Indian Hotel Company's (IHCL) plan to construct a luxurious hotel and convention centre at the Sea Rock site in suburban Mumbai is facing green concerns.
Two years after IHCL - one of Asia's biggest hotel chains which runs the Taj chain of hotels and resorts in addition to three other brands - had clinched the deal and subsequently demolished the multi-storey 434-room Hotel Sea Rock, it is now awaiting clearance to start construction.
A senior state government official in the know of the process for environment clearance, said, "IHCL is required to seek environment clearance and approval under the Coastal Regulation Zone notification. These clearances will be given by the State Level Environment Impact Assessment Authority and Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority. IHCL's proposal is under consideration of the bodies and it will take at least a year."
Located in Bandra, the hotel was originally set to open its doors in 2013, but with the delay in getting the mandatory permissions it will not be completed before the end of 2014.
Construction of the sea-facing property was scheduled to commence early last year.
IHCL, which paid Rs 680 crore (Rs 6.8 billion) to buy Sea Rock, aims to build a 'world-cl-ass convention and hospitality center' and promote it as a landmark by bringing it on a par with its famous south Mumbai property Taj Mahal Palace or the Opera House of Sydney, Australia.
Constructed in the late 1970s, the Sea Rock was one of Mumbai's best-known landmarks frequented by several big-wigs ranging from bollywood actors to corporate honchos and politicians.
The property remained non-functional since 1993 after a bomb blast damaged it extensively.
The new property would integrate the existing 18 storied, 460 rooms Taj Lands End hotel with itself. Both properties, which are close to the Bandra Worli Sea Link used to overlook the Arabian Sea separated only by a common approach road.
Anil P Goel, executive director finance, IHCL said: "The Sea Rock hotel has been demolished. The design development of the intended new hotel has been finalised and various consultants, architects, designers and construction firms have been brought on board. We are awaiting the closure of some mandatory approvals on receipt of which we expect the project to be underway."