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Mumbai builders are a relieved lot now

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NTC Chairman, Mr Ramachandra Pillai: We were stuck in legal battle for over a year. Now we can go ahead with rehabilitation plans for the sick mills, which is self-financing in nature.

Mumbai , March 7

Builders in the city, stuck in a protracted legal battle over the sale of mill land for the past one year, were a relieved lot on Tuesday following the Supreme Court judgment negating the Bombay High Court's earlier order staying development of mill land.

Talking to Business Line, Mr Ramachandra Pillai, Chairman, National Textile Corporation (NTC), said that the verdict brought much relief for NTC. "We were stuck in legal battle for over a year. Now we can go ahead with rehabilitation plans for the sick mills, which is self-financing in nature. The Supreme Court has upheld the amendment made by the Maharashtra Government to the Development Control Regulation."

For the Delhi-based DLF Group, the judgment means a lot, as it has invested Rs 702 crore to buy a 17.4-acre mill land in June 2005. "It is a positive ruling for us and very supportive of our intent to look at India's commercial capital. It will significantly add to our revenues. Real estate prices in Central Mumbai would not be affected by the judgment, as there is always value attached to premium," said Mr Vijay Wancheshwar, spokesperson, DLF.

Mr Niranjan Hiranandani, Managing Director, Hiranandani Group, one of the biggest real estate players in Mumbai, seconded this view. According to him, the judgment will go a long way in stabilising prices in the Parel area, which were otherwise hitting the roof. "Real estate prices in the short and medium term would be stabilised in the city now. It will also help developing more residential and commercial properties in the Parel area. In the long run, prices would again pick up," he said.

Even the overseas investors in Mumbai realty were a relieved lot, as they had been a worried lot about the legal issues. "It will instil confidence, particularly for the overseas investor. I do not think that the judgment will affect the real estate prices in the short term. In the long term prices may come down, as the supply would increase," said Mr Sanjay Verma, Joint Managing Director, Cushman and Wakefield India.

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