Environment ministry panel to visit Lavasa in early January

A three-member panel of the environment ministry will visit Lavasa Lake City project near Pune in Maharashtra in the first week of January to look into allegations of green laws violations.

According to environment minister Jairam Ramesh, "A three-member technical team of the ministry will visit Lavasa project in the first week of January and we will submit our reply by Jan 10 as directed by the Bombay High Court," Ramesh told reporters in New Delhi yesterday.
The project had been slapped a show-cause notice by the ministry, on 25 November for its alleged failure to secure necessary environmental clearances before starting work on its 5,000-plus hectare project under implementation at Mulshi sub-district of Pune district, around 200km from Mumbai.

The Bombay High Court upheld the 'stop work' orders from the environment ministry to Lavasa Corporation on 22 December.

The case is scheduled for next hearing on 27 January.

The ministry will also submit its reply in the Bombay High Court on 10 January to a petition filed by Lavasa challenging the ministry's stay order on the construction. 

On 14 December, the ministry refused to withdraw the "stop-work" order, citing "lack of clarity" on the details submitted by the Lavasa Corporation and "large-scale environmental degradation" in the region.