Two Kandivli towers, constructed without the mandatory environmental clearance, may soon be regularised.
Even though the developer did not take an environmental clearance before beginning construction, in accordance with green laws, the State Environmental Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA), in it’s meeting on Friday, recommended a post-construction clearance to the towers.
This, despite the fact that the environmental protection act, 1986, makes it mandatory for builders to get a green nod before beginning construction.
The Hindustan Times had, in its March 7 edition, reported how the developer, Nikunj Developers, had constantly provided different figures of the Veena Saaz project’s built-up area to different agencies.
After initially refusing to apply for an environmental clearance by claiming that its built-up area was less than 20,000 square metres, the same developer then wrote to the State Expert Appraisal committee (SEAC) for a green nod in January 2010, claiming the built-up area of the project was 23,109.77 square metres.
Valsa Nair Singh, state environment secretary and member, SEIAA, said, “The committee has come to the conclusion that the application for the environment clearance and the complaints against it are two different issues. Hence, without mixing the two issues here, we recommended the project for an EC.”
Nair Singh said the project’s approved built-up area, as per civic records produced by the developer, was 19,993 square metres. “Hence, if the approved plans submitted by the developer say this is the area, we have to go by those figures.”
Nair Singh, however, left a small window of hope for residents who had been campaigning against the project. “I will have a hearing where residents have the chance to prove the allegations against the builder. If true, we may recommend prosecution of the developer.”