Date: 15th June, 2011
LAVASA CAN’T BE ILLEGALLY REGULARISED
Centre & Maharashtra Govt. should follow rule of law and stall Lavasa
We, the activists of National Alliance of People’s Movements(NAPM) and Lavasa-affected Adivasis and farmers are shocked to see the statement by the CM of Maharashtra on Lavasa , prominently covered by today’s papers in Mumbai. The CM’s indication of a possibility of regularizing Lavasa’s structures undertaken on 681 hectares of land without the environment clearance by the Ministry of Enviroment and Forest is not at all a legal comment nor a legal possibility.
Not only that, MoEF’s recent statement and communication has asked the State government to take action against Lavasa since they have gone ahead for years with serious violation of the law, the Environment Protection Act 1986. This has violated the stand by the NAPM since 2007, based on the official documents and facts. It is also obvious that the MoEF as the central authority responsible for monitoring legal course of action related to development projects such as Lavasa with large-scale environmental impacts, should have made clear in its statement, the specific action that is unavoidable and could have followed legal remedies itself. MoEF has taken action on its own in the case of the projects such as Vedanta, Adarsh as well as Adani Power project.
It is therefore much more serious and unacceptable that the Chief Minister intervened and interfered in the legal course otherwise taken by MoEF as well as the State level authorities once they realized the mistake or the fraud committed by themselves earlier. The CM, as per the media reports, has passed his remarks, not a judgement or decision of the cabinet only after his meetings with Ajit Gulabchand, the main planner, director and Supriya Sule, politician-cum-former shareholder of Lavasa Corporation. What does it indicate?
We the people’s organizations would demand an explanation and once again urge that since Lavasa project, it is proved, is pushed through all illegalities-Special Planning Authority status, grab of Krishna river valley land as well as ceiling lands and Adivasi lands, diversion of forest land without sanction etc. The rule of law is not ensured in this project with obvious political hand and power behind it. No doubt every project and developer will not follow law nor will the sanctioning authorities be able to play a role. Lavasa must be declared an illegal entity, the structure demolished as per the only legal option or strictly used for public purposes and no further work or sanction for 25000 acres land project be granted.
THE LATEST: The High Court of Mumbai heard the MoEF, Lavasa and the NAPM as the petitioners today. The MoEF stated that it would follow the recommendations of the expert committee and give the clearance with all the conditions therein. Both the MoEF and the State govt promised that until and unless all the conditions are strictly complied with, the status quo (the stay of all constructions ) would continue. However the NAPM would challenge this since there is no such provision for post-facto clearance for work involving 1000 crore investment. MoEF is to file an affidavit and NAPM a counter-affidavit by July 12, the next date of hearing.
Leelabai Margale Vishwambhar Chowdhari Suniti S.R. Medha Patkar
Ph: 09423965153 / 09423571784