Hindustan Construction Company (HCC), Lavasa Corporation Limited’s parent company, is looking forward to talking to the Central environment ministry, implement changes to the private hill city project and pay fines, if need be, to get a green signal from the ministry, Ajit Gulabchand, chairman and MD, HCC, said on Friday.
The ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) had, in its order submitted to the Bombay high court on Tuesday, called Lavasa “unauthorised’’ and “environmentally damaging” but had offered to regularise the project if Lavasa paid a penalty.
“We are discussing Lavasa with the ministry and are willing to implement changes, if need be. Nothing is perfect and everything can be built,” Gulabchand said at a press conference in Mumbai. The company has also indicated it is willing to pay the penalty slapped by the ministry. Asked if paying the penalty would mean that the company was accepting guilt, Gulabchand said, “I do not think so.”
In November 2010, the ministry had ordered HCC to stop construction on the site in Pune district. The MoEF order on Tuesday said the stay would continue until Lavasa took steps to get the project regularised.
HCC, which wanted to list Lavasa on the capital market, has postponed its plans for now.
Gulabchand, however, denied any political vendetta in the matter because Sharad Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule and her husband Sadanand Sule were stakeholders in the project in its initial stages.
“What has Sharad Pawar got to do with this? Today, HCC is a publicly listed company, while Lavasa has sought SEBI permission for an IPO. All the data (about proprietors) has been given to SEBI,” Gulabchand said.