The central experts’ panel, which is carrying out a three-day inspection of the Lavasa hill city, has asked for the maps showing the original topography of the area where the project is coming up.
The staff at the Pune district collector’s office worked overtime to collect the original topographical maps after the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) requested for them on Thursday.
An eight-member committee of the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) is visiting Lavasa to check the allegations of environmental violations.
Officials from the collectorate, requesting anonymity, said the committee had asked for maps for a comparative study of area before and after the project.
A topographical map shows hills and their slopes, forests and their density and water body and their sources in original form.
The EAC has also asked for details of the 18 villages in Lavasa and the provisions of the Special Town Planning Authority Act, under which the project was being developed.
On day two of its visit, EAC members spent nearly three hours with National Alliance for People’s Movement leader, Medha Patkar, and anti-corruption crusader, Anna Hazare, and political leader, Prakash Ambedkar, who placed their concerns and allegations before the panel.
After the hearing, which took place at Mugaon village, Patkar took the committee members to various sites where environmental rules were allegedly violated. The EAC also met Lavasa officials. Lavasa Corporation has submitted 10,000 pages of data and clarifications sought, detailing environmental initiatives, developmental activities and state and central approvals obtained by the company.
Lavasa issued a statement saying, “Mugaon village and its surroundings are a good example of pre-development…With developmental intervention, its state can be easily compared with the environmental and ecological improvements brought about in Dasve village [part of the first phase of development at Lavasa].”