Coordinates: 18°24′19″N 73°30′23″E / 18.40528°N 73.50627°E / 18.40528; 73.50627
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Planned city
Hill city
View of Lavasa hills
View of Lavasa hills
Lavasa is located in Maharashtra
Location in Maharashtra, India
Coordinates: 18°24′19″N 73°30′23″E / 18.40528°N 73.50627°E / 18.40528; 73.50627
Country India
DistrictPune district
 • Total100 km2 (40 sq mi)
630 m (2,070 ft)
 • OfficialMarathi
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)

Lavasa (Marathi: lavāsā) is a private,[1] planned city built near Pune, India.[2] It is stylistically based on the Italian town Portofino, with a street and several buildings bearing the name of that town.

A 100-square-kilometre (39 sq mi)[1] or 32-square-kilometre (12 sq mi)[3] project being developed by HCC,[4] this as-yet-incomplete city has been controversial for multiple reasons including procurement of land,[5] harm to the environment,[1] and loans acquired through political corruption.[6]

In late 2010, the Indian Environment and Forests Ministry ordered that construction cease because the project violated environmental laws.[7] As of late 2011, this order has been rescinded.[8] The project's scale may have been reduced, however, and an initial public offering may not occur.[8] The head of the company working on the project said in 2013 that due to the Environment and Forests Ministry, the project had "lost three years".[9]


Fortune Hotel, Lavasa

Billed as India's first hill station since independence,[10] this private city is being constructed by a unit of Ajit Gulabchand.[11] The architectural team responsible for the design of the town wants it be an imitation of an Italian hill-side town[12]


The area demarcated for Lavasa is located near Pune in the Mulshi valley[5] of the Western Ghats.[13]

Current progress[edit]

Construction of two out of the five planned towns is ongoing, and a number of residences have been completed as of 2013.[9] By 2011 four hotels and a city centre were completed.[14] A primary, middle, and high school, Le Mont High, has been constructed as well.[15] The town also boasts a hospitality management college, École hôtelière Lavasa.[16]


Scot Wrighton was the administrator of the city as of 2011 and held the office until 2019.[17][18]

Surrounding village[edit]

Smaller, pre-existing communities sometimes interact with Lavasa and its residents. Some have been the focus of CSR efforts,[19] and villagers provide construction labour to the project.[20]

Future plans[edit]

Lavasa has established a pattern of promoting planned partnerships with prestigious, overseas institutions that do not ultimately see fruition. Oxford University had at one point associated itself with the project, but other, name-brand plans including future sports facilities have yet to be officially cancelled.

The city has a better track record when it comes to construction; some sections are complete today. It is thought that Lavasa will not be finished before 2030, however.[21] When fully built, its total population may be 200,000,[22] and it will consist of four or five towns built on seven hills.[23] The first of these, Dasve, was initially slated to be complete by 2010[10] although some residences there were still under construction as of 2013.[9] Mugaon, the second town, may be finished in 2013,[21] and as of May, 2013, construction continues.[9] Work on this town began in mid-2012.[24] In 2013, the chairman of the construction company building the project confirmed that Lavasa will include four large towns.[9]

Sports facilities[edit]

Planned sports facilities include a Nick Faldo-designed golf course and a Manchester City-branded football academy.[25]

However, the Nick Faldo website no longer touts the golf course,[26] and a 2010 press release is the sole communication Manchester City has made in reference to a football academy.

Theme park[edit]

A theme park of over 26 hectares (64 acres) in size is planned.[27]


Lavasa may go on to host one university.[13] Initially partnering with the University of Oxford,[28][29] by 2010 this British institution detached itself from the project.[30] As of 2010, Symbiosis International University is planning to set up a new liberal arts college campus in the township.[31] As of June 2020, Christ University at Lavasa (Dasve in Mulshi Taluka of Pune District - 412112) offers various UG and PG programmes. The courses include BA-LLB & BBA-LLB (Honours), BBA in Business Analytics, B.Com. in Financial Analytics, BSc in Data Science, BSc in Economics & Analytics, MSc in Data Science, MA in Business Economics, MSc in finance, MBA and PhD in few disciplines.

Other facilities[edit]

A 81-hectare (200-acre) health and wellness centre[28] and an herb plantation[32] are also planned.

