstances Lavasa has to release water from the two check dams built at Dasve and Gadle, which comprise about 27.5 per cent of Lavasa’s water supply. In April and May every year, the Warasgaon dam nearly dries up before the monsoons begin. Not just Pune, Lavasa, too, could be reeling under severe water shortage.

Lavasa spokesperson Ashwin Shetty refused to comment, saying the matter is sub judice. MoEF is, meanwhile, working out the penalty amount and the restoration fund LCL will have to pay.

See Also>> Lavasa’s journey downhill



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  • To all those who are damming

    To all those who are damming Lavasa i ask a simple question - which city in India has even a reasonable quality of life? Which city meets all the environmental and pollution laws of the country? Which city is clean? Where is water not polluted? The answer - no city in India makes a cut for even a decent standard of living. Then why are we damming a city that is attempting to provide a standard which is considered minimum in developed economies? Why should people not aspire for a better living standard? Lavasa will set benchmarks for the future and will force future developers to develope something similar and in general will raise standards. But you have to start somewhere....

    Posted by: Anonymous | 9 years ago | Reply
  • this is clearly unilateral

    this is clearly unilateral journalism where I feel the author has not fairly weighed both side of the story as good journalism calls for...

    never mind that... i wonder when Our Government is going to remove the blindfold and see the greater good in building such cities...

    "Bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny"... Edmund Burke

    Goooo Lavasa.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 9 years ago | Reply
  • I totally agree with the

    I totally agree with the above view. All those who are opposing Lavasa, I request them to visit the place and see for themselves the quality of life that Lavasa is planning to provide to Indian citizens....the rates are much lower than what you would find in Pune and Mumbai.

    Wake up people..let us raise the bar or continue living in polluted air and filth unless you can afford a place in Malabar or Pali hill.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 9 years ago | Reply
  • I went with some friends to

    I went with some friends to see Lavasa. A beautiful natural location is ruined beyond belief. The author in this article is right. The local villagers, who were once small land owners and farmers are being reduced to manual and menial labourers. The city will affect the water in the lakes in this place. Hundreds of species of birds, plants and insects as well as animals will get destroyed in the process.

    My question is, why do we need Lavasa? why cant we spend the money in making the existing cities more habitable and sustainable?

    The entire highway from Mumbai to Pune is littered with second and third homes. It used to be fertile agricultural land, just about 8 years back. What will happen to the reduction to farm produce when the fertile lands are sold to builders? Does that mean we cut the few remaining jungles to bring more land under cultivation?

    The ministers who are looking at Lavasa should first try and make cities like Mumbai, Pune, Nasik, Ahmednagar, Kolhapore etc more habitable. These cities stink with filth, lack of water, extreme dust and pollution and lack of civic amenities.

    Lets correct what we have rather than make new mistakes.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 9 years ago | Reply
  • Lavasa feels and looks like a

    Lavasa feels and looks like a world class city but is it really one? For one there is no concrete blueprint of the city, it changes from time to time depending on the mood and fancy of the developers. There is no premise to believe that Lavasa will solve the basic problem of housing in the country. At best it will provide a second or a third holiday home for people in the metros. Of course this is not a problem as long as the developers assesed the possible impacts of such large habitations in ecologically sensitive areas like the Western Ghats, which they have not.



    Posted by: Arnab Pratim Dutta | 3 years ago | Reply
  • A journey to  1926:

    A journey to 
    1926: Registration of HCC on January 27
    1941: Crosses mark of 1 Cr
    1954: Vitrana dam
    Railway Bridge across river Torsa, Assam
    MGD Sewage plant, Mumbai
    1956: First underground powerhouse, Maithon, Bihar
    Tata Thermal power project, Mumbai
    1966: first Barrage Son Barrage, Bihar
    1967 : First port IMPOUNDED dock for Haldiya
    1971 World s LONGEST barrage at Farraka , West bangal
    Rajasthan atomic power project
    Bhilai steel plant (first INTEGRATED steel plant)
    1975 Yamuna Hydal power project, HP (first underground in Himalayan region)
    1977 idukki double curvature arc dam (first in Indian of kind)
    1982 100cr
    1983 Indian largest water treatment plant Bhandup ,Mumbai
    1988 Kapurthala rail coach factory
    2006 2000 cr
    2008 3000 cr
    Ask how this company got .
    Best Concrete Structure Award for the year 2007-2008: To Gosikhurd Spillway Project, the award is conferred by the India Concrete Institute

