GJ: Dahej Speciality chemicals Project

The Board of Directors of SRF Ltd, a multi-business entity engaged in the manufacture of chemical based industrial intermediates, has approved a proposal to set up a second multi-purpose plant for creating additional manufacturing capacity for specialty chemicals at SRF’s chemical complex in Dahej, Gujarat, at an aggregated cost of Rs 140 crore. When completed, the project will enable the company to cater to the increasing demand for specialty chemicals. As part of its ongoing capex programme, SRF commissioned 10 projects worth more than Rs 650 crore during the year. SRF commissioned a specialty chemicals plant, built with an investment of Rs 52 crore, on April 30, 2014, at its chemical complex in Dahej. Similarly, in March 2014, SRF Ltd commissioned five projects – captive power plant (15 MW), HFC-134a/125 plant (12500 TPA), AHF plant (20000 TPA), specialty chemical plant (800 TPA), and specialty chemicals plant for agrochemical industry (500 TPA) – at Dahej. Meanwhile, SRF Ltd has reported an increase of 8% in its net sales at Rs 884 crore for the last quarter of 2013-14 over the corresponding period last year. Impacted by the discontinuation of income from Certified Emission Reductions (CERs), the company’s net profit after tax (PAT) declined from Rs 72 crore reported a year ago to Rs 53 crore, a reduction of 26%, during January-March 2014. For the fiscal ended March 31, 2014, the company reported 6% growth in its consolidated net sales at Rs 3993 crore as against Rs 3769 crore recorded previous year. The consolidated net profit after tax (PAT) of SRF declined by 36%, from Rs 253 crore recorded last year...

MH: Mumbai Sea Rock Hotel Redevelopment Project

Five years after the Indian Hotels Company (IHCL) acquired the landmark Sea Rock Hotel in Mumbai’s western suburb of Bandra, its plan to redevelop the asset and integrate it with the nearby Taj Land’s End still remains on paper. The project, said chairman Cyrus Mistry at IHCL’s 113th annual shareholders’ meeting, has been delayed because of pending municipal approvals. IHCL had paid a Rs 680 crore to acquire the erstwhile Sea Rock property and the redevelopment work was supposed to start in 2010. However, the project has been stuck due to the extra floor space index (FSI) allocation dispute. Typically, it takes three years to build a luxury hotel before it is thrown open to guests. But it seems that patrons will have to wait a little...

AP: Hotel project stalls NIO research lab

A land row brewing between a central government-run research institute and private hotel project has red-flagged the construction of a national laboratory on a 3.25-acre piece land near the Vizag-Bheemili Beach Road. Though the land for the under-construction hilltop resort, Bay Park Hotels and Resorts, was leased out for 33 years to private parties, none of the officials of the government departments concerned are able to name the hotel’s owners and seem unaware of the fact that a National Institute of Oceanography’s (NIO) lab is supposed to come up at the foothills. In December 2013, CSIR-NIO, Vizag, secured the CRZ (coastal regulation zone) clearance from the Union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) for establishing an ocean research laboratory at Yendada village, which was sanctioned in 2006. But little did the NIO authorities know that the Rs 20 crore investment world-class lab would fail to take off due to stiff opposition from the upcoming hotel to construct an approach road to the lab site. Elaborating on the issue, NIO-Vizag chief scientist V S N Murty, said, “There was a 40-ft road, through which the Indian Navy used to access its firing range, but they no longer use it. We had 0.75 acres land adjacent to this road, where we decided to construct the entrance to the lab. But in December 2013, we found the road dug up by private builders and pipelines supplying water to the hilltop hotel passing through our land. “Surprisingly, government officials claim they know nothing about the owner of the high-end resort. While APTDC officials maintained the project belongs to some private parties or a...

