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Kohinoor Square in dire straits

Monday, 4 March 2013 - 8:00am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
BMC wants parking tower razed, Rs30 crore for use of extra FSI

The Kohinoor Square at Dadar, developed by construction magnate Unmesh, son of former Lok Sabha speaker Manohar Joshi, and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray, is in trouble.

While the BMC has asked them to demolish its 13-storey parking tower as per a new civic policy or pay Rs30 crore, the group has approached the court. The battle is now being fought in the country's highest court with the topmost lawyers — Harish Salve representing the BMC and Fali Nariman fighting for the Kohinoor Group.

The BMC has sent a notice to them asking for Rs30 crore as premium for using additional floor space index (FSI) by building a 13-storey parking tower or else face demolition.

A senior civic official said the notice had been issued under the Mumbai Region Town Planning Act to Unmesh, who is the owner on paper. The 4.8 acres of this Kohinoor Mill was bought jointly by Unmesh and Thackeray in 2005 for Rs425 crore.

“The BMC has asked the Kohinoor Group to demolish its 13 floors of the parking tower and convert it into four storeys as per the new fungible FSI policy or pay up. The group has been resisting implementing the amended civic directives. Hence, the BMC has sent a notice and the Kohinoor has approached the court," a source said.

BMC's additional municipal commissioner Aseem Gupta confirmed to DNA that a notice had been issued, but refused to disclose details, saying the matter was sub-judice.

“The allegation was that the additional FSI was given in guise of public parking space. Developers misused it to construct the 50-60-storey skyscraping towers across the city.  Most of the parking lot proposals received were from central Mumbai, between Worli and Dadar, thus exploiting this commercially successful stretch. There were almost 23,000 parking slot proposals of such kind from this area alone and very few from the suburbs.
The earlier civic chief Subodh Kumar had therefore scrapped this controversial parking policy,” said another civic official.

When DNA called Unmesh Joshi, he was incommunicado. However, sources from Kohinoor Group said the BMC had given commencement certificate and, as per its directives, the ground-plus-13-storey parking tower was constructed and additional FSI was utilised.

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