Lavasa served notice to explain environment law violation

The Lavasa project, located 30km from Pune, has hit a new roadblock after allegations of violation of law to acquire large parts of its 25,000 acre complex. This time it concerns environmental permissions that are now being challenged.

The project launched in 2002 has been promoted as ''India's first hill city'' and every thing about it is truly top class with luxury apartments and hotels, world-class facilities for adventure sports and much besides. 

Under a showcause notice, the builders are being asked to explain violations of the Environment Act with demolition of the new construction to follow if the explanation is not acceptable.  Meanwhile, all construction at the project has been stopped.

The project's main promoter is the Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) group with other promoters being the Avantha Group, Venkateshwara Hatcheries and a Pune-based builder.

Earlier this year, a Maharashtra government-instituted inquiry suggested that the Lavasa deal had deprived the state of several crores.

According to an inquiry conducted by the Maharashtra revenue department, Lavasa bought 600 hectares of land from farmers who had received land from the state. The price payable to the government was 75 per cent while Lavasa paid only 2 per cent to the government.