DB Realty had launched two luxury 72-storey residential towers, Orchid Heights, near the high-security jail on Arthur Road in central Mumbai. Several clients had paid a few crores each to book apartments in the towers. The building would have come up barely 18 metres from the jail’s compound walls. In July 2013, municipal commissioner SJ Kunte decided to terminate the project’s commencement certificate after the special inspector general of police (jail), southern region, opposed the permission for the building. DB Realty claims to have invested Rs70 crore in the project and built the foundation and plinth of the rehab buildings after obtaining the mandatory clearances in 2010. The Maharashtra Jails Act, 1979, bans construction within 183 metres from the compound wall. Model Jail Regulation, 2003, reduced the distance to 150 metres from the main fortification wall.
Builders in Mumbai are sitting on an inventory of 48 months. Delhi is sitting on an inventory of 23 months and Bengaluru on 25 months. This is above the comfortable level of 14-15 months and close to the levels of 2007 when the residential real estate market inventories were at an all-time high.
Builders suffered a big blow when the Reserve Bank of India pushed up repo rates by 0.25% on 20th September to control inflation. This may pressurise developers to offer discounts during the festive season.
Home loans of HDFC, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank became more expensive in September while State Bank of India hiked its rate earlier.The festival season usually generates about 15% of the annual booking. However, this year, demand has been tepid.
The Maharashtra Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission ordered a building firm to either hand over a finished flat to a complainant within three months, or pay him the current market value of the flat. General physician Anant Ieetkar has been fighting a five-year battle with Padma Construction on this matter. The current market value of the 1,200-sq ft apartment is Rs60 lakh. In addition, Dr Ieetkar will also get Rs3 lakh as compensation for mental harassment and Rs30,000 for legal charges. He had purchased the flat for Rs18.9 lakh in 2008. Padma Construction did not appear before the Commission to defend itself and the order was passed ex-parte.