Pune: Modifying the earlier order of penalty to Goel Ganga Developers India Pvt Ltd, the bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT) comprising Justice UD Salvi and Expert member Dr Nagin Nanda, on Monday, asked the developer to pay environmental compensation cost of Rs 190 crore or 5 per cent of the total cost of project to be assessed by State Environment Appraisal Committee (SEAC), whichever is more, for restoration and restitution of environment damage and degradation caused by their development projects on Sinhagad Road.
The judgement passed on Monday stated, “The Respondent Goel Ganga Developers India Pvt Ltd shall pay environmental compensation cost of Rs 190 crores or 5 per cent of the total cost of the project to be assessed by SEAC, whichever is more, for restoration and restitution of environmental damage and degradation caused by the project proponent by carrying out the construction activities without the necessary prior environmental clearance within a period of one month.
In addition to this, it shall also pay a sum of Rs. 5 crores for contravening a mandatory provision of several environment laws in carrying out the construction activities.”
Earlier, in September 2016, NGT had directed the developer to pay a compensation cost of total Rs 105 crore for flouting norms of environmental clearance for their projects called ‘Ganga Bhagyoday’, ‘Ganga Bhagyoday Towers’ and ‘Amrut Ganga’ situated at Vadgaon Budruk on Sinhagad Road.
Tanaji Gambhire who had filed a review petition through his advocate Shriram Pingle against the 2016 order had claimed that the developer has erected illegal reduction in Cultural Centre Reservation Area due to the encroachment of Tower Buildings A & B on the reserved plot as well as the construction of three basements without obtaining environment clearance.
A press statement by Goel Ganga Developers India Pvt Ltd stated, “We are in disagreement with the view taken by NGT. We have always carried out construction in all our projects in accordance with law and permission granted to us, time to time and built our reputation on the same. The work going on the site is as per the permissions received from PMC and Environment Department. We feel the issue of carbon footprint raised in the order of 8th January 2018 requires clarity in the law and we alone cannot be held responsible for a violation due to the carbon footprint.”