The ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) has got a seven-day extension for passing the final order on the show-cause notice it issued to Lavasa Corporation Limited in November.
The Bombay high court on Friday gave the MoEF time until January 17 to issue the final order. The high court had earlier set January 10 as the deadline.
Additional solicitor general Darius Khambata submitted that a team of experts had completed the site inspection at Lavasa in Pune district on Friday. He sought more time saying it will not be possible for the MoEF to issue the final order because the next two days were weekend holidays.
A division bench of Justice VC Daga and Justice RG Ketkar granted the ministry a week more saying it should be given sufficient time to issue the order.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Lavasa Corporation challenging the MoEF’s show-cause notice issued on November 25, 2010, asking it why construction in Maval tehsil of Pune district should not be demolished. Lavasa, a subsidiary of Hindustan Construction Company, was also asked to maintain status quo on the date of the notice.
The company had contended that both the show cause notice and the order to maintain status quo were based on misconception of facts and law. It had taken a stand that the environmental impact assessment notification of January 1994 was not applicable to its hill station project proposed on 25,000 acres in the Western Ghats.
Lavasa Corporation had contended that the state government had accorded the project the required environmental clearance. The state environment department had issued a provisional no-objection certificate to the hill station in August 2000, and that was converted into a final environmental clearance on March 18, 2004, Lavasa’s petition said.
The high court had on December 22, 2010, rejected the company’s plea for staying the status quo order.