Lavasa asked to appear before Environment Ministry on Thursday
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Last Updated: Tuesday, December 07, 2010, 23:36
New Delhi: After a direction by the Bombay High Court, the Environment Ministry on Tuesday asked a representative of the Lavasa Corporation Ltd (LCL) to appear before it on Thursday to reply to the show-cause notice ordering stoppage of construction of its Rs 2,000 crore township in a hill station in Maharashtra.

"In pursuance to the (Bombay) High Court order, Lavasa Corporation Ltd is hereby directed to appear before the ministry through its counsel or representative on December 9," said an order of the ministry issued here.

Terming as "drastic" the ministry's order for stopping construction of a township in a hill station in Maharashtra, a division bench of Justices DK Deshmukh and ND Deshpande said it was issued without giving prior hearing.

It asked the Lavasa Corp to approach the ministry by or on December 9 while directing the latter to give a hearing as to whether construction work should be stayed and pass order on the issue by December 16 which is the next date of hearing.

On November 25, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh had issued a show-cause notice to Lavasa, which is developing a hill-station in Mulshi in Pune as to why it did not obtain environmental clearances as per Environment Protection Act and a 2004 notification.

The show-cause notice, reply to which was to be given within a fortnight, also asked the firm to stop the construction at the site.

Challenging the Environment Ministry's notice in the court, LCL, the project developer which is a subsidiary of Hindustan Construction Company, has defended its decision to develop the township saying that the project was initiated after acquiring necessary nod from various authorities.

The firm has also submitted that the state government granted it environmental clearance on March 18, 2004, after considering the environment impact assessment (EIA) report of NEERI while Maharashtra Pollution Control Board gave its approval to the project in 2005.


First Published: Tuesday, December 07, 2010, 23:36

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