New Delhi: After being given a lifeline,
Lavasa on Monday applied afresh for environmental clearance to the
first phase of its Rs 3000-crore hill city project near Pune,
which is being considered by a high-level committee.
"They (Lavasa) have applied for phase-I clearance,
which is being considered," Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh
said on Monday.
He said the matter is being considered by the Expert
Appraisal Committee (EAC).
"Phase I is 2000 hectares. Phase II is 3000 hectares.
And if I recall right....today the application for the 2000
hectares is being considered. And two weeks from now... three
weeks from now... the application for the next phase, which is
already on...3000 hectares...will be considered," the minister
Asked when the decision was expected, the Minister
said, "I don`t know. The committee is meeting. I don`t
interfere in their function. They are meeting for deciding for
the phase I clearance."
He said Lavasa did not get the clearance from
environment view point.
"They went to court. The matter is in court. It is now
they have applied for the environmental clearance. Today and
tomorrow it is being considered in our ministry. It is going
through the due diligence process now," Ramesh said.
The Environment Ministry last month had held that the
controversial project was "unauthorised" and had directed the
Lavasa Corporation Limited to maintain status-quo at the
However, providing a ray of hope for Lavasa, the
Ministry had said it was prepared to consider the project
being constructed near Pune on "merits" subject to fulfilment
of certain conditions even as it ordered that no further
construction should be undertaken for now.
On January 18, the Ministry in its order had said it
was prepared to consider the project subject to imposition of
penalties, creation of Environmental Restoration Fund (ERF),
formulation of a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment
(EIA) and the management plan.