Lavasa project: MOEF to submit affidavit and order to HC

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Mumbai, Jan 18 (PTI) The Union Ministry of Environmentand Forests today told the Bombay High Court that it wouldsubmit its affidavit and a copy of its order on thecontroversial Lavasa housing project near Pune, whichallegedly violated green norms.

Additional Solicitor General Darius Khambata, appearingfor the Ministry, told a division bench of justices V C Dagaand Rajesh Ketkar that the Ministry would be submitting itsaffidavit and order to the court registrar later in the day.

Khambata said the matter would be heard on January 27.

The High Court had on December 22 last year directed theEnvironment Ministry to take a final decision on itsshow-cause notice to Lavasa Corporation (LC), the promoter ofthe project at the hill station (Lonavala).

According to reports, the Environment Ministry haspointed to "grave violations" in the Lavasa project and ismulling strong action against it.

The Ministry had served notice to Lavasa Corporation onNovember 25, 2010 as to why it did not obtain environmentalclearances as per notifications issued under the EnvironmentProtection Act before commencing the project in 2004.

LC, a subsidiary of Hindustan Construction Company,challenged the notice before the High Court. The Corporationhas claimed that it is a tourism project and was based on thestate hill tourism policy, formulated by the Maharashtragovernment, allowing the Rs 2,000-crore project to come up.PTISP DK

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