Ghost towns are often a cause for a lot of interest, specifically how they got to that place, what went wrong and a certain eerie nature that comes with such areas that were meant for or had seen a lot of hustle and bustle filled with people but are now abandoned pieces of land.
India for that matter has various ghost towns across the regions, one such would be the Lavasa city, just a little ways from Pune, Maharashtra and how it was the dream city of a certain billionaire but now lies a deserted ghost town.
What Is Lavasa City?
Around 20 years or so ago Ajit Gulabchand, then billionaire and chairman and managing director of Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) dreamt of making India’s first privately built and managed city since Independence.
The planning and look of the city was based on the cotton-candy harbor of Italy’s Portofino, and would lie a 4-hour drive away from the congested and busy city of Mumbai. The city got a lot of hype from the media and architects were hired from HOK who have some impressive projects under their belt like the New York’s LaGuardia Airport Central Terminal B and the Barclays headquarters in London.
Around 5 towns were going to be built in the city and one could have 30,000 to 50,000 people living in it. The fact that it was privately managed meant no government bureaucracy and was also expected to go into the billions for cost of the city.
In 2013 reports revealed that many residential spaces had been built and over the years two of the 5 towns were under construction with there also being a hotel, city center, primary, middle and high school, and a hospitality management college, École hôtelière Lavasa being built.
However, the city was embroiled in a number of controversies including one about environmental damage, inquiries into the land acquisition by the company, usage of water resources and more.
The Ministry of Environment and Forests had given an order to halt construction for a one year period from late 2010 to almost the whole of 2011. During this time another order to pause construction was given stating that the project did not have the proper clearances. During this time cash flow started to slow down and the government’s interest in the project led to investors being afraid of equity markets to generate some revenue.
There has been some positive news coming out regarding this ghost town in recent times though. Early this year Darwin Platform Infrastructure Limited (DPIL) from Mumbai won a bid for the city and is expected to work on essential services like roads, street lights and water.
Residents in the area have been suffering a lot due to the unfinished projects and the lack of maintenance and upkeep that the city was seeing. Along with this, some of the small investors that had brought land and property in the area but never finished it have also shown an interest to complete the project.
Image Credits: Google Images
Feature Image designed by Saudamini Seth
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This post is tagged under: Lavasa hill city, Lavasa, Lavasa city, Lavasa ghost town, Darwin Platform Infrastructure Limited, ghost town, ghost town india, Ajit Gulabchand, Ajit Gulabchand lavasa, Ajit Gulabchand billionnaire, Ajit Gulabchand lavasa city
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