The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mumbai land for 420 plus 1

Mumbai, July 21: Politicians have beaten big construction firms to a prime piece of mill land in Mumbai ' Bal Thackeray’s nephew and Manohar Joshi’s son swept up a five-acre plot at an auction today.

Kohinoor Consolidated Transport Network Ltd, a special purpose vehicle of the Kohinoor Group controlled by Joshi’s son Unmesh and Matoshree Realtors controlled by Raj Thackeray, bought the 4.9-acre Kohinoor Mill No. 3 for Rs 421 crore.

A special purpose vehicle is an entity created for a specific purpose ' in this case the purchase of the sick National Textile Corporation mill. Assets and liabilities will lie with this entity, not the promoters.

Three bidders were shortlisted: Varun Industries offered Rs 411.11 crore and Akruti Nirman Construction Ltd Rs 355 crore, officials said.

The property is located opposite the Shiv Sena headquarters at Dadar. Party sources said it could be developed into a shopping mall-cum-housing complex.

NCP leader and Rashtriya Mill Mazdoor Sangh president Sachin Ahir cried foul. In the Assembly, he said the government should examine the bidding. If proper procedure was not followed, fresh bids should be invited, Ahir said. Deputy chief minister R.R. Patil promised to look into the issue.

Raj Thackeray refused to comment. Efforts to elicit a response from Manohar Joshi and Unmesh also failed.

In May, the Supreme Court allowed NTC to auction five defunct mills to retire debts of Rs 1,891 crore. Three were put on the block in June and fetched prices which shook the real estate market. The Delhi-based DLF bought a 17.5 acre mill for Rs 702 crore in possibly the biggest such deal in the country.

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