LAVASA LAVASA : Lavasa city developed in deliberate willful disobedience and in gross violation of Hon’ble Supreme court’s order dated 12th December 1996 passed in Writ petition no. 202 of 1995::::::::::: Government of Maharashtra & Government of India are keeping the Hon’ble Bombay High court in dark about the said order of Hon’ble Supreme court thus fooling the court and public of this country::::::::::: Architecture of this probably biggest land criminal conspiracy hatched during 1997-2001 when Deputy Conservator of Forests of Pune was Rajendra Mangarulkar and Collector Pune was Madhukar Kokate, Prabhakar Deshmukh. All these officers are involved in almost all forest land cases of Pune district….

03.18.2011 · Posted in All

Lavasa was incorporated on 11th February 2000 as Pearly Blue Lake Resorts Private Limited. The name of the Petitioner was changed to The Lake City Corporation Private Limited vide a fresh Certificate of incorporation consequent on change of name dated 12th December 2000. The Lake city corporation Pvt Ltd was thereafter converted into a public limited company. It’s name  was again changed from “The Lake City Corporation Limited” to “Lavasa Corporation  Limited” w.e.f. 8th June 2004. Lavasa is a subsidiary of Hindustan Construction Company Ltd. HCC has constructed projects like Bombay-Pune expressway, Bandra-Worli Sea Link in Mumbai.  Mr Sharad Pawar, Union Minister, who hails from Pune has acknowledged in media that project Lavasa was conceived by him and it was he, who has asked HCC chairman, Mr Ajit Gulab Chand, a freind of his  to develop the said Hill station as Lavasa Hill City.

How Lavasa was developed:

Lavasa had been conceptualized by Mr Sharad Pawar and his friend of HCC covering 18 villages in Hill taluqas viz, Maval & Mulsi , Velhe of Western ghat fully covered by forest vegetation as a Hill station alternative to existing Mahabaleshwar , Pachagani and Matheran in Pune & Satara districts.

  • The Lavasa came to critical public notice, when it came to public knowledge that the land  acquired for the project has been forcefully taken from original owners,
  • Lots of portion of project is Government forest land,
  • Lots of land belonged to Tribals and can not be acquired without proper permission of the government.
  • Lots of Townplanning issues.
  • Lots of environmental issues, etc.

Since story of Lavasa is highly complexed and covering various issues and subjects eg, environmental issues, Tribal land issues , Town planning issues etc but actually all these are very minor issues to take away attention of every citizen of this country from real issue of “Identified Forest” as ordered by Hon’ble Supreme court. Thus, in this first part of  “Story Lavasa”, we are covering the issue of construction in Lavasa in gross contempt of Supreme Court of India. In fact,  all the works in Lavasa  should be stopped at once as ordered by Supreme court. This is to bring to notice of the readers of this story that Mr Jairam Ramesh and his Environment Ministry are helping Lavasa by raising cosmetic issues , which has gone before Bombay High court and  permission would be  granted by the high court on the cosmetic issues with some fine etc, because High court is not aware of actual position ordered by the Hon’ble Supreme court.

Order of the Supreme court dated 12-12-1996, which is wilfully disobeyed by Pune Forest & Revenue officers because of serious political & money pressure:: : :

In case of T.N. Godavarman Thirumulkpad Vs Union of India & others in writ petition (civil) no. 202 of 1995 , the supreme court has passed order dated 12 Dec 1996 defining the word forest for the purpose of Forest Conservation Act 1980. It said in it’s order that:

