Lavasa Corporation is yet to get environmental clearance for its entire project. It had moved the State’s Expert Appraisal Committee (SEAC) in March 2010 seeking clearance for the next phase of its project spread across 12,355 acres.
Till date, however, it has not submitted a comprehensive Environment Impact Assessment report of the ecological impact, to the state government.
Senior MOEF officials said, “Given the scope of the project, it will have to come to the Centre for clearance. SEAC should ideally direct it to the Centre.”
The environment department, in its reply to MOEF queries, has pointed out that it had cleared phase 1 of the project across 4,942 acres, and not the entire hill city, following a letter from Lavasa Lake City project.
The reply, dated August 4, states that as per the prevailing 1994 notification of the Centre, the hill station did not require a green nod from the MOEF.
The notification said only projects located more than 1,000 metres above sea level required environmental clearance from the Centre. Lavasa, situated in Mulshi and Velhe talukas, is 640 to 980 meters above sea level, the government said.
The provisional environmental clearance for the project was given in December 2002 and was converted into a final clearance by March 2004.
Meanwhile, a Lavasa Corporation spokesperson said all environmental norms were being complied with while building the project.
The spokesperson also denied allegations that the hill city was polluting the water bodies.
“This is a false conjecture. Lavasa treats its effluents to the highest quality by providing 3 levels of tertiary treatment. This not only eliminates any possibility of pollution of the lake but also helps recycle this water for flushing as well as for landscaping, construction and such other non-potable uses,” he said. A majority of the shareholders in Lavasa are reputed Indian corporates, the spokesperson added.
HCC Ltd has a 64.99 per cent stake in Lavasa Corporation through its 100 per cent subsidiary, HCC Real Estate Limited.
The rest of the stakes are held by Venkateshwara Hatcheries (12.79 per cent), Avantha Realty Ltd (16.25 per cent) and a Pune-based individual Vinay Maniar (5.95 per cent.)