Loopholes in Lavasa’s reply: Environment ministry

Loopholes in Lavasa’s reply: Environment ministry

New Delhi: The Environment Ministry on Monday said there were loopholes in Lavasa Corporation’s reply to its notice for alleged violation of norms in its 25,000-hectares hill city project near Pune.

“There are some loopholes in Lavasa Corporation’s reply," environment minister Jairam Ramesh said in a statement.

The ministry “is studying it further and a response will be given within the stipulated time," it said. However, no timeline was given.

In its reply, Lavasa Corporation, a unit of HCC, today charged the environment ministry with acting under pressure from activists and alleged that that there were malafide intentions against the project and critical facts related to it have been suppressed.

Last week, the ministry had slapped a show cause notice on Lavasa for carrying out construction works at its hill-city project without the ministry’s approval. It had said that the construction was carried out above 1,000 metres of sea level against the permitted range of 640-900 metres.

Ramesh had yesterday denied that there was any bias or prejudice in issuing the show cause to the company.

“The show cause notice was sent because in the view of my ministry, existing laws of forest conservation and environment protection had been violated," the minister had told reporters in Mumbai.

“When the reply comes, we will follow procedures as per law. No decision will be taken arbitrarily. Lavasa will be given a chance to put forth their point. Action would be taken after due consideration," he had said.