CHENNAI: Madras High Court on Friday directed the Puducherry government authorities concerned to issue completion and occupancy certificates to the new buildings raised in the premises of Jawaharlal Institute of Post-graduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER) without insisting upon prior clearance of environment impact assessment authority (EIA).
A division bench of Justices SS Sundar and N Senthilkumar passed the orders on a petition filed by Rakesh Aggarwal, director of JIPMER, seeking a direction to the Puducherry Planning Authority (PPA) and the Department of Science, Technology and Environment of the union territory to issue the completion and occupancy certificate for constructions made in about 31, 479 sq. meters in its premises for hospital and non-hospital purposes.
Senior counsel G Rajagopalan, assisted by advocate Sunita Kumari, argued that the 2006 EIA Notification does not warrant prior clearance of environmental impact for constructions ranging between 50,000 sq. meters and 1.50 lakh sq. meters for hospitals and educational institutions.
However, the concerned authorities have been stressing upon prior environment clearance for issuing the completion and occupancy certificate leaving certain facilities lying unoccupied for three years.
It was proposed to raise new constructions for hospital and non-hospital purposes at an area of 49, 479 sq. meters for Rs. 201. 41 crore but actual constructions were done at an area of 31,479 sq. meters and constructions are yet to be carried out in 18,000 sq. meters of area.
When the plan approval was granted by the PPA, it did not inform the applicant that prior environment clearance was mandatory for the constructions, the counsel pointed out. Yet, they insisted upon the prior environment clearance when approached for completion and occupancy certificate, he told the court.