In one previous post I have detailed about , Lavasa city Project has been stopped. This is the continuation with current updates.
Ten Member committee formed by ministry of environment and forest (MoEF) are going to undergo three day inspection of Lavasa hill City Project. Team, comprising representatives of Town Planning, Revenue and water resources, headed by Naresh Goyal will study the environmental impact of this project and report will be submitted to Bombay High Court on 10th January. As per the plea received in December, Town Planning has violated the environmental norms and unauthorized constructions of buildings. Project is developed over 25,000 acres of controversially procured land.
Committee of MoEF will undertake number of exercises to know if proper steps are taken to preserve the environmental balance. As per my views project is under the completion phase, huge amount of finance has been invested in this project( by HCC) and many flats also has been sold out. So, Project cannot be stopped, but that can be completed under compliance of the rules of environmental ministry.
On the other hand, Surprisingly, people from nearest village Dasve and other few villages has supported this project. As per their views, this project has provided jobs for more than four years. Roads and dispensaries in villager are now well developed due to the project. They expect that nearby villages will also become well developed after the completion of this project.
1. ‘State Policy: The government has not required the promoters of Lavasa to reserve accommodation for economic weaker sections of society. Some of the land used in the project was acquired for the Varasgaon dam in 1974 and was unused. Although the land cannot be returned to the original owners as per an High Court verdict. the same should used for public purposes. However it is not clear from the verdict if it can be used for public purposes only by the government or a private party as is the case in Lavasa.
2.Potential Conflict of Interest:
The shareholding in Lavasa Corporation (aka. Lake City Corporation) in the period 2002 – 2004 included daughter and son-in-law of Sharad Pawar. Shareholders also included known close associates of the Sharad Pawar such as Aniruddha Deshpande and Vitthal Maniyar. Lavasa corporation got most of clearances from the state government during this period. However this is a matter of conjecture and speculation as there are no proofs.
Lavasa has also signed lease agreements and agreements to store water and build dams with the MKVDC (Maharashtra Krishna Valley Development Corporation). Ajit Pawar (nephew of Sharad Pawar) was the chairman of MKVDC at the time of granting permissions and signing of agreements. Mr. Ajit Pawar has however denied any knowledge of shareholding patterns at the time of signing the MoU.
Lavasa has been granted clearance by the state government as per a 1994 directive from the central government directing state government to grant environmental clearances for projects less than 1000 m above sea level. Some activists contend that Lavasa is more 1000m above sea level in some places. Only the entry gate of the city is above 1000m. Lavasa is situated in the western ghats and some activists contend that it will have a adverse impact on the biodiversity.
The Varasgaon Dam is a important dam for water supply to Pune city. The reservoir very nearly dries up in the hot summer months leading up to the monsoon. There are claims that water from Varasgaon is diverted to Lavasa and will result in problems in water supply to Pune city.
However HCC, in order to address that problem has built a mini dam that has created a reservoir holding of 1.8 million cubic metres of water. Pune’s population requires about 11.5 thousand million cubic ft (TMC) water per annumand the capacity of the Varasgaon Dam Reservoir is also about 11.5 TMC. Lavasa Corporation acquired permissions to get 1.5 TMC water (14%) from Varasgaon dam.