CHANDIGARH: After noticing massive flaws in the construction activities carried out by M/s Amravati Enclave in its housing project at National Highway-22 near Panchkula, the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA), Haryana, has ordered to withdraw the environment clearance (EC) issued to the project proponent.
The project is owned by the family of senior BJP leader and Panchkula mayor Kulbhushan Goyal. The SEIAA has also found that the project proponent has constructed two wings of a building on green belt in violation of the norms.
“Environment clearance dated March 25, 2010, granted and subsequent extension dated January 5, 2021, hereby stands withdrawn with immediate effect. Henceforth, project proponent shall not carry out any new activity, construction, expansion relating to the project (sic),” said the order passed by the SEIAA.
The SEIAA has also constituted a subcommittee for the penalty and environment damage assessment. The committee has been asked to submit its report within 60 days. The members of the committee include chairman, state expert appraisal committee, Haryana, Rajbir Singh Bondwal, SEC member, regional officers of Panchkula and Ambala Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) and M/s Perfect Enviro Solutions Pvt Ltd being the environment consultant. The cost to prepare environment damage assessment reports will be borne by the project proponent.
This information has been provided by the SEIAA to the National Green Tribunal (NGT), which has been hearing a plea regarding alleged violations in the construction of the housing project at Amravati Enclave.
The SEIAA has informed the NGT that the project remained without environment clearance (EC) for almost three years from March 24, 2017, to January 5, 2021, and further failed to comply with the general conditions as stipulated in the original EC dated March 25, 2010. “Regarding construction carried out during the period of absence of the EC, the project proponent has failed to explain and produce any cogent evidence. Project proponent seems to have opted to remain silent about the construction of EWS flats and the booth opposite to Cosmos and two wings of Cineraria block on the green belt and revised building plan dated January 30, 2018. This act of the project proponent needs to be equated, as construction was carried out without clearance in terms of environment impact assessment (EIA) notification. Hence this act amounts to clear-cut violations under the EIA notification dated September 14, 2006,” the SEIAA submitted in its report.
“Therefore in view of the violations committed by the project proponent…the authority hereby consider that the present case is fit to withdraw the environment clearance…and extension granted to M/s Amravati Enclave NH-22, shopping mall, 1,080 flats and plots at villages Bhagwanpur, Islampur, Chandimandir-Kalka national highway, near Panchkula,” said the SEIAA report.
In its report submitted to the tribunal, the SEIAA has also observed that the project falls within 10 km of Sukhna wildlife sanctuary, where construction activities without permission amount to violation. SEIAA has also pointed out several shortcomings in the project owned by one of the most influential political leaders of the district.
The matter is pending before the NGT through an application of Ramesh Malik, an advocate and resident of Amravati Enclave who has been pursuing the matter for a long time, and others. Grievance in this application is against extension of EC. It was submitted that SEIAA was not competent for grant of EC in view of the general condition, which provides that if there is a wildlife sanctuary within 10 kms, the project will require MoEF&CC approval. There are two sanctuaries at 3.90 km and 1.6 km, namely Bir Shikargah and Khol-Hai-Raitan, the applicant had submitted.