Seiaa To File Review Petition, ET RealEstate

July 21, 2023

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) has decided to file a review petition before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) two months after the agency cancelled the environmental clearance (EC) for the expansion of the mixed land use (master plan) project by Dragonstone Realty Private Ltd at Technopark Phase 3 campus.

As per the minutes of the 128th meeting of SEIAA, the authority discussed the legal opinion of the standing counsel and decided to proceed with the review petition.

The legal officer has been directed to make arrangements to file the review petition with all necessary inputs following consultation with the standing counsel.

The SEIAA also decided to inform its standing counsel in the high court that the state government has decided to get legal opinion from the Advocate General for further course of action.

The standing counsel, in consultation with the office of Advocate General, shall advise the Authority for further course of action, according to the minutes.

The meeting also decided to make an amendment in the clause of the previous meeting in which the Authority had requested the member secretary to put in a word with the Advocate General or the Additional Advocate General to appear for the case if a review petition is filed by the project proponent.

In the minutes of the latest meeting, the term ‘project proponent’ has been corrected as ‘Government of Kerala’.

The NGT had, in an order, set aside the environmental clearance granted by the SEIAA Kerala to Dragonstone Realty Pvt Ltd. NGT had also observed that the grant of EC by the MoEF&CC for Main Phase-3 Project (1,33,491 sq m built up area) and grant of EC by the SEIAA-Kerala for expansion of Phase-3 Project (1,37,673.4 sq m built up area) amounted to splitting of project and such splitting was violative of the dictum of the Supreme Court in another case.

The NGT has also directed SEIAA to examine the proposal afresh and ensure that the project proponent conducts a cumulative impact study for the entire Phase-3 with a built up area of 2,71,164.4 sq m, ie a cumulative impact assessment for the entire project and also identify the mitigation measures that may have to be in place in Phase-3 project area where construction is already completed to ensure that adverse environmental impacts, if any, due to construction of main project of Phase-3 are remediated.

The NGT, in its order, has recommended to the Union ministry to take appropriate action against the authorities who were responsible in granting the environmental clearance for the Phase-3 project.

It also mentioned that SEIAA, Kerala, which should have considered the project comprehensively and had treated the Phase-3 as an expansion without application of mind, is liable for its conduct.

  • Published On Jul 21, 2023 at 02:00 PM IST

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