Work stops, deputy CM says Lavasa promoters answerable | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Work stops, deputy CM says Lavasa promoters answerable

Within 24 hours of receiving the environment ministry notice, Lavasa Corporation has stopped all work at its hill city in Mose valley of Pune district. Satyajit Joshi reports.

delhi Updated: Nov 27, 2010 23:37 IST
Satyajit Joshi

Within 24 hours of receiving the environment ministry notice, Lavasa Corporation has stopped all work at its hill city in Mose valley of Pune district.

A spokesperson of Hindustan Construction Company, promoters of Lavasa Corporation, said although the notice “shocked” the firm, all the vehicles, manpower and earthmoving machinery were being withdrawn from the 25,000-acre site.

The notice was served on the basis of the environment ministry charges that structures were allegedly built at Lavasa, about 50 km from Pune and 180 km from Mumbai, in violation of environmental norms.

Besides social activists, such as Medha Patkar and Anna Hazare, opposing the project, Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar said earlier in the day that the promoters were answerable if they had committed mistakes while building the hill city.

The spokesperson said although the company was preparing to reply in the stipulated 15 days, its other business activities were going on as usual.

Patkar, leader of the National Alliance for People’s Movement, also confirmed that she had received several phone calls from farmers and agitators in the valley confirming the stoppage of work.

She said she wanted the entire construction work to be demolished and farmers compensated adequately. “We will not tolerate if the government regularises the illegal construction by charging fine.”

Meanwhile, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan called Hazare on the phone. Hazare earlier announced to undertake an indefinite fast from December 1 on the issue. He said Chavan had requested him for some more time to look into the matter.

Hazare was critical of both the government and the company, asking, “Is there a rule of law in the state?”