Lalu Prasad Yadav's dream project in Bihar has been caught in a web
Patna: The mall project of former chief minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad Yadav has been caught in a legal tangle. He may find a way to wriggle out of the current situation but a delay in construction is unavoidable.
The project has been launched without clearance from the union Forest and Environment, Forest and Climate Change ministries and these ministries have asked for stoppage of further construction. In addition , an NOC is required for deep digging for construction which was not obtained before starting the work. All this is bound to delay completion.
As his party is a partner in the government in Bihar, the state-level agencies could be manged by him but as all these issues have reached Delhi, where a different party government is at the helm, he may find the going tough.
The environment ministry clearance is required because the mall is to be constructed in 7.66 lakh square feet and not two lakh square feet which keep the department away. A No Objection Certificate from the state environment impact assessment authority would have come to his rescue but this too was not obtained.
In view of all this , the ball is now in Central government's court. This government is led by the Bharatiya Janata Party which is his sworn-enemy. So, he has to fight a legal as well as a political battle.
Perhaps, he had thought that these issues would not catch much attention. But it became a talking-point after state BJP leader Sushil Modi repeatedly raised them at press conferences. He was behind the recent notice of the environment ministry too. Modi submitted a memorandum to the ministry in this regard a couple of days ago on which it acted-- acted quickly may be because a party government in Delhi.
The mall is a joint project of Delight Marketing Company which has been since merged with Lara Projects Limited Liability Partnership and Meridian Construction India Limited. Lalu's family members have controlling shares in the former which has become another debatable point.