Lavasa Project Special Status Revoked

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The Maharashtra government has revoked the Special Planning Authority (SPA) status given to Lavasa Corporation Limited in 2008 to develop the private hill city near Pune.

Lavasa is a private, planned city being built near Pune. A 25,000 acres (100 km2) or 8,000 acres (32 km2) project being developed by HCC, this as-yet-incomplete city has been controversial for multiple reasons including procurement of land, harm to the environment, and loans acquired through political corruption.

New planning authority — the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) — has been set up for the Pune region.

Lavasa Corporation was given the SPA status in 2008, PMRDA was formed in 2015.

The SPA status gives an entity or developer the power to draw up land use plans, develop land in its jurisdiction, sanction constructions and punish irregularities.

The SPA status is usually granted to government undertakings, such as the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and CIDCO. In Lavasa’s case, it was the first time a private entity was given such a status.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Maharashtra legislature, in report, had also recommended the state cancels the SPA status.

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