HC takes govt to task

PANAJI — The division bench of the Bombay High Court comprising of Mr Justice S A Bobde and Mr Justice N A Britto has asked the state to have a scheme to ensure that no illegal hill cutting takes place in Goa.
By an earlier order the court had directed the chief town planner to file a personal affidavit stating why the persons higher in hierarchy responsible for all acts should not be prosecuted and what steps have been taken for restoration of the hill.
The court had also asked the Secretary TCP Department to file an affidavit as to the steps taken by the department to protect the greenery and steps taken to ensure that hills are not cut for the purpose of commercial constructions.
It may be recalled that a public interest litigation was filed by Mr Satish Banaulikar alleging illegal cutting of hill in the property surveyed under survey number 189/2 situated at Siolim.
It was also alleged that the construction was carried out after illegally cutting a portion of hill which is geographically bounded below the property in survey number 190/0 and work was done without taking necessary permissions from the authorities.
It was also stated that the cutting would result in soil erosion and further severely affect cashew plantations cultivated by him for his livelihood.
The site inspection of the hill cutting conducted on January 23, 2008 by architect, Mr Dean D’Cruz, and engineer, Mr Viraj D Paraz showed that hill cutting was indeed being carried out.


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