    Golden Peacock Innovation Award for the year 2008 for Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project by the Golden Peacock Awards Jury, under the Chairmanship of Justice P N Bhagwati, former Chief Justice of India and Member UN Human Rights Commission

    Most Outstanding Bridge National Award for the year 2008 for Bandra Worli Sea Link Project by an independent jury of bridge engineering experts from the Indian Institution of Bridge Engineers (IIBE).
    Golden Peacock Award for Excellence in Corporate Governance - 2007 conferred by the Institute of Directors (IOD), under the Chairmanship of Justice P N Bhagwati, former Chief Justice of India and Member of Human Rights Commission

    Golden Peacock Award for Occupational Health & Safety - 2007 by IOD (Institute of Directors) in association with World Environment Foundation (WEF)
    ÔÇó Bandra - Worli Sea Link Project, Mumbai

    DemoJAM - SAP Summit 2007: 1st prize for best innovation at handling Construction Aids (CONA) material in SAP implementation
    Awards for Excellence for the Most Outstanding Concrete Structures in India, instituted by Maharashtra, India, Chapter of American Concrete Institute
    ÔÇó Narora Atomic Power Project, U.P. - Certificate of Merit
    ÔÇó 275 M high Chimney for Tata Thermal Power Station, Trombay, Mumbai - III Prize
    ÔÇó 3 km long Road Bridge across river Brahmaputra near Tezpur, Assam - Certificate of Merit
    Why We r so careless about this corporate lobbying and funding to our politics or politician and always blaming working professional?
    Will director environment just gave them permission with his own mind?
    Is there any big scam?

    Posted by: Anonymous | 9 years ago | Reply
  • The piece is worth reading.

    The piece is worth reading. Author has done good research and is quite informative. Looking forward to more such articles. Good job Mr. Sambhav

    Posted by: Anonymous | 9 years ago | Reply
  • I once visited Lavasa and

    I once visited Lavasa and that too at the end of September. My first impression was very good. Even toyed with the idea whether I can purchase one flat there.

    But looking at the way the whole construction is hurriedly pushed forward, it it clear that some vested interests are working in completing this project. And self- reliant city is a myth. The cost of all such cities is born by villages.

    Certainly till Lavasa came, the villagers were not contact with the world outside. Now there are roads, probably transport, employment opportunities .. but whether village poor will have the purchase power to enjoy these amenities - is a question.

    Lavasa looks beautiful and we should have such cities.. but looking at the cost one has to pay for it (as a society) I would rather like to use these resources for brining urban amenities to rural areas without such luxuries.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 9 years ago | Reply
  • Very Well Written Story. Good

    Very Well Written Story. Good Job done by Mr Dutta and Mr Kumar. As a Journalist I feel that these kind of issues should be raised because we cannot get development at the cost of Thousand's Lives. Violation of Rules should be stopped somewhere, then only India can develop in its true sense. I think a series of stories like this needed to get publish. All the Best..

    Posted by: Anonymous | 9 years ago | Reply
  • HCC may be a giant with so

    HCC may be a giant with so much work under their belt. But the best may also falter. We should learn lessons, from what had recently happened in Japan. Were there nuclear power plant design not built by high quality professionals. Leave aside the water problem, the Lavasa is in eco sensitive zone. I myself live near Khadakvasla. The way they are uprooting the hills will only amount to severe landslide problem, resulting in loss of human lives.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 9 years ago | Reply
  • Iliked it . wonderfully

    Iliked it . wonderfully written, even with the small details .

    Posted by: Anonymous | 9 years ago | Reply
  • To those supporting lavasa on

    To those supporting lavasa on the ground that all cities are uninhabitable and polluted....i would ask them why should we add more of the same.

    Going by your logic, we should let all scamsters be because thats how India has always operated. And by that logic let the politicians take our money and stash it away in banks because they have been doing so since independence.