  • The Forest Conservation Act, 1980 was enacted with a view to check further deforestation which ultimately results in ecological imbalance; and therefore, the provisions made therein for the conservation of forests and for matters connected therewith, must apply to all forests irrespective of the nature of ownership or classification thereof. The word “forest” must be understood according to its dictionary meaning. This description covers all statutorily recognised forests, whether designated as reserved, protected or otherwise for the purpose of Section 2(i) of the Forest Conservation Act. The term “forest land”,  occurring in Section 2, will not only include “forest” as understood in the dictionary sense, but also any area recorded as forest in the Government record irrespective of the ownership. This is how it has to be understood for the purpose of Section 2 of the Act. The provisions enacted in the Forest Conservation Act, 1980 for the conservation of forests and the matters connected therewith must apply clearly to all forests so understood irrespective of the ownership or classification thereof.”
  • The court further said in the same order that:
  • General :
  1. In view of the meaning of the word “forest” in the Act, it is obvious that prior approval of the Central Government is required for any non-forest activity within the area of any “forest”. In accordance with Section 2 of the Act, all on-going activity within any forest in any State throughout the country, without the prior approval of the Central Government, must cease forthwith.
  • 5. Each State Government should constitute within one month an Expert Committee to :
  • (i)  Identify areas which are “forests”, irrespective of whether they are so notified, recognised or classified under any law, and irrespective of the ownership of the land of such forest;
  • (ii) Identify areas which were earlier forests but stand degraded, denuded or cleared; and
  • (iii)  identify areas covered by plantation trees belonging to the Government and those belonging to private persons.
  • 9.  Each State Government would constitute a Committee comprising of the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and another Senior Officer to oversee the compliance of this order and file status reports.

In pursuance to Supreme court’s order, district level committees were formed for “Identified Forests” ( Forest not in ownership of State government). Collector of the district was ex-officio chairman and Deputy conservator of Forests was ex-officio secretary of the committee.   All  committees of  districts in Maharashtra state have submitted the list of “Indentified forest”  after complete verification on ground except committee of Pune.

The Pune district committee has not surveyed  and identified all the taluqas, which are either  covering the legislative constituency of Mr Sharad Pawar or those areas , which were to be taken into Lavasa Hill City programme. Rajendra Mangarulkar IFS, was Deputy Conservator of Forests, Pune Forest division during 1997 to 2001 and Mr AK Nigam was CF Pune. They in connivance with the then Collectors had deleted all the area where interest of  Sharad Pawar was there (his constituency covers Baramati , Indapur and Daund)  and the area for creation of Lavasa city. Thus despite very unambiguous order of supreme court this committee of Pune has not identified forest in Taluqas such as  Baramati, Indapur, Daund, Mulsi, Maval of Pune district. The point of extreme importance here is that these are the taluqas where maximum forest is situated, whether under control of government or private persons. The area of complete Lavasa hill city is covering 25000 acres in 18 villages.

Satellite Imageries of Lavasa in year 2002, 2004 & 2005  :: : :

It can very easily be understood after viewing satellite imageries of Lavasa area taken in year 2002, 2004  & 2005 that entire area is/was having very good forest trees and denuded forest area , which should be classified as Identified Forest as per order o the supreme court , hence Forest conservation Act 1980 becomes operational on it and under no circumstances Government of India would have given permission to develop a Hill city in such ecologically sensitive biodiversity zone. Even e-brochure of Lavasa can show that area is full of forest (page no. 33 of brochure).

Criminal conspiracy in unofficial movement of  FORM LAVASA  SAVE LAVASA  : Role of Rajendra Mangrulkar IFS, AK Nigam IFS and Prakash Thosare IFS along with Collector of Pune Vijay Gautam IAS and others ::::

  • The office of the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests vide his letter dated 8-11-2004 has referred at letter of Collector Pune dated 30-7-1997, where by DCF Pune & Collector Pune had informed that only 1176 ha area has been identified Forest in Pune after survey ( needless to mention that even this area was government forest). Thus Mangarulkar, by not surveying the area, did not identify any “Forest identified area “ in Maval, Mulsi, Velhe, Baramati, Indapur  & Daund Taluqas making way for development of Lavasa. Thus , in gross violation of Supreme court order , Maharashtra government has filed an affidavit in the Supreme court mentioning only 1176 ha Identified Forest in Pune district. Whereas, there is much more land  approx more than 35000 ha of area , which fits in the criteria of Identified Forest in Pune district. AK Nigam & Prakash Thosare were Conservator of Forests during these time and they have helped Magarulkar in hatching such a huge criminal conspiracy.
  • It was only when Ashok Khadse has taken over charge of Pune Forest Division as Deputy Conservator of Forests, this was brought on record vide letter dated 13-12-2004 to the office of the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests mentioning that area of Maval, and Mulsi, Velhe , Indapur , Baramati & Daund Taluqas of Pune have not been included in the list of Identified Forest.  After that PCCF office has written to the Mr Thosare , the then CCF Pune vide letter dated 17-12-2004 asking for detail of identified government forest.

