Jun 11, 2011
Prominent social activist Medha Patkar has demanded that the Maharashtra government demolish the illegal constructions and developments undertaken by Lavasa Corporation in Pune district and also penalise bureaucrats and politicians who permitted the construction to take place.
Patkar was reacting to the ministry of environment & forest’s (MoEF) directive to the state government on Friday to take action against the construction on 681 hectares under the Lavasa Lake City project without proper environmental clearance.
The MoEF, with this order has ruled out any post-facto clearance of the project, Patkar said, adding: “Lavasa Corporation had gone ahead with construction, without any environmental impact assessment (EIA), and had flouted a host of laws. The illegal constructions should, therefore, be demolished.”
“When it is the case of the houses of the poor, the government does not think twice before demolishing them, so why should it now hesitate before doing so for the 527 buildings on this land?” she asked.
Suniti SR, member of the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), said this directive of the ministry is timely as the Bombay high court is scheduled to hear the case against Lavasa on June 15. “The MoEF notification has vindicated our stand,” she stated.
With regard to violations, the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, calls for demolition or fine or both, for constructions without EIA clearance.
Lavasa Lake City is a massive township planned over 12,500 acres in the backwaters of the Warasgaon dam amidst a newly-designated 25,000-acre hill station in Mose valley, 65 km from Pune.
Driven by Hindustan Construction Company (HCC), Lavasa Corporation was originally registered as Pearly Blue Lake Resorts Pvt Ltd in 2000 withPune businessmen Aniruddha Deshpande, Vitthal Maniyar and Aniruddha Seolekar as its first directors.
Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar’s daughter and MP, Supriya Sule, and her husband Sadanand, were shareholders in the company at one point oftime.