Lodha World Towers: 35 floors may be demolished @ World View & World Crest

Mumbai, 11th June, 2019: Unnoticed by investors, Lodha's dream of building a 441-metre 117-storey tower called World One -- supposedly the "world's tallest residential tower" -- has been given a quiet burial. For a whole decade, builder-politician Mangal Prabhat Lodha, after strategic acquisition of the land-rich Shreeniwas Cotton Mills Ltd, moved heaven and earth to get height permission for constructing a 441 metre World One tower, protruding into the flight path of planes taking off and landing from Mumbai's Santacruz Airport.  Airport Authority of India (AAI) bluntly refused to play ball. For nine years, AAI has resisted Lodha's persistent lobbying efforts, and given him permission for only 285 metres. So, after constructing over 80 floors in 2015, Lodha had to demolish the top floors; currently, World One is only 76 storeys high

Lodha World View, as seen from the 43rd floor of World One

But Lodha is still encroaching on Mumbai's aviation space. Although Airport Authority explicitly said that the other towers in the World Towers project should be capped at 179 metres, Lodha constructed and got partial Occupation Certificate World Crest which is 203 metres high. Also, World View (Codename Trinity) is currently 270 metres high, and still rising, to consume the surplus FSI of World One. Needless to say, Lodha is willfully endangering airline passengers on flights to and from Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport.

Watch this video for a quick summary of Lodha World Tower's height-related issues: https://youtu.be/ijgyJuLbe_E

WARNING, DEMOLITIONS AHEAD:
  • At least 29 floors of World View/Trinity, which currently stands shoulder-to-shoulder with World One, may have to be demolished in compliance of a recent Bombay High Court judgement.
  • At least six of the 58 floors of World Crest would have to be demolished.

Demolishing 35 floors of World Towers project, belonging to corporates, High Networth Individuals (HNIs), and NRIs, will not happen peacefully. You may not see public wailing and breast-beating as in slum demolitions, but then, when people who can pay Rs 30-40 crores per flat decide to raise an outcry, the media will listen, the world will listen and the courts will listen.

Lodha's usual crowd-control tactics using human bots from CRM may not work for suppressing such empowered folks.

Lodha's legal team will of course mislead and misdirect the courts, as they are specialized to do; it is a well-worn, well-travelled path for them. But this time around, Lodha's adversaries have clout and money-power that matches his own. World Towers may well be Lodha's Waterloo for this reason. 

Encroaching on the aviation industry's territory may be the second reason for the unravelling of Lodha. The international aviation industry is not a bunch of small fry, whom Lodha can ride roughshod over. When Icarus flew close to the sun, his wings melted off, and he fell to earth. A similar fate may await Lodha.

DUBIOUS ROLE PLAYED BY MCGM, HRC & FIRE BRIGADE

1) AAI's maximum height clearances are crystal clear. Read page 13 of the Minutes of Meeting of Ministry of Civil Aviation Appellate Committee, dated 6th November 2015: http://bit.ly/Lodha-World-Towers-MOCA1



2) Current construction status and MCGM's approvals status are crystal clear. Read the Surveyor's report dated 10th May 2019: http://bit.ly/May-2019-World-Towers-status





3) Height of constructed floors are clear. They can be calculated from tables given in Mumbai Fire Brigade's NOC: http://bit.ly/Lodha-World-Towers-NOC1



4) The lawful mandate of MCGM towards height restrictions is clear. Duties of Municipal & local planning bodies are articulated in a Central Govt. notification dated 30th September 2015: http://bit.ly/Aviation-Height-Notification-2015




5) The primacy of AAI Appellate Committee and 2015 Central Govt. Notification is clear.  It is articulated in Bombay High Court's judgement in PIL no. 86 of 2014: http://bit.ly/Bombay-HC-PIL-86-judgement




6) Impending demolition of structures violating AAI height restrictions is clear. Bombay High Court's previous pronouncements leave us in no doubt about the intent of the law.



In the light of the above documents, it may be reasonably concluded that MCGM's given Part-OC to World Crest's 58th floor, which is clearly above AAI's height restriction, does not pass the test of law. Nor do Mumbai Fire Brigade NOCs and High Rise Committee approvals. Clearly, MCGM, its High Rise Committee, and Mumbai Fire Brigade have acted as Lodha's henchmen. Nexus and sweetheart dealings with Mangal Prabhat Lodha, Lodha Group's patriarch and the ruling party's funding patron, are writ large.

WHY DID LODHA BUILD FLOORS, ONLY TO DEMOLISH LATER?

Why did Lodha build all those extra floors? Didn't this seasoned builder anticipate that he would have to demolish them? The answer lies in Lodha's revenue model. Building extra floors enables Lodha to collect a lot of money by enforcing the slabwise payment schedule written in his agreement. See this 2015 demand notice for 80th floor slab of World One:





World One 80th floor slab has been demolished. Did Lodha pay back the amount that he had collected from flat-buyers towards this slab or milestone? The answer is, NO. It's like a pyramid scheme. As long as Lodha continues to build slabs, he makes money. He only needs a loincloth to maintain semblance of legality. This loincloth was helpfully provided by MCGM and its instrumentalities. That was the revenue model, and it was good while it lasted.


But now that loincloth may be about to drop off.

When Lodha stops casting new slabs and achieving construction "milestones" for demanding payments from flat-buyers (and imposing terrifyingly steep penalties in cases where his demands are not met) -- that is the part when the pyramid begins to collapse.

Recent downgrades by rating agencies like Moody's may not yet have taken Lodha's World Towers misadventure into the reckoning. Lenders like Piramal may not yet be fully apprised of Lodha's methods of doing business. The flat-buying public definitely doesn't know about all this, and it deserves to know. So we are going to lay it out here in detail for all concerned parties. Watch this space for more.


ISSUED IN PUBLIC INTEREST BY
Krishnaraj Rao
9821588114 and 8169471229

krish.kkphoto@gmail.com
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IMPORTANT: WE REPEATEDLY REQUESTED LODHA FOR THEIR REBUTTAL to the above article, but they persist in only making allegations rather than debating on matters of substance.

A. Click here to download Lodha's final rebuttal: http://bit.ly/Lodha-Rebuttal-Final

B. Click here to read our complete correspondence with Lodha regarding this article and video:  http://bit.ly/Krish-Lodha-Emails-World-Towers






Comments

  1. At least one hopes the new Government ensures one among their very own doesnt continue to brazenly mock at regulations unscathed.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Blatant misuse of position.... Shri mangal prabhat lodha, kindly rise above this irrational money lust.

    ReplyDelete
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  5. 1) Latest from Goregaon - West, Deshabhimani Co-operative Housing Society demolish the unauthorised construction of 6th to 15th floors as per the Bombay High Court order of July 11, 2017......................

    2) Jitendra Jain........12 of the 18 storeys of Rohit Kunj of Khar tower are illegal and will be demolished.....Kamala Landmarc Construction, has a tainted past........with such an unscrupulous developer

    3) IN A situation reminiscent of the Campa Cola compound case, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is all set to initiate the demolition of more than half the floors of a 17-storey building in Santa Cruz........According to the building proposal department of the BMC, out of 17 floors, 12 are illegal. .......The building, named ‘Shimmer’, is located on Sarojini Road in Santa Cruz.

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