THE LODHA group has told the Bombay High Court that it will stop demolishing top floors at four towers of its housing project at New Cuffe Parade until the next hearing on September 11. The ambitious project by the Lodha Group at Wadala had run into trouble after a group of homebuyers, who bought flats in the project, recently served legal notices to the developer as well as the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).
The buyers have alleged defects in construction and wrongful demolition of higher floors at four towers of the project. On July 26, the flat owners had written to Bellissimo Crown Buildmart Private Limited — a Lodha Group company — claiming that they were “forced to take possession of their flats, which were not complete as per the agreement”.
On August 14, a bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Riyaz Chagla, while hearing a petition filed by 23 flat owners, said: “The learned counsel appearing for the fifth respondent (Bellissimo Crown Buildmart Private Limited) on instruction, states that the fifth respondent will not carry out any demolition work till the next date. He states that even if the fifth respondent receives permission for carrying out demolition work, he will seek leave of the court before proceeding with the demolition work. He states that this statement will remain operative till the next date.”
The case will be heard again on September 11. Last week, the petitioners had moved the Bombay High Court seeking directions for the records and papers pertaining to the issuance of the part Occupancy Certificate (OC) and Completion Certificate (CC) to the four towers. The four towers were granted part OC for ground to 40th floor by the MMRDA on June 8, 2017.
The petitioners have also sought that the ground to 40th floor of the four towers be brought under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA). Apart from the Lodha group, other respondents include the MMRDA, BMC, Ministry of Civil Aviation and Airports Authority of India (AAI). The petitioners had claimed that demolition work of 41st to 45th floor, which were in violation of the height limits set by the AAI, continued even as customers resided in the lower floors, causing nuisance to residents.
The Lodha group had refuted the allegations. “We strongly refute the allegations that possession has not been offered and we are happy to provide possession to buyers who claim otherwise. The permissible height was finally clarified to us in early 2018, almost seven years after commencement of the project, and based on that we have to had to make changes to the terrace level, which is complete now and will be fully ready soon,” a Lodha spokesperson had earlier said.