Awards and recognition[edit]

Architecture at Lavasa

Lavasa has won several awards for its plans and designs. In 2005, Dasve village in Lavasa won awards from the Congress for the New Urbanism and the American Society of Landscape Architects.[33] In 2009, the St. Louis chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects recognised the Lavasa landscape master plan with a merit award.[34]


Environmental damage[edit]

An Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests team investigating Lavasa concluded that the city has caused environmental damage,[1][35] since Lavasa is built "in the scenic hills of the Western Ghats, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its evergreen tropical forests that shelter 325 species of vulnerable or endangered animals, birds and fauna."[36] Post reviewing the project, this ministry provided clearance on 9 November 2011 to Lavasa with specific conditions, such as a cessation of hill cutting activities, building of a sewage treatment plant, and anti-poverty CSR measures aimed at the local population.[37]


While Lavasa has stone crushing permits, its operations have been described as "hill cutting" and "quarrying" by the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests, and the environmental impact of these activities was investigated.[38] In 2014, Mrs. Jayanti Natarajan, in her open letter to Congress president, stated that she had got a specific input from Mr. Rahul Gandhi's office to stall the project.[39]

Land acquisition[edit]

Both government and individual land owners have taken issue with Lavasa's land acquisition approach.

A report by the Maharashtra environment department claims 600 hectares (1,500 acres) of land bought by Lavasa Corporation was purchased from farmers who had been granted it by the Indian State. Because of the way in which the farmers obtained the land, three fourths of the purchase price should have been paid to the State. The report states Lavasa Corporation only paid 2%. It also alleges that 141 hectares (350 acres) of Lavasa were leased for far less than its actual value by the Maharashtra Krishna Valley Development Corporation and that Lavasa bought 98 hectares (240 acres) of land without license.[40]

Some also say that Lavasa is being built on what was obtained through coercion.[5] However, Lavasa Corporation denies this.[14]

Use of water resources[edit]

Lavasa will use the same water resources that currently supply Pune, and it is claimed that this move is likely to cause a supply shortage.[32] A 2011 report by the Expert Appraisal Committee of the Union Environment Ministry concluded that there will be no impact on Pune's water supply, however.[41]

Orders to halt construction[edit]

For a one-year period from late 2010 to late 2011, construction of Lavasa had to be halted due to orders issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests.[8] In late 2010, it ordered Lavasa Corporation to halt further construction for not having gathered proper clearances.[7] In November 2011, this ministry relented, and construction is no longer impeded by law.[8] While grant of an environmental clearance was recommended in May, 2011, Lavasa was only alerted to the fact that clearance was granted on 9 November 2011.[42]

Accusations of nepotism[edit]

