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Goa: Govt cracks whip on Arpora hill cutting, red flags project

Rane said a team of the forest department found massive hill cutting with no permissions and an offence has been booked.

The Goan | Updated on: Monday, May 02, 2022, 01:57 PM IST

Photo Credit: Pixabay
Photo Credit: Pixabay
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After a series of decisions in recent days ostensibly to overhaul the functioning of the Town and Country Planning Department which he heads as minister, Vishwajit Rane fired yet another salvo on Sunday promising registration of FIRs against erring officials of the PDA and TCP in a case of alleged illegalities by a hotel project in Arpora.

Rane said a team of the forest department found massive hill cutting with no permissions and an offence has been booked.

"An FIR will be registered against the officers of PDA who permitted the massive hill cutting for the hotel project at Arpora and the company for violation of section 17A," Rane said in a series of tweets.

He said, the Deputy Conservator of Forest (North Goa) inspected the construction site at Hotel Park Regis in Arpora where during the inspection massive hill cutting was noticed with no permission.

"Section 8 of the Goa Preservation of Trees Act, 1984, classifies it as a serious offence," Rane said in another tweet in which he also claimed that "an offence has been booked" for the violation.

"An FIR will be registered today against the officers of PDA who permitted the massive hill cutting for the hotel project at Arpora and the company for violation of Section 17A," another tweet by Rane said.

He also said that he will make certain that an affidavit acknowledging a "serious lapse" on the part of the PDA and TCP department is presented to the court.

The matter has been referred to the court by a reputed environmental NGO.

Rane said, the government in its affidavit will make sure that the facts are produced before the court.

Over the last few days, Rane has executed a series of orders, including ordering the review of the Outline Development Plans (ODPs) of three planning areas -- Calangute-Candolim, Nagoa-Arpora-Parra and Vasco.

In another decision, he had scrapped the ongoing processes of formulating all other ODPs and directed the respective PDAs to restart the process afresh.

He argued that the decisions were taken as there were several discrepancies and in response to representations by representative bodies of stakeholder professionals such as architects, engineers and town planners.

On Sunday in the tweets related to the Arpora hotel project and alleged hill cutting, Rane also sent out a veiled warning to what he called the "land mafia in Goa."

"Land Mafia in Goa needs to make a note that the Law will come down heavily on them. In accordance with all the TCP Acts, we will not tolerate encouragement of land mafia," Rane said in the tweet.

This news is reported by The Goan. To read more GOA news visit The Goan.

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Published on: Monday, May 02, 2022, 01:57 PM IST