Involvement of  Principal  Chief  Consertvator of  Forests  Maharshtra  State ::::::

  • Unfortunately, even PCCF office has not asked for  why said taluqas like Maval, Mulsi, Baramati, Velhe etc have not been surveyed for identified fortest. Thus allowing the Lavasa land to come out of purview of Forest Conservation Act 1980. Here it can be seen that no where even Prakash Thosare IFS, who was CCF Pune for more than 4 years, ever tried to stop the work or inform the government in any of his communication that said lands of Lavasa villages have not been surveyed  and demarcated for identified forests as directed by Hon’ble Supreme court i.e. the survey for identification of area with dictionary meaning of forest as well as area of degraded forest .
  • Surprisingly, PCCF  after that till now has at no occasion asked to correct the position so that false affidavit filed in the Supreme court should be revised. Khadse again vide letter dated 2-7-2005 written to Collector , Pune that earlier report of identified forest ( 1176 ha) is false and Maval, Mulsi, Velhe, Indapur , Baramati & Daund Taluqas have lots of area to be classified as “Identified Forest”.  When Collector, Pune has not taken any action in the matter , he has again written to Collector Pune vide letter dated 20-6-2006 the same, but to no avail.
  • It can be seen from the letter of Prakash Thosare written to Collector Pune dated 2-5-2005 that he has not mentioned in his letter that identification process of Forest as per Supreme court order has not been done in said impugned taluqas of Maval, Mulsi, Baramati, Indapur & Dund. It is surprising that in none of the correspondence, any officer could dare to mention even the correct position in official record till Khadse has mentioned this. Thus they all have willfully disobeyed order of Hon’ble Supreme court and forced the government to file false affidavit in the Supreme court. Thus help formation of Lavasa hill city.
  • It was only during mid-2006, when every permission to Lavasa was granted, Thosare has written for the first time vide his letter dated 9-5-2006 to Commissioner, Pune  that the area covering in Lavasa is very bio-diversitically sensitive zone and said impugned taluqas requires a review of process of Identification of Forest. Mr Thosare !!!! review is required  only when there was some survey and identification in these Taluqas in the very first place. When was first survey done for which you wanted a review ? This way these officers after taking every happiness from Lavasa people, (Mr Thosare you were a very regular visitor of Lavasa with your guests and enjoyed hospitality of lavasa people. There are many occasions when you have written your visits to Lavasa in your official diary) trying to make some shelter of some documents, showing that they were doing some thing in the matter. Thus in future they can take shelter of these documents if need arises in future.

It is for Readers to understand what can be the reason for ::::

1. Not correcting the facts of affidavit filed in the supreme court.

2. Why till now area of Mulsi, Maval, Velhe  having Lavasa city not surveyed and identified as Forest?

3. Why Forest department has not stopped the work of construction in the Lavasa city for violation of Forest conservation act 1980 hence forth ?

4. Why disciplinary action was not initiated against such a serious criminal misconduct by Rajendra Mangarulkar, A.K Nigam & Prakash Thosare and the then collectors , Pune?

5. Why action was not initiated against the Chief Conservator of Forests, Pune during all these years involved in this mega scam ?

6. Why a review of identification process was called by Thosare for which there was no original identification or survey ?

What MOEF has done in the matter::::::::

  • On a complaint based on the complaints from Mr Shankar Sharma, National Alliance of Peoples’ Movement through Ms Medha Patkar, Mr Prakash Y Ambedakar, Dr K.C. Mohanty of Environmetal Medical Association and Shri Anna Hazare. The MOEF called a report for Secretary, Environment Department, Government of Maharashtra on 30.06.2010.
  • On the report of Government of Maharashtra, a show cause notice dated 25-10-2010 was issued to Lavasa Corporation Ltd. asking them (i)  remove all construction carried out after EIA notification , 2006  forthwith in entirety and (ii) pendingdecision on the show cause notice  the status quo for construction/development as on date .
  • Against this Lavasa has gone in Bombay High Court through WP no. 9448 of 2010. High court has issued three orders dated  6-12-20107-12-201022-12-2010 . ( It is advisable to go through these orders).

