117-storey city project hits eco roadblock
Even as the Lodha Group announced the construction of a 117-storey tower in Lower Parel on Tuesday, purported to be Mumbai’s tallest residential building, the project has hit a hurdle.mumbai Updated: Jun 09, 2010 01:47 IST
Even as the Lodha Group announced the construction of a 117-storey tower in Lower Parel on Tuesday, purported to be Mumbai’s tallest residential building, the project has hit a hurdle.
The State Expert Appraisal Committee (SEAC), an environment body comprising independent experts and former bureaucrats, has objected to the plan and asked the developer to revise the proposal.
An advisory body set up by the Centre to scrutinise construction and infrastructure projects in the state, the SEAC criticised the Lodha Group and two other developers — IndiaBulls and DB Group — in its meeting on May 24-26, saying their projects sought “unacceptably high” construction area.
Lodha’s construction area is more than 13.3 times the net plot area. “Unless these are significantly reduced, it would not be possible to consider the proposal,” it was noted in the minutes of the meeting.
All projects on plots more than 20,000 sq m need environmental clearance, which is a two-level process. The project needs a nod from the SEAC and then final clearance from the State-level Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA). The SEAC’s opinion cannot be easily by-passed.
The SEAC also raised concerns about creating parking for more than 8,000 vehicles in the premises. It has asked the builder to do a study on the impact on traffic. It also needs to get commitment from the civic body about water supply.
“We have submitted our application [to the SEAC] with the revisions sought,” said Abhisheck Lodha, MD of Lodha Group. He maintained that the height of the residential tower would not be reduced.
“We go by the merit of each case. While we value their [SEAC] opinion, we are not bound by it,” said Valsa Nair Singh, SEIAA member.