Tribunal ticks off eco panels for not clearing Thane home project | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Tribunal ticks off eco panels for not clearing Thane home project

The National Green Tribunal, which hears appeals against all environment panels, ticked off the apex state environment panel for not giving clearance to a rental housing project in Thane on the grounds of lack of sewage lines, and asked it to reconsider the proposal.

mumbai Updated: Jun 05, 2012 01:02 IST
Ketaki Ghoge

The National Green Tribunal, which hears appeals against all environment panels, ticked off the apex state environment panel for not giving clearance to a rental housing project in Thane on the grounds of lack of sewage lines, and asked it to reconsider the proposal.

The tribunal is the apex appellate authority for all environment panels across India and its rulings are binding.

The order, delivered by the tribunal’s principal bench on May 11, can stir a hornet’s nest given that a majority of the rental housing projects spread across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) – 41 in all – have been rejected because of the lack of basic amenities such as sewage lines. Till date, only two such projects have got the go-ahead from the state committees.

Most of these projects are located outside municipal council and city limits, because of which the plots lack amenities such as water supply and sewage lines.

Both state environment panels had refused to give their approval to Chalama Infraproperties Pvt Ltd for a rental housing project in Sheel village, Thane district, for two years in a row because of the absence of sewer lines. The project, spread across nine plots, envisages 2,200 flats.

On May 25 after the tribunal’s order, the committees granted conditional clearance for the development of 50% of the built-up area.

However, the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA), the apex green panel, said it reversed its decision only because the developer agreed to not apply for an occupation certificate till the sewer lines were laid. In the minutes of its meeting, the panel noted that the developer also agreed to develop the project in two phases. Earlier, Chalama Infraproperties had refused to meet these conditions.

The SEIAA pointed out in its hearing that one of the important aspects of building projects was arrangements for treating sewerage. “It is strongly felt that no body charged with the responsibility of safeguarding the environment can make a compromise on this,” it said.

The SEIAA said it has rejected clearances to projects with no underground sewer lines and where the local body has no clear plans of developing one. “It’s cheating the end buyers, who may buy the property to discover that basic amenities are not present. It can lead to flooding, environment and health hazards,” said a committee member, requesting anonymity.