Bombay High Court gives one week-extension to the Ministry

The Bombay High Court on Friday gave an extension of one week to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to pass its final order on whether the planned hill-city Lavasa near Pune has violated any environmental regulations. The Ministry will now pass the final order by January 17.

Additional Solicitor-General Darius Khambatta told TheHindu: “The MoEF applied for and was granted an extension to pass the final order in the matter.”

An expert team from the Ministry was on a three-day visit to Lavasa from January 5-7 to inspect the site and see if the Lavasa Corporation Limited (LCL) had violated any environmental norms.

The Ministry submitted to the court that it would be difficult to write the final order over the weekend. Earlier, the court had instructed the MoEF to pass the order by January 10.

It had also instructed that the expert team visit the site and carry out a thorough inspection before passing the final order.

After the MoEF submits its report, the court is slated to give a final hearing on the matter on January 27.

The MoEF had issued show cause and status quo notices to the LCL on November 25 last asking it why mandatory environmental clearances had not been taken before starting the work.

The Ministry had asked the Corporation to stop work at the site till it responded to the show cause notice.