The Bombay High Court at Goa has issued notices to various government agencies and organizations based on a petition by the Goa Foundation which alleged that the felling of trees to build a substation at Sangod in Mollem for the power line did not have the requisite clearances.
When the matter came up for hearing, the counsellor appearing for Tamnar, the project proponent, conceded that they did not have the conversion sanad where the trees have been felled.
He, however, told the court that presently no development or construction work is being carried out except for a shed with corrugated sheets meant for security personnel/staff present at the site.
The Goa Foundation filed the Public Interest Litigation to challenge the construction of an electrical substation and related infrastructure, including residences, a badminton court on Sy No.21/1 and Sy No.22/1, in Sangod village in contravention of the Regional Plan 2021 which has zoned the land as natural cover, no-development slope and paddy fields.
The petition has prayed for an order or writ in the nature of an order to quash and set aside the approval of the Government under Section 31 of the Goa Preservation of Trees Act, 1984, dated 4.2.2019; for an order or writ in the nature of an order to quash and set aside the tree felling permission granted dated 25.4.2019, and for an order or writ in the nature of an order to quash and set aside the TCP technical clearance dated 18.10.2019 and the Panchayat construction license dated 5.10.2020.
The Mollem panchayat has also been asked to file its ‘say’.
The High Court has also asked the then Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar P Krishnamurthy to file an affidavit concerning his decision to himself sign on the file in the name of the Chief Minister on the decision to exclude the forested survey numbers from the purview of the Preservation of Trees Act, 1984.
The decision was taken when Parrikar was ailing. Krishnamurthy is now posted in the Lakshadweep islands.