LAVASA  version to various cosmetic issues raised by MOEF :

  • Lavasa feel that degraded and denuded forest land is not forest, though as per Apex court order such areas are also to be identified and be used as Forest for the purpose of FC Act, 1980.

Freequent Visitors to LAVASA from the list of involved officers:::::

  1. Mr Prakash Thosare IFS the then CCF Pune
  2. Mr B.P. Pande IAS the then Additional Chief Secretary (Forests) , Maharashtra and his freinds .
  3. Mr Rajendra Mangarulkar IFS, the then Deputy Conservator of Forests, Pune


22 Responses to “LAVASA LAVASA : Lavasa city developed in deliberate willful disobedience and in gross violation of Hon’ble Supreme court’s order dated 12th December 1996 passed in Writ petition no. 202 of 1995::::::::::: Government of Maharashtra & Government of India are keeping the Hon’ble Bombay High court in dark about the said order of Hon’ble Supreme court thus fooling the court and public of this country::::::::::: Architecture of this probably biggest land criminal conspiracy hatched during 1997-2001 when Deputy Conservator of Forests of Pune was Rajendra Mangarulkar and Collector Pune was Madhukar Kokate, Prabhakar Deshmukh. All these officers are involved in almost all forest land cases of Pune district….”

  1. CCF at Thane says:

    Waah yaar kya baat hai…… 100% correct.

  2. This is what we all want. I salute you for courage shown here. Lets see now what HOFF, Nodal officer and ACS do now. Kindly inform us further detail of the case.

  3. This is the secret of territorial charges of Nigam, Thosare & Mangarulkar. Jai Hind

  4. Boss Kaa Boss says:

    Now we understand why Maharashtra cadre is CF even 1983 batch. We deserve this. Can not we socially boycott these black sheep.

  5. Boss Kaa Boss kaa Boss says:

    Whosoever you may be, You should be awarded Ph.D. on the stories written till now. It is wonderfully researched facts though ugly. Yes, it seems we foresters are forgetting our jobs. No one goes reading & analysing orders of the court. Most of us want easy go happy life. Thosare is a good officer but I do not know why he missed all these angles. Mangarulkar is mother of corruption in Maharashtra cadre. I do not want to comment on his conduct. Joshi, now it is your turn to take suitable action and save fragile ecosystem of westernghat. I am personally taking up this matter with Mr Jairam Ramesh. Hope some action would be there in the matter.

  6. Ramesh Kumar says:

    Serious work. Government was not aware of these facts atleast in files. It was indeed duty of Forest department to inform the government. It becomes all the more serious when ACS Forests & CCF Pune are regular visitors, if true as reported.

  7. hope atleast this time, our beloved PCCF(HOFF), does not play his favorite Dhrutrashtra role and indulge in some intellectual flickery.He should behave like aHead of the forest family and show his toughness towards such well known villains of the forest deptt, without any extraneous considerations.

  8. Dear Administrator,
    Your stories appear to be the result of internal bickerings in the forest department of Maharashtra state. Though there are some hard facts in your stories and the people named therein are also involved but these stories are projecting the forest department in a very bad shape. It would have been good, had these stories been for the internal consumption of forest officers only. But these are being read by one and all. Not good.
    Are you aware that the forest department ranks very low in the list of corrupt departments? The kind of frauds being committed, both in number and in magnitude, in other departments like revenue, police, irrigation, PWD are beyond our imagination. But those frauds are not made the stories by their departments and their colleagues.

    I am not justifying the corruption in our department but I am not in favour of this kind of adverse publicity of forest department by ourselves.

    So please bring objectivity in your articles and it should not appear that some personal scores are being settled through such a forum.

    Yes, these things can be discussed through the portal provided by IFS Association of Maharashtra Cadre.

