Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Violation of Environmental Clearance - Crime & Punishment

The Case of Parmar Indus Associates' Vista Luxuria at Manjri, near Hadapsar, Pune:

A crime of occupying a flat in a building which does not have completion & occupancy certificate - Visit Parmar Indus Associates' - Vista Luxuria - S No 162 - Manjri Budruk - Pune 411 038

The flat buyers in Vista Luxuria at Manjri ( convinced me that their case is more serious than the case of Campa Cola Compound in Mumbai.

They - the flat buyers in Vista Luxuria - have committed a crime.

A crime of booking a flat in a project which does not have an environmental clearance.

A crime of living in an illegal building  An unauthorised construction. A building constructed without necessary permissions.

A crime of occupying a flat in a building which does not have completion & occupancy certificate from Town Planning Authority.

For committing this crime, the flat buyers in Vista Luxuria will be punished.

But, what would be the punishment?

Like the Campa Cola Compound Case -
Will the law evacuate the flat buyers from Vista Luxuria & will demolish the buildings?

The flat buyers in Vista Luxuria are worried.

Architect Anagha Paranjape Purohit,  Director, VK:e Environmental:

1) About Demolition:

To find out - whether the residents will be evacuated from their homes & Vista Luxuria will be demolished, I talked to Architect Anagha Paranjape Purohit, Director, VK:e Environment (, leading environmental consultants in India,

Architect Anagha told me that The Environment Protection Act 1986 is a criminal law.

As per the law starting construction before obtaining an environmental clearance ( is a crime.

Before applying for technical scrutiny of the project, the builder can only put a compound and a cabin for a security guard - only to protect his plot of land.

If the builder has started the construction of the building - or even has dug a plot for the foundation of the building - it is considered as a - Violation of Environmental Clearance.

State Level Expert Appraisal Committee is a technical assessment committee.
It doesn't look into legality of the project.
So, the cases of violation of environmental clearance
- starting construction without obtaining the environmental clearance
- are referred to  Environmental Department of Maharashtra.

After the scrutiny, the environmental department instructs Maharashtra Pollution Control Board to take further action against the cases of clear cut violation.

The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board ( files the case in Bombay High Court against the builder for clear cut violation of environmental clearance.

Punishment for the violation of environmental clearance - under the Environment Protection Act 1986 - is an imprisonment & fine - hefty fine - to the builder.

Demolition of the construction is possible only if the builder has violated the development control rules.

2) About Violation of Environmental Clearance:  

Why does a builder commits a crime of a violation of environmental clearance? I asked.

1) Over the years, with the help of  bureaucrats, the builders have developed a business model of obtaining sanctions & approvals. The model is called "under the table transactions'.

This model doesn't work with the technical assessment committee of the environmental committee.

2) To get the environmental clearance - the builder has to plan the project up to a T.

The builder has to consider the impact of  project
- when it is under construction - as well as -
after the project is completed and occupied by the people.

To get the environmental clearance the builder has to do detailed technical planning of the project.  From soil structure, construction workers' camp, supply and management of water, power, garbage, sewage, and all has to be planned before starting the construction.

A typical builder is more of a go getter - a reckless ristaker - a dreamer - a wheeler dealer
- and a less of a businessman - a business planner.

A typical builder has no technical aptitude, education, qualification or temperament.

A typical builder is either a family business shop or a venture of a first generation entrepreneur.

Obviously, a typical builder finds it useless or difficult to appoint qualified professionals to plan the project, present it to the committee & obtain an environmental clearance.

3)  A few years ago, getting environmental clearance (EC) was a time consuming process;

2 years was an average required time.

Which was certainly financially unaffordable for any builder.

But in the last couple of years, those builders who have planned well had got EC even in 6 months.

Soon, Architect Anagha said, one can get an  EC in 3 months!

After, talking to Architect Anagha, I understood two things.

1) Why the builder of Vista Luxuria didn't get an environmental clearance.

2) Chances of demolition of Vista Luxuria for the violation of environmental clearance are weak.

But, it doesn't mean that - the flat owners in Vista Luxuria are safe.

Because , yet, we don't know whether the builder of Vista Luxuria has violated the development control rules too.

Yes, the case of Vista Luxuria is more serious & complicated than the case of Campa Cola Compound in Mumbai.

Truly, Vista Luxuria Manjri is an Open University.
Here, you can learn a lot and become a qualified home buyer.
Come back for more. There is a lot more to share!

Related Stories:

2) Living in an illegal building

1) Open University Offers Free Courses for Pune Home Buyers

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  1. Hello Mr Karandeekar, Can you pls let me know if a builder can start construction without EC, I am told that at present there is no EC committee in PMC and old one has been dissolved, New one is yet to be made. My builder has started construction without EC.

    1. No. Construction should start only after obtaining EC. Tell the builder to stop.