Lavasa applies afresh for environmental clearance

Monday, February 14, 2011

NEW DELHI - Lavasa Corporation has applied afresh for environmental clearance to the first phase of its Rs.3,000-crore hill city project near Pune, and this is being considered by a high-level committee, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said Monday.

“They (Lavasa) have applied for phase-I clearance, which is being considered (by the Expert Appraisal Committee - EAC)),” he said. However, he did not give any time frame for the committee’s decision.

“I don’t know. The committee is meeting. I don’t interfere in their function. They are meeting for deciding for the phase-I clearance,” he said.

Ramesh said phase I is spread over 2,000 hectares and phase II 3,000 hectares.

The ministry had in its report to the Bombay High Court last month said the Lavasa city project near Pune has violated green laws and caused environmental degradation.

The project can be considered on merits and imposition of various conditions, including a heavy penalty, it added.

The ministry had 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 company approached the Bombay High Court against the environment ministry’s order. The court directed the ministry to send a team to look into the violations and submit a detailed report.

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