CHENNAI: The National Green Tribunal has stayed the construction of a 17-storey premium apartment on LB Road at Adyar on a petition that the builder, True Value Homes, has failed to get prior environmental clearance.
The bench, consisting of Justice P Jyothimani and Dr R Nagendran, said prima facie it appears that the project, which comemnced on June 2012, had violated the norms. “On the face of it, we are satisfied that when the law is clear that prior EC (environmental clearance) is a condition precedent, no activity should have been permitted...” the bench said in its order on February 26.
As per norms, any construction project which is more than 20,000 Sq.m. has to necessarily obtain prior environmental clearance. The State Level Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) has to conduct a detailed environment impact assessment (EIA) before granting clearance.
The bench relied on observations made by the SEIAA. The authority, while granting clearance in July 2014, two years after the commencement of the construction, had stated that, “the project proponent has started the project without obtaining prior Environmental Clearance.”
The petitioner, Ashish Nawalgaria, had contended that in light of the admission by the authority, the project should had been delisted. But the officials went ahead and gave clearance to the project.
The bench directed SEIAA to file a status report and give specific reasons why the proposal for the project was considered, even as it admitted that the construction activity started before the environmental clearance was granted.
When contacted by Express, an official speaking on behalf of True Value Homes maintained that the company has obtained environmental clearance. “Our legal response and strategy would be revealed at the appropriate time,” the official added.
The interim order of the green tribunal has also restrained the developer from creating any third party interest in the property by alienation or mortgage.