HC gives Lavasa 6 weeks to submit land papers

Written by fe Bureau | Mumbai | Updated: Jan 28 2011, 06:57am hrs
Hindustan Construction Company's (HCC) hill-city project Lavasa on Thursday was granted six weeks' time by the Bombay High Court to submit relevant documents pertaining to land transactions and future investment details, among others, to the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF). Lavasa had submitted the documents requested by the ministry in its previous order dated January 17, and had requested for a six-week extension, to come up with a solution.

We have asked for an extension of six weeks as Lavasa has submitted relevant documents requested by the MoEF in their final order dated January 17, 2011. This is as per our discussions with Jairam Ramesh, minister, environment and forests. Lavasa Corporation has asked for time to consider a solution, said the company in a media statement. "All matters related to Lavasa stand adjourned by six weeks, the statement added.

Lavasa has been under the scanner of the MoEF for violation of green norms, resulting in a show-cause notice to the company. Following this, the ministry also sent an assessment team to the project site for inspection. The Bombay High Court asked the ministry to take a call on the show-cause notice served on Lavasa by January 17.

Earlier this month, the environment ministry termed Lavasa project unauthorised, and directed Lavasa to maintain status quo, and carry out no construction activity at the site. However, given the major investments and rights in Lavasa, and the employment that has been generated, it was prepared to consider the project, subject to tough terms and conditions set by it. The MoEF asked Lavasa to pay an unspecified penalty. Second, Lavasa was also required to set up an environmental fund that would come directly under the MoEF. Finally, Lavasa was only allowed site activity on certain terms and conditions set by MoEF. Shares of HCC, promoters of Lavasa, were down by 5.25% on Thursday to close at Rs 39.70 on the BSE.