Sharad Pawar, an Indian politician born in the state of Maharashtra, is alleged to have demanded compensation for allowing Lavasa to be constructed. When Lavasa Corporation was receiving necessary clearances from the government of Maharashtra, relatives of Pawar had part-ownership of the company developing the project.[43] Pawar's daughter and son-in-law had more than 20% ownership between 2002 and 2004, and they later sold their stakes.[14] A nephew of his was the chairman of Maharashtra Krishna Valley Development Corporation when it signed off on lease agreements for Lavasa and allowed Lavasa to store water and build dams.[43]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "India rules hill city 'illegal'". BBC. 19 January 2011.
  2. ^ "UPDATE 1-India ministry sets terms to consider Lavasa approval". Reuters. 18 January 2011.
  3. ^ "Biomimicry: Architecture That Imitates Life". September–October 2009.
  4. ^ "Lavasa Corporation Ltd: India's First Planned Hill City Deploys Portal Solution to Empower Employees; Increases Collaboration and Efficiency". 31 May 2010.
  5. ^ a b c Jamwal, Nidhi (15 September 2008). "Howl of the hills".
  6. ^ "Suzlon, Lavasa among named in India bribery scam-reports". Reuters. 25 November 2010.
  7. ^ a b "Environment Ministry asks Lavasa to halt project". The Economic Times. 26 November 2010.
  8. ^ a b c d HCC to revamp Lavasa finances, decide on IPO, 13 November 2011
  9. ^ a b c d e Everything is back on table including Lavasa IPO: HCC, 29 May 2013
  10. ^ a b "India's newest hill station builds for the future". 15 September 2009.
  11. ^ "HCC's Lavasa court hearing adjourned for 6 weeks". Reuters. 27 January 2011.
  12. ^ Kohli, Kanchi (editor); Menon, Manju (editor); Burte, Himanshu (2016). Business Interests and the Environmental Crisis. New Delhi: Sage Publications, India. pp. 70–73. ISBN 9789351508601. Retrieved 15 September 2016. {{cite book}}: |first1= has generic name (help)
  13. ^ a b Ferguson, Tim (20 December 2010). "A Stop in India's Lavasa". Forbes. Archived from the original on 23 December 2010.
  14. ^ a b c Byatnal, Amruta (31 October 2010). "Symbolic of luxury, Lavasa is built on irregularities". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
  15. ^ From the Head of School's Desk Archived 19 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine Le Mont High official site. Retrieved 31 August 2011
  16. ^ Ecole Hoteliere Lavasa
  17. ^ Kahn, Jeremy (7 June 2011). "India Invents a City". The Atlantic. Atlantic Media. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
  18. ^ Althoff, Kim (9 January 2019). "Scot Wrighton to be Named City Manager". City of Decatur, IL. Retrieved 11 July 2022.
  19. ^ "Lavasa Corporation provides school uniforms to underprivileged students from the local community" (PDF). Lavasa Corporation. HCC. 25 January 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
  20. ^ Dinghe, S (22 February 2011). "Villagers from 14 hamlets supporting Lavasa stage protest". DNA. Diligent Media Corporation Ltd. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
  21. ^ a b Kamath, Raghavendra (7 September 2010). "The hills are alive with the sound of controversy". Business Standard.
  22. ^ Thekaekara, Tarsh (May 2010). "The great urban juggernaut". New Internationalist. Retrieved 9 February 2011.
  23. ^ For four towns, see Discover Lavasa: Master Plan; A vision becomes reality Archived 24 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine Lavasa Official Site
  24. ^ "Medha Patkar will hold the torch at Lavasa camp". Pune Mirror. 11 May 2012. Archived from the original on 28 May 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
  25. ^ For the golf course, see Faldo signs ‘stunning’ Indian course design project, 8 June 2009 cached
  26. ^ Your search yielded no results,, retrieved 13 September 2013
  27. ^ "Lavasa to host SpaceWorld, Asia's first space edutainment centre at Rs 400 crore investment". The Financial Express. The Indian Express Limited. 21 January 2009. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
  28. ^ a b A modern township nestled in the Sahyadris Business, 2008/06/22
  29. ^ Oxford dragged into ‘land-grab’ scam The Hindu, by Hasan Suroor. Monday, 31 August 2009
  30. ^ The great urban juggernaut: India’s first ‘private city’ will do nothing to help the poor, 1 May 2010
  31. ^ Symbiosis to start liberal arts institute. The Indian Express, 4 March 2010
  32. ^ a b Water being diverted to Lavasa, alleges Patkar Archived 11 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine, The Indian Express, 8 July 2009
  33. ^ For Congress for the New Urbanism award, see Charter Awards: Past Winners Archived 31 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine Congress for the New Urbanism Official Website
  34. ^ The 2009 St. Louis Chapter of ASLA Award Winners
  35. ^ "Maharashtra govt gets MoEF order for action against Lavasa". Business Standard. 11 June 2011.
  36. ^ How the unfinished city of Lavasa became a nightmare for Indian banks
  37. ^ Indian Ministry of Environment and Forest Website
  38. ^ Byatnal, Amruta (18 February 2011). "Lavasa under scanner for quarrying". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013.
  39. ^ "The Hindu Exclusive: Jayanthi Natarajan's letter to Sonia Gandhi". The Hindu. 30 January 2015.
  40. ^ "SHOWCAUSE NOTICE: JAIRAM ORDERS WORK TO STOP – Lavasa lands in trouble for flouting green laws". The Economic Times. 27 November 2010. Retrieved 9 February 2011.
  41. ^ Lavasa showed higher FSI : Jairam Ramesh's MoEF Committee Archived 15 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine, 24 May 2011
  42. ^ Bhawan, Paryavaran (9 November 2011). Environmental Clearance for the Development of Hill Station Township at Village Mulshi and Velhe Talukas, District Pune, Maharashtra my M/s. Lavasa Corporation Ltd. —regarding (PDF). New Delhi: Government of India Ministry of Environment and Forests. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
  43. ^ a b Vaidya, Abhay (26 December 2010). "Lavasa trail reinforces the Sharad Pawar connection & IPL link". Pune: DNA. Retrieved 21 February 2011.