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Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray outbursts forces MPCB to seal Keys resort at Mahabaleshwar

Just a fortnight after Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray spent a weekend in Mahabaleshwar, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) that is led by Shiv Sena minister Ramdas Kadam sealed a resort over ‘a series of lapse and irregularities’. However, according to sources, the MPCB’s action comes after Uddhav, who was disturbed by the loud music being played out at a party being held at Evershine Keys Resort on December 7, complained to Kadam.

Uddhav was staying at a private bungalow, belonging to industrialist Avinash Bhosale, next to the resort and despite requests, the organisers refused to lower the volume, allegedly upsetting the Sena chief, sources said.

With the electricity and water supply now cut off, the weddings and a New Year’s eve party scheduled at the resort have been deferred.

The MPCB had issued a notice to the resort seeking its reply on 10 points and pointed out a series of irregularities and violation of environmental norms and rules. The resort is owned by Ms Heath View Holiday Resort, and, according to the MPCB notice, it falls under a pollution control zone.

“On the evening of December 7, a party was going on in Keys resort with loud music even after 10 pm. Despite complaints, the party organisers did not listen and continued to play loud music in complete violation of sound pollution norms,” a local official said.

MPCB officials said that the agency had given the resort owners three days to take corrective measures and plug the irregularities but nothing was done. “Since no corrective measures were taken, the orders were not complied with. So there is violation of environmental norms and your establishment is causing damage to the environment. So I hereby direct that the hotel be shut down in 24 hours and not take any new customers in the hotel. I am also directing the agencies concerned to cut off water supply and electricity of the hotel,” reads the MPCB’s order signed by JS Salunkhe, the MPCB’s Regional Officer for Satara.

The MPCB issued the order on December 18 while the hotel was inspected on December 10.

Environment minister Ramdas Kadam, however, denied that the MPCB took action after a complaint from Uddhav. “This has nothing to do with Uddhavji’s stay in Mahabaleswar. There was no complaint from Uddhavji. Notices have been issued to several hotels and resorts even in Mumbai and not just Mahabaleshwar. The MPCB had given the hotel ample time to reply and take corrective measures but nothing was done. The MPCB then took action as per law. The resort was violating serious environmental norms. They had no sewage treatment facilities and were letting sewage flow into the local body’s drains,” informed Kadam . Kadam said that the MPCB would soon inspect all establishments in Mahabaleshwar and take action against violators. He pointed out that notices were issued to dozens of hotels and resorts across the state in the last one month.

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