  9. Corruption In Maharashtra says:

    Dear Readers…….This website is dedicated to bringing out cases of serious corruption, which otherwise remain hidden from the public. Forest and Environmental issues are top most topics of concern even internationally. Hence in time to come our Readers will come to know that during last 9 years FC Act has been misused for personal gains. Hundred of crore of rupees have been made by a very select few persons in department of Forests. There is no questions of favoring or not favoring. We would be glad to publish any thing , which is otherwise not correct in our articles, if you can point out. You have written that some facts are correct in our story. Do you mean other are not ? Can you tell us, which facts in the article are not correct? We assure you to immediately amend the same.

  10. Journalist Pune says:

    It is shameful that some officers of Maharashtra Forest Department want to hide such serious very important issues, which affects at large population, going to affect catchment area for Pune drinking water zone . Instead of asking for stringent measures and strict observation and implementation of the Forest Conservation Act, which they are supposed to do, forest officers are giving it a insider shadow boxing game. I call for identification of such officers from Maharashtra Forestry sector and name them in public.
    I also request administrator of this forum to now publish comments only after due verification of their email and names.

    • Let’s be logical and go over this sordid saga of land grabbing with a strong robotic broom ( proverbial Aam aadmi’s hand is tied by compulsions of Coalition Dharma! ).

      1. What was the land use of the land under Reservoir ( Go to pre 1975 toposheets )?
      2. How much area was reclaimed by the Lavasa Corpn. from the Reservoir?
      3. What about private forests in the designated villages?
      4. Why wasn’t the Lavasa project treated in entireity like other irrigation projects and diversion of forest lands ( although in miniscule quantities ) under the FCA was trated in isolation?
      5. What about the road widening between Pune and Lavasa and overlooking permission under the FCA?
      6. Why is the Ministry treating it only as violation of EPA, 2006 and not FCA?

      And is compulsions of Coalition Dharma come in the way, just forget Lavasa and get on with destrution of our fast disappearing greens in a business like manner. When natural flora and fauna of Eco-fragile Western Ghats disappears, plantations under the Green India Mission to be lauched from dole to be received from the Western World will more than take care of that! Or, alternatively, we can simply paint ours Hills, dales and catchments GREEN!

  11. India Lover says:

    It is extremely painful to know that the lands of the poor villagers have been forcefully grabed in the Lavasa project. It is the duty of the Maharahstra Govt. as well as the Govt. of India to get the matter enquired thoroughly by a credible agency and fix all those persons responsible for this criminal act. All the lands should be veryfied survey no. wise from proper records, whether it was forest land, revenue land or the land belongs to tirbals and the officers responsible must be taken to task. It seems that most of the lands were of the category of Idendified forests, as per the Hon. Supreme court orders. It was the duty of the collector to initiate and complete the identificaation of forest land as per the orders of the hon. supreme court. If the collector or commisioners or DCF or conservator are found involved, he should be punished properly.
    The politician & Govt officers nexus is extremely dangeroue for the country. abut the biggest question is WHO WILL TAKE ACTION ?

  12. I dont agree with what the forester is saying about corruption in other deptt.We have to start from our own house may be old dhobi style by squizzing, twisting and beating etc.if we want remove the dirt.The rot had set in the deptt. more than two decades ago, when a group of our own foresters for the sake of controling the deptt, stopping their own misdeeds from geting exposed, took control of the estt. of IFS from the mantralay staff. The arrangement indeed worked very well to serve the interest of a perticular group, but then where it has finaly reached, is for everyone to see.We also know how the IFS Association had also failed to serve as Grievance Redressal Forum for the same partisan reasons of some individuals who want to project their image as larger than life.So it is not too late. Let us resolve that we serve for our forest, nature or wildlife whose importance we teach to the public at large. But in fact a group amongst us was constantly indulging in a very organised manner to serve its interest at the cost of other officers careers and the forests of this state. So let us unite against such tendencies by remaining vigilant and if possible try to hand over the administration to GAD, because one mangrulkar may be replaced by some fellow who will be even worse.Jai Maharashtra.

