The Supreme Court, in an order on Friday, lowered a Rs 195-crore fine issued to the Pune-based Goel Ganga Developers India Pvt Ltd, by the National green tribunal (NGT) for causing environmental damage at its Ganga Bhagyodaya, Amrut Ganga and Ganga Towers projects on Sinhagad road.
The two-member bench comprising Madan Lokur and Deepak Gupta, in their order stated that Goel Ganga Developers India Pvt. Ltd will now pay a fine of Rs 100 crore, or 10 per cent of the project cost, whichever is higher.
The order also stated that Goel Ganga shall not be permitted to raise construction of two buildings having 454 tenements and shall only be permitted to complete construction of a total of 807 flats, 117 shops/offices and cultural centre, including club house.
In addition, Goel Ganga will also pay Rs 5 crore as levied by the National green tribunal in its order dated September 27, 2016, the SC ruling stated.
A statement released by Atul Goel, managing director, Goel Ganga Developers (I) Pvt. Ltd said,“We are in receipt of a copy of the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court dated 8th August 2018, and after reading the same, we feel vindicated on the points we had raised in the appeal such as the review petition order by NGT dated January 8, 2018, was clearly erroneous, the issue as regards carbon footprint does not find place in any statute books and the NGT clearly misdirected itself for the purpose of levying the damages.
“We also feel vindicated that the Hon’ble Supreme Court has refused the prayer of demolition made by the original applicant,Gambire and has also categorically observed that the original application filed by Mr Gambire is not a public interest litigation and therefore, his claim of special damages is specifically refused. Further,Gambire made allegations against various officers of PMC and Environment Department and the Hon’ble Court has categorically refused to go into such allegations as such officers were not party to the proceedings before NGT or Hon’ble Supreme Court.”