Green violation at Mumbai project lands DB Realty in trouble

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Mumbai, Jan 19 (PTI) The Maharashtra Government hassought an explanation from real estate major DB Realty as towhy action should not be taken against it for violation ofenvironmental norms at a residential project here.

According to the Environment Department, DB Realty hasstarted construction on its project - Orchid Crown - in theupscale Prabhadevi without taking environmental clearance. Ithas recommended that the company be asked to stop work.

The real estate developer is constructing threeresidential buildings (two 54-storeyed and one 56-storeyed)with 534 tenements at Prabhadevi.

The state-level expert appraisal committee (SEAC) had,last month, visited Orchid Crown and found that the proposalsubmitted by the company involved a total construction of over15.8 times the plot area and that the non-FSI area came to 296per cent of the FSI area. (The FSI of a plot is the ratio ofthe built-up area to the plot size).

The committee subsequently asked the developer toreduce the total area of construction. However, the panel thendecided to recommend rejection of the proposal for grant ofprior environmental clearance in view of "objectionableattitude of the project proponent (DB Realty)".

The realty firm later informed the SEAC it had reducedthe total construction area as well as the number of floorsand tenements. However, when the committee made a site visit,it found the work had already been taken up in a "substantialmanner" and the earlier existing structures were demolished.

(more) PTI PSK JJRSY

Excavation for basement was done to the foundation level for over 50 per cent of the area, foundations were laidin some portions, the work of columns was in progress and somestructures stated to be sample flats had come up to the firstfloor level, the SEAC stated in its minutes.

"Their action in starting the work without prior EC(environmental clearance) and concealing the fact fromSEAC/SEIAA is very objectionable," the committee observed.

"They should submit reasons why their applicationshould not be summarily rejected and further appropriateaction initiated against them for this.

Further, work shouldbe immediately stopped," it said.

When contacted, a DB Realty spokesperson said "this isone of the 25 projects of the company and represents a verysmall value for the company." PTI PSK JJRSY

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