The Panaji bench of the Bombay High Court on Tuesday issued a notice to Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s son for allegedly damaging an eco-sensitive zone while building an eco-tourism resort, reports said. The court issued the notice based on a petition filed by a member of the Netravali village panchayat.
Abhijit Dessai had asked the court to issue a stay order on the construction of a resort near the Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary in South Goa, IANS reported. The court ordered Hideaway Hospitality promoter Abhijat Parrikar, the state chief secretary, the secretary of environment and forests, the principal chief conservator of forests and others to respond to the notice by March 11.
The petitioner accused the state administration of violating the law to allow “arbitrary and illegal” permissions to Hideaway Hospitality to build the structure. The petition claimed that the Eco Sensitive Zone Monitoring Committee circumvented the procedure. “There are no approved master plans for Goa’s ESZs and no site inspection was conducted,” Dessai said.
While Abhijat Parrikar was not represented in court, the state’s counsel tried to dismiss the plea by citing an unreasonable delay in Dessai’s decision to approach the court against permissions granted in 2015. The petitioner’s lawyer said the state government “rushed to promulgate a tailor-made Ordinance to the Goa Town and Country Planning Act, 1974”, which exempted any applicant “who desires to set up an ecotourism activity, in Eco Sensitive Zones from obtaining any conversion of land, or any change of zoning or change of land use.”