Environment ministry orders halt to 'unauthorised' Lavasa project

The ministry of environment and forest has directed the controversial Lavasa Corporation Limited (LCL) to maintain status-quo at the construction site, holding that the housing project near Pune is unauthorised.

Jairam Ramesh"LCL is in violation of EIA notification, 1994, ....The site visit report has also brought out the nature and magnitude of the environmental damage caused by the project. As such, the construction activity is unauthorised, .... and is also environmentally damaging", the order said.

The ministry, however, said it is prepared to consider the project on conditions and subject to imposition of penalties.

Lavas will also have to formulate a comprehensive environmental impact assessment and management plan and set up an Environmental Restoration Fund (ERF), the ministry said in its order issued today.

The ministry has asked Lavasa Corporation to:

  • Submit detailed project report and any revisions thereof from the inception; 
  • Provide information related to all contracts with various contractors for construction and other work;
  • Submit full plans prepared in relation to the project and all modifications thereto;
  • Submit audited statements for all amounts spent directly or indirectly on the project since inception; and
  • Provide information related to all contracts entered into for the purchase/acquisition/lease/transfer of lands as also phase-wise details of future planning with detailed proposals.

The ministry noted that the environment department of the Maharashtra government had, on 13 December 2002, issued a provisional no objection certificate to Lake City Corporation to develop the hill station at Musli and Velhe talukas of Pune district.