    Why shouldnt we start questioning things and putting things right slowly? Lavasa has flouted environmental law and they should pay. Simple.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 9 years ago | Reply
  • good coverage. Shows

    good coverage. Shows governance at logger heads with environment.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 9 years ago | Reply
  • This is an absolute fact. The

    This is an absolute fact. The politicians along with the builders are ruining the cities. The builders are making hay while the sun shines, by buying agricultural land and creating concrete jungles. They are not bothered about the problems people would face due to the lack of infrastructure. Environment has never been their priority. Govt. should not allow fertile land to be sold. Farmers should be given incentives for not succumbing to such pressures. Agriculture would get a boost and food prices would also come down.
    It is imperative to make the life in existing cities and villages better, only then will India shine.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 9 years ago | Reply
  • what do you mean by ''world

    what do you mean by ''world class quality living style''? raping nature? flattening mountains ,,stopping the way of a river ? polluting a ecologically important area ..driving away the locals and other living beings ? drying up a river? that too for a few handful of people ...what do you mean by is you ill mind setup..are you going to carry away this bricks ,cars ..etc? after your death..yes you need a comfortable sleep with good atmosphere in the room ..for that you can have a good bed /a/c room..and for living spacious halls ? are you having true human friends /relatives to invite and live with them?..just your views are thoughts and mind setup..materials have nothing to affect you bodily/are you going to take with you after your death?...hell with your rotten mind will think this the social status and you get respect or your are satisfied with your more money and possession of materials ..just understand these are thoughts and mind can be selfish in money making and make more ..but do not be a fool ..if you cannot feel try to understand...just leave the nature as it is for next generation ..don't spoil with your foolishness...

    Posted by: Anonymous | 9 years ago | Reply
  • To the youngsters of India

    To the youngsters of India like me, this is one more problem added to our existing concerns of trying to do the right thing. At present the media is bombarding us with shining India images, as long as we have independent articles like this, i think we can question some of those images, but these voices need to be made more forceful in numbers to shake the dominant belief in Indian progress and development. I have great respect for the writer who put together these pieces to give us a summary of the issue, knowing that such efforts are needed from our generation to sustain mother Nature.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 9 years ago | Reply
  • wow!!nice read!! hey LAVASA -

    wow!!nice read!!
    hey LAVASA - and still we are not talking about architecture. architectural criticism will expose the planned LAVASA -the wonder city. i have heard from the people of Dasve and nearby area, how they were tortured to sign on documents etc. Now the maval region of pune is abode of land mafia (with blessings of 'POWAR'ful politicians!!).

    Posted by: Anonymous | 9 years ago | Reply
  • It is a known fact that the

    It is a known fact that the fertile agriculture land and river flood plains are being used for residential and industrial development in the name of development causing irrepairable loss to ecology,water resources and fauna and flora. The landuse planning is the need of the day. Barren and degraded land need to be identified and developed for industrial and residential use leaving the fertile land for agriculture.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 9 years ago | Reply
  • scarcity of something doesnt

    scarcity of something doesnt mean someone has the right to break laws taking advantage of political situations. the entire chain of people who break rules need to be taught a lesson so that it acts as a deterent in future. else telecom companies will hide behind its so called subscribers and lavasa behind its investors. did the banks didnt know they were giving loans to a highly controversial project? dont people know which maratha politician is behind all these ? he hasnt left anything. from agri commodities to cricket to real estate to stock markets ..... this man is a lehman kind of guy who can take the system down with him. its a little late in the day some would say . but we have to go through temporary pain even if it disrupts banking or other industries as we should reward law breakers like america did in 2008, we should bear the pain upfront but ensure people get it, break rules at your own peril.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 9 years ago | Reply
  • stop lavassa, jolt people who

    stop lavassa, jolt people who thought they can manage the system , teach friends of mr pawar a lesson and show the world that law exists in india. let bankers do their due diligence properly before sanctioning loans to projects without requisite clearances and questionable intent. let investors understand that shorcuts will no longer work. let india be a different development model . this gdp thing is a frace. growth has to be inclusive. not sending people to forbes list. the industrialists have to be reined in. the system is subverted . they get CDRs, they get acres of land for free. And they protest 2% hike in taxes. they protest waivers to farmers , they question delivery mechanisms of the state. when the state gives them waivers , the delivery mechanism is perfect. take care of pawar and the country would have reduced corruption by half. it would have saved agriculture, sports , real estate and stock market. you do the math .

