The new luxury hotel, Shangri la, atop Palladium mall at High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel, has finally got environmental clearance, but its developers will have to face action for going ahead with the construction of the 40-storey building without getting the mandatory green nod.
On Thursday, the state environment impact assessment authority, the three member committee set up by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) to scrutinise and grant clearances to all major construction projects gave its final nod to Shangri la. However it was given on the condition that the developers submit a formal resolution by their board of directors assuring that such violations will not be repeated and they commit themselves to an environment management plan.
The developers will also have to face legal action under Environment Protection Act (EPA), 1986.
“The environment department will look into this. Legal action is mandatory under the MOEF 2010 order, which lays down certain guidelines for appraising projects where substantial construction work has already been done without getting the EC,” said a member of the committee.
Under the EPA, one could face imprisonment of up to 5 years and a penalty of up to Rs 1 lakh for a violation.
The construction on the luxury hotel cost about Rs773 crore and started in 2004. However, developers did not seek environment clearance for the project till last year, when the project had to be expanded further.
The state expert appraisal committee (SEAC), a body of experts, had recommended rejecting the project five times. Finally, last month, SEAC II recommended it for a clearance after putting down nine conditions. It also pointed out, that is was “clear case of violation”. It recommended that the environment department initiate legal action against the project developers.
The hotel chain promised to keep to the conditions.