A month after the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) asked the state government to take action against the Lavasa project, the ball is back in its court.
And, it has now sought legal opinion on how to take the case forward.
In its June 10 letter to the state, the MoEF had asked it to take action against Lavasa for environmental violations as it had carried out work without mandatory clearances on 681 hectares of its total 2,000 hectares.
Under the law, the state would have to file a criminal complaint against the project in a local court. However, the state has been unwilling to doing so. Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan had in fact said the government was looking at ways to regularise the project a day after the MoEF recommended action against it.
Following MoEF directives, the state environment department had sought clarifications on the action to be taken from its law and judiciary department, which asked the environment department to consult the Bombay high court on the issue.
“The high court suggested that a clarification be sought from the MoEF. As there is an ongoing petition being heard in the high court, we were not sure whether we could take action. The MoEF also did not spell out what action should be taken,” said a senior official, on condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to talk to the media.
He added that following this the state had asked MoEF to clarify its stance and action to be taken against Lavasa.
This was done earlier this month.
Sources in the MoEF said the ministry had now sought legal opinion on the matter.
MoEF had in its order on the hill city project said it was willing to regularise the project but developers would have to meet certain conditions.