Showing posts from April 8, 2012

Lavasa: What is all the fuss about?

Francois Gautier | Thursday, April 5, 2012

Pune, once a quiet city, has exploded. Landing there provides a startling view of how apartment complexes have mushroomed till the end of the horizon on all sides. After a harrowing week, my wife and I decided to take a break. But where to go? We had already seen the overcrowding at Lonavala. We were reminded of Lavasa, though we were aware that the Union environment and forests ministry had once issued a stop-work notice to the multi-crore project, citing lack of clearances and environmental degradation.

We had also read Medha Patkar’s numerous appeals on the issue and how the project was displacing tribal people. But as the drive from Pune was short, we decided to give it a try.

Entering Lavasa was a pleasant surprise: we stumbled upon a beautiful lake in a picturesque valley surrounded by seven hills and 18,000 acres of forested land, at nearly 3,000 feet above the plains. Never before had we seen in India a new city so well planned and d…