New Delhi: Terming Lavasa project as important
to Maharashtra, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Friday asked
the Centre to give the green nod to the first phase of the
proposed Hill City.
"I have requested to the Union Environment Minister
Jayanthi Natarajan to grant environment clearance to Lavasa
Phase-I if all the pre-conditions set by the ministry have
been fulfilled," he told reporters here.
Chavan`s request comes on a day when the Maharashtra
government filed a criminal case against Lavasa Corporation,
the promoters of Lavasa Hill City in the district for alleged
violations of the Environment Protection Act (EPA), fulfilling
the fifth and final pre-condition of the Environment Ministry
for granting clearance to the first phase of the hill city.
One of the pre-conditions was taking credible action
against Lavasa for alleged violation of the Environment
Protection Act in the hill city project.
The action by the state government was initiated
following directions from the Bombay High Court.
Chavan said the hill city project was important as it
involved huge investments in the state.
"People have not taken environment laws seriously which
has led to cases like Adarsh and Lavasa.... Nobody is bigger
than the law," he said.
Chavan also had meetings with Agriculture Minister Sharad
Pawar and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee during which
various issues related to the state came up for discussion.
He dismissed suggestions that the state government had
softened its stand on the project.
"There is no change of approach. What are you talking
about," Chavan told a questioner.