  13. Thank you gentle man, who has sent this story to all of us in Paryavaran Bhavan. We have checked that this story has reached to appropriate persons , who are dealing with Lavasa. Rest assure needful would be done. Thanks once again….for helping the cause of Environment & Forest.

    • I am quite sure that nothing would emerge from this expose due to compulsions of alliance. Remember RICHI RICH? Where is the SIT? Gobbled up by alliance pressures! A similar fate awaits Lavasa and a host of other Scams involving forest lands. From Zudpi in Vidarbha to Mangroves in Mumbai, it’s the same story. And what do the foresters get in return? They are the worst affected in terms of career progression. In the end, the cause of forest and environmental protection suffers. But, who cares if even the foresters sitting at the helm don’t?

      • hemant chhajed says:

        really the senior I.F.S.officers are very poor I.Q.about land records. they must be trained to manage estates in their a days high human cry for land by comman persons ,a lobby of land mafias working in forest department . the 100 acres of compensatory forst land plantation was sold by collector ,nagpur with the N.O.C. of ex.range forest officer khapa area a big hoteliar near bagargaon, nmc area.likewise hunderds of patches of forest lands alloted revenue peoples.

  14. Senior Forster Nagpur says:

    Though I agree with Hemant’s comment so some extent, but CCF (Conservation) Majumdar seems to be a non-hanky panky man. We should expect a correct report from him clearly specifying wrongs of all those involved ,may be Thosare , Mangarulkar or any one else. Lets see. Further , website says that Majumdar’s report would also be available for our comments . So just wait. We have been told there are cut- motions in state legislature on the stories of this website. Now Government has to reply in detail.

  15. There are serious corruption issues in Lavasa, Ritchi Rich, Symbiosis etc. At one time I have pointed these out to Government and asked for comments from Pune CCF. Thosare might get promoted to PCCF hence a correct report from Majumdar would be too much to expect from him. But , as professional foresters, we must take a considered and technical stand. Weed out corrupts.

    • It’s not just Lavasa, Ritchi Rich and Symbiosis! Expand the list to the forest land given on lease illegally, encroachment by Sinhagarh Institute, tribal lands gobbled up by the likes of Abhishek Bachchan, Resorts set up by Madhu Kapur et al on Reserved Forests and now, illegal land transfers to the Mukund Bhavan Trust ( how much of it was Reserved forest is any body’s guess ) and you are already staring at land scam much graver than 1000s of Adarsh Societies put together!

      And, what, pray, did the elder ones do? They just never proceeded beyond making cursery references to the Government! It was well within their power to initiate proactive action, with all the poweres vested in them!

      The ex PCCF is right when he points out to the limitations of Majumdar. He would, in all probability, bide his time and, if forced, beat around the bush besides projecting a meek face in public!

      We have developed the art of pushing misdeeds of our kith and kin under the carpet. Otherwise, how can massive scams on Zudpi forests in Vidarbha and blatently illegal manganeze ore mining in Nagpur go unnoticed?

  16. hemant chhajed says:

    please verify records of that area from 01 march 1879 till today. revenue officials sold forest lands on large scale ,our outstanding i.f.s. officers failure to protect forest lands from I.A.S.officers who sold all government lands with land mafias and call global warming in maharastra. so they should be hang under maharastra organize crime control act and criminal conseperacy i.e. I.P.C. section 34,109,120(b),167,393,395,408,409,466,477A and seize all property as ramanand tiwary.—-hemant chhajed,member,maharastra forest land committee,

  17. hemant chhajed says:

    as per g.r. issued by govt. on 14-4-1976,forest department fails to take over 6,38,000 ha. forest lands from revenue officials.then d.f.o.s are sitting on highest chairs of forest department. then collectors are also on high profile chairs[one example is Ramanand Tiwary].so in this neck-cut race they grab all prime forest lands in no one will save this peoples,if sons of soil will do something to save forst lands.nature will create vegetative growth automatically. nature will take revenge +vely.

  18. Thank you, I have just been looking for information approximately this subject for a while and yours is the best I have discovered till now. But, what about the bottom line? Are you certain about the supply?

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