    Posted by: Anonymous | 9 years ago | Reply
  • For someody who has seen a

    For someody who has seen a city like Hyderabad destroyed by the greed of builders, I must say you need to re-examine your stand. Out here, we had 400 sq.yds. plots on which there was enough place all around to grow some flowers, lawns, and do kitchen gardening as well. Today, people live in less than 100 sq.yds., breathing in the sewage stink. It is difficult for the municipality to cope up with infrastructure requirements because of increase in its population. The open lands around the houses have gone under parking tiles because multistoried buildings of world class have come up. This means no water is seeping in as is expected with each season of rains. Borewells have depleted water resources. Trees have been cut down so that buildings can be built as per the builder's plans. Even going to outskirts is not going to help because builders have started creating concrete jungles there as well in the name of development. Builders have their compulsions. With investors expecting an increased growth rate each year, they have little choice but to increase the price of land and construction to earn that much of profit, which means they will compromise on what we might consider beautiful and necessary to earn those profits and keep those jobs. Haphazard growth of city with different people adopting different plans makes the city look odd, but some of the amenities are indeed world class like clubs, swimming pools, and malls. I am left wondering whether it is worth worrying and planning for water everyday for those world class amenities. Or worrying about some landslide and crying on loss of loved ones. I agree with you that no city in the country is up to mark. But why destroy what is already beautiful, as it is we have fewer things that are beautiful in our country. My take on Lavasa is, it was beautiful without development. You create remixes of old numbers you dont get lasting music from the resulting cacophony. Nostaligia has a soothing effect. As to some of the other writers, I am not taking them on. I do however feel that there are many other ways of promoting tourism and employing people than merely transforming a quiet village into a metropolis.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 8 years ago | Reply
  • To people who cannot

    To people who cannot understand a basic fact that a watershed cannot be touched let alone be damned by making infrastructure around it, the devil is ready to take your soul.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 8 years ago | Reply
  • i just have to ask the author

    i just have to ask the author ,,is he saying that none of the townships like lavasa should be built in INDIA

    OFCOURSE author has done a great research with lavasa,,,but he should have thought that india is a country where political persons play a pivotal role in damaging the whole economy

    how can one expect a company to be 100% perfect with the norms of the country that too in INDIA

    the problem lies in the structure of politics that we all live in,,,clearances from state are given denied by central and viceversa goes on in here

    i m not saying norms should be flouted ,,,but one needs to also look into the problems of developers TOO

    Posted by: Anonymous | 7 years ago | Reply
  • I happened to watch a

    I happened to watch a promotional film on Lavasaa made by the promoters of the project.Just a few seconds into the film,i was left wondering who gave the project the green signal.What are ordinary people of the state doing all this time while the greedy politicians and corporate thugs are merrily looting nature for setting up another facility for their mindless indulgences. And the claim on solving India'a housing problem. Aha !!! whose housing problem? the Ambanis of the India shining, who despite having 14 storeyed house, still have to pass by stinking slums.May be now with Lavassa,they will be spared of any unsightly sights!!! Great.way to go,India!

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • This is a scam. We will

    This is a scam. We will destroy the beautiful ecology of the sahyadri - one of my favourite regions of our country. A city that has suddenly come up by builders will never have the character, feel or atmosphere. A city is slowly evolved over many many years and ultimately the community and people make a city - not buildings.
    The promoters of this venture are goons. Please be wary of investing in such projects.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • Lavasa is nothing but rape on

    Lavasa is nothing but rape on nature. These politicians(All know who is behind the it) are going to ruin the beautiful western ghats. If they say it promotes tourism, it is utter bullshit and its only for rich and the politicians. They have tactfully taken a pie of Varasgaon dam and made it a private lake!!
    I hope truth prevails and this city is destroyed and nature is allowed to reclaim the land.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 5 years ago | Reply