Lavasa project unauthorized: Environment Ministry

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Mumbai: The Environment Ministry on day held that the controversial Lavasa housing project near Pune is unauthorized and directed the Lavasa Corporation Limited (LCL) to maintain status-quo at the construction site.

The Ministry, however, said it is prepared to consider the project on merits subject to imposition of penalties, creation of Environmental Restoration Fund (ERF), formulation of a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assesment (EIA) and the management plan, an order released by the Ministry said.

"… The LCL Project is in violation of EIA Notifications… the construction is unauthorized and there has been environmental degradation,” it said.

The terms and conditions include payment of a substantial penalty for the violation of environmental laws, which is incontrovertible, and creation of an ERF by the LCL which would be managed by an independent body with various stakeholders under the overall supervision of the Ministry.

The Ministry also put imposition of stringent terms and condtions to ensure no further environmental degradation takes place and that any degradation that has already occured would be rectified within a time-bound schedule.

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