|‘Lavasa must be declared an illegal entity’|
NAPM: MoEF should have directed the State to carry out a specific action
Supriya Sule and her husband together had 21.97 per cent stake in Lavasa project
Pune: Activists of the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) have taken objection to Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan’s statement that the Lavasa project can go ahead “if some conditions are met”.
The NAPM, which has been campaigning against the hill city, has opposed this indication of the possibility to regularise Lavasa.
The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) had written to the State government on June 10, directing the latter to take action against Lavasa as the 681 hectares of construction in the hill city were found to be a violation of the Environment Protection Act 1986.
“The State government neither has jurisdiction nor the power to take a decision in this regard,” said Vishwambar Choudhari of NAPM. The activists said the MoEF’s ambiguous statement had violated the stand by the NAPM since 2007, based on the official documents and facts.
The NAPM said the MoEF should have directed the State to carry out a specific action, instead of letting the State government take the decision. “The MoEF as the authority responsible for monitoring legal course of action related to development projects such as Lavasa with large-scale environmental impact should have made it clear in its statement, the specific action that was unavoidable and could have followed legal remedies itself,” a statement by the NAPM said.
Dr. Choudhari said such decisions had been taken by the MoEF earlier, such as in the case of Vedanta, Adarsh as well as Adani power project. The NAPM had raised objections to the State government’s decision-making process.
“The Chief Minister, as per media reports, has passed his remarks, only after his meetings with Ajit Gulabchand, Managing Director of Hindustan Construction Company (which is implementing the Lavasa project), and Supriya Sule, politician-cum-former shareholder of Lavasa Corporation. What does it indicate?” the statement said.
Ms. Sule and her husband Sadanand Sule together had 21.97 per cent stake in Lavasa Corporation Limited between 2002 and 2004.
The NAPM said Lavasa should be declared an illegal entity, the structure should be demolished as per the legal option or strictly used for public purposes and “no further work or sanction for 25,000 acres of land project be granted”.