Lavasa project unauthorized: Environment Ministry

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New Delhi, Jan 18 (PTI) The Environment Ministry todayheld that the controversial Lavasa housing project near Puneis unauthorized and directed the Lavasa Corporation Limited(LCL) to maintain status-quo at the construction site.

The Ministry, however, said it is prepared to considerthe project on merits subject to imposition of penalties,creation of Environmental Restoration Fund (ERF), formulationof a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assesment (EIA) andthe management plan, an order released by the Ministry said.

"....The LCL Project is in violation of EIANotifications....the construction is unauthorized and therehas been environmental degradation," it said.

The terms and conditions include payment of a substantialpenalty for the violation of environmental laws, which isincontrovertible, and creation of an ERF by the LCL whichwould be managed by an independent body with variousstakeholders under the overall supervision of the Ministry.

The Ministry also put imposition of stringent terms andcondtions to ensure no further environmental degradation takesplace and that any degradation that has already occured wouldbe rectified within a time-bound schedule. .

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