Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding expansion of of Oriana Residential Project, village Bandra, Bandra East, Mumbai, 11/02/2019
Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Anil Tharthare Vs The Secretary, Envt. Dept. Govt. of Maharashtra & Others dated 11/02/2019 regarding expansion of of ‘Oriana Residential Project’ of village Bandra at Gandhinagar, Bandra East, Mumbai by M/s Resilience Realty Pvt. Ltd. This appeal was filed on 10.04.2014 and has been pending for the last about five years. Question for consideration is whether grant of EC to the expansion of the project by treating it as ‘amendment’ is in violation of EIA Notification, 2006.
Tribunal is of the view that there is no legal sanction for such alleged consistent practice in view of express provision of the EIA Notification, 2006. No project can be set up or expanded without prior EC. Such requirement cannot be nullified by terming ‘expansion’ as ‘amendment’. Thus, the impugned order dated 13.03.2014 cannot be sustained and is liable to be quashed. Since the statutory procedure for grant of EC to the expansion of the project has not been followed, the relevant factors, including the carrying capacity of the area, having regard to the impact of expansion on the recipient environment, specifically water and air quality have not been examined by the SEAC. By way of an interim arrangement, NGT directs the project proponent to deposit a sum of Rs. 1 crore with the CPCB within one month towards interim cost of damage to the environment. Further a five member Expert Committee would be constituted to carry out Carrying Capacity study of the area for relevant environment parameters and impact of such expansion on already congested and stressed areas.