Lavasa to explain before environment ministry Friday

Thursday, December 9, 2010

NEW DELHI - Lavasa Corporation will make a supplementary presentation to the environment ministry here Friday in response to the ’stop work’ orders issued for its Lake City project near Pune for violating green laws, officials said Thursday.

“We made a presentation to the environment ministry’s expert appraisal committee (EAC) Thursday. There will a supplementary presentation by Hindustan Construction Company (of which Lavasa is a subsidiary) Friday. We will have data on the initiatives taken by Lavasa to protect the environment at the site,” Arun Bodupali, senior vice president (legal) of Lavasa Corporation, told reporters here.

The ministry Thursday heard the views of Lavasa and the complainant NGO National Alliance of People’s Movement on the show cause notice issued to Lavasa for violating green laws.

“The natural resources of Western Ghats are being exploited. Damage has already been done, affecting the river, dam, and livelihood in the area. They (Lavasa) say they have constructed the city on 1,600 sq acres of land while the permission was only for 1,500 sq acres,” said Medha Patkar, attending the hearing on behalf of the National Alliance of People’s Movement.

Ordering an interim stay on the environment ministry’s order, the Bombay High Court Tuesday asked the ministry to hear Hindustan Construction Company’s subsidiary Lavasa Corporation Ltd. Thursday.

The environment ministry Nov 25 slapped a show-cause notice on Lavasa Corporation because it had allegedly failed to secure necessary environmental clearances before starting work on its 5,000-plus hectare Lake City project coming up in Mulshi sub-district of Pune district, around 200 km from Mumbai.

The court has asked the ministry to give its reply by Dec 16.

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