Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi on Friday claimed that the Union Environment Ministry has ordered the construction work of a mall being built in Patna by a company, in which RJD supremo Lalu Prasad’s son Tejashwi is a director, be stopped. The former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister claimed that the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has ordered the construction of the mall at Saguna Mor here be stopped as it is “being built without obtaining environmental clearance”.
He claimed that in an order dated May 15, the ministry has said, “The project required prior environmental clearance and it is now a case of violation of Environment Impact Assessment Notification, 2006, as the work at the site has been undertaken without obtaining prior environmental clearance.”
“In view of above you are directed to stop the work on site with immediate effect and furnish a report in the matter to the ministry in three weeks time,” he read out from the copy of the order “issued” by the ministry.
Sushil, who distributed the copy of the order to the media persons, said four days have lapsed since the order was passed but the state government is yet to take a decision to stop the construction work.
“This shows the type of ‘sushashan’ (good governance) prevailing in the state,” he said and dared Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to “intervene into the illegal construction of the mall and stop the construction work, seal the project and seize the benami property”.
The BJP leader alleged that starting construction of a mall on a land measuring 7.66 lakh sq ft is a violation of the provisions of Forest Conservation Act 1986. He claimed that any construction on a land measuring beyond 2 lakh sq ft must obtain prior environmental clearance from State Environmental Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) as per the Act.
The construction company (Meridian Construction (India) Ltd) has admitted that the foundation work of the mall has been completed and it would submit an application to SEIAA for obtaining environmental clearance for the project, Sushil claimed and said the construction work started a year ago.
Neither construction work was stopped, nor was an FIR lodged and nor was the central government informed about the said violation of the Forest Act, the former deputy CM said.
Sushil on Apri 7 had alleged that Lalu Prasad’s family got benami properties of two acres of prime land at Saguna Mor through a shell company named Delight Marketing Company Pvt Ltd which was later re-christened LARA Projects Pvt Ltd in which Lalu’s wife Rabri Devi and Tejashwi are directors.