The Maharashtra government has decided to file a criminal complaint against Lavasa, the hill city project in Pune district, in accordance with the directions of the Bombay high court.
The complaint, under the Environment Protection Act, will be lodged with a judicial magistrate in Pune. Violations under the act can attract a penalty of up to Rs 1 lakh or imprisonment of up to five years.
Sources said the state’s environment department was asked to take action against the developer, Hindustan Construction Company, by the high court on October 20. After the file is cleared by state environment minister Sanjay Deotale, a local Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) official will lodge the complaint in a local court.
In its June 10 letter, the Union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) had asked the state to act against Lavasa for alleged environment violations – carrying out construction work on 681 hectares (one hectare = 110,000 square feet) of its 2,000-hectare project without mandatory clearances.
Earlier, as environment minister, Jairam Ramesh had expressed reservations about the project.