KE: Bekal Resort Project

Hotel Leela Ventures has dropped plans of developing a beach resort at Bekal in Kerala citing infrastructure reasons. Peter J Leitgeb, president, Leela Palaces and Resorts, said the group was reviewing the prospects of investing in Bekal. “Right now our priority is to develop hotels in Udaipur, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore and Thiruvananthapuram. Bekal does not fit into our focus area at the moment,” he said. “The road infrastructure to Bekal is quite poor. The Kerala government has to invest significantly in infrastructure if it has to promote tourism in the region,” sources in the company added. The Leela group had shown interest in the Kerala government’s Bekal project, which involved constructing and running six resort properties in a total land spread of 189 acre in Bekal, a beach destination in the Kasargod district in north Kerala. The group is in the process of acquiring Ashok beach resort in Kovalam as part of its strategy to develop resorts. The group is on a promotional drive in European countries such as UK, Germany, Austria and Switzerland about its Indian resorts. The group is keen on tapping leisure travellers from these countries for its hotels and resorts in India. The company is currently involved in partnership talks with numerous ‘super deluxe companies’ in Europe for sales, marketing and reservation tie-ups, said Leitgeb. Leela currently owns two five-star hotels in Mumbai and Bangalore and a resort in Goa. “Nearly 50 per cent of tourists come to India on leisure holiday. With adequate awareness, the country has the potential to attract many more tourists. We would like to make Leela, a well known destination...

MH: Powai Hiranandani Garden Township Project

Social activists fighting land grab by builders have a reason to cheer. The Bombay High Court has restrained Mumbai-based Hiranandani Developers from carrying out further construction at a township it is developing in suburban Powai until it provides flats for the economically weaker sections of society. The court also put on hold the sale of the flats till further orders. The land was given on lease to Hiranandani in 1985 to build houses for poor. But in gross violation of all terms and conditions it built sky scrapers, housing societies and malls for the rich and the affluent. The February 23 order came after social activist Medha Patkar filed a petition against Hiranandani for irregularities and fraud in development of the township. “It is ironical that the government of Maharashtra was kind enough to give 121 hectare of land to Hiranandani at the rate of 40 paisa per acre (1 acre = 0.4 hecatre). But it continued to evict and demolish the homes of busti dwellers in Mandala, Sathe Nagar, Golibar, Kannamwar Nagar and others areas,” says Patkar. Reacting to the decision, the social activist says, “it is a victory for the struggles of the working classes of Mumbai who live in slums, bastis and chawls. They face eviction and are constantly termed as encroachers.” The interim judgment of the high court vindicates our stand and once again proves criminal nexus between builders, politicians and bureaucracy. We welcome the directions of the court and hope the land will be returned to the original owners or used for the urban poor, she adds. The high court bench comprising justice Mohit...

AP: Ananthpur Integrated Textile Park Project

The Andhra Pradesh government has decided to cancel the allotment of 3,580 hectare (ha) to Lepakshi Knowledge Hub Limited (LKHL) in Gorantla and Chilamattur mandals of Anantapur district for developing a Special Economic Zone (SEZ). Chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy has directed the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC), the nodal agency in charge of allotting land, to start reclaiming the land. The decision on October 27 comes in the wake of LKHL’s failure to fulfill the terms in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The agreement with the company was signed in February 2009 during the chief ministership of late Congress leader Y S Rajasekhara Reddy. The promoters of the knowledge hub, Indu Projects, a Hyderabad-based real estate group, proposed to develop aerospace and defence cluster, agri-food processing zone, integrated textile parks, health village, media and entertainment city, and educational and research institutions for special sectors, all at one place. The company had also announced that it would develop aircraft testing and training facilities along with a 3.4-km long runway to support the upcoming aerospace industry in the park in collaboration with foreign companies. According to the MoU, the company and the units were to invest between Rs 8,000 crore and Rs 10,000 crore with a promise to create jobs for 150,000 people in a span of five to 10 years. APIIC had made available the entire land, mostly acquired from local farmers, to the company for this purpose. But LKHL did not set up a single industry. All the infrastructure development remained only on paper. Instead, it mortgaged around 1,780 ha to get Rs 790 crore bank...