Open for dialogue with MoEF on Lavasa: Ajit Gulabchand

HCC chairman Ajit Gulabchand on Friday said the company was open to a dialogue with the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) for finding the "most workable solution" for the stalled Lavasa hill-station project.
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Updated on Jan 21, 2011 10:14 PM IST
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PTI | By, Mumbai

HCC Chairman Ajit Gulabchand on Friday said the company was open to a dialogue with the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) for finding the "most workable solution" for the stalled Lavasa hill-station project.

Operations at the project have stalled since November 25, after the ministry issued 'stop-work' notice to the company for violating environment rules.

"The nitty-gritties have to be solved to get the project back on track...our first priority is getting the work going," Gulabchand said, adding that the company has lost about Rs 100-crore due to the stop-work notice by MoEF.

Engineering and construction major HCC is the promoter of the project, coming up in the ecologically-sensitive Sahyadri hills in Pune district.

Commenting on MoEF's final report of January 17, which speaks of giving a go-ahead to the project on the payment of a heavy fine, Gulabchand said he was "glad" to know that every one wanted the project to go forward.

"We do not agree in part with two reports -- one by the technical committee and other by the adviser to the MoEF. Some environmental violations are very small, while some do not relate to the environment at all," Gulabchand said at a press conference, adding that HCC will soon initiate talks with the ministry.

At the same time, Gulabchand said the company will continue to pursue ongoing litigation regarding the project in the Bombay high court. "Whether it (the resolution) will be in the court or out of court... let's see that once we open a dialogue with MoEF," he said.

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