Construction of cricket stadium in Goa halted

GCA secretary Prasad Phatarpekar has assured the court that all work undertaken to construct the stadium at Thivim, some 20 km from here, would be stopped until further court orders.

The NGO Goa Foundation had claimed in the court of Justice A.P. Lawande that more than 100 trees had been felled without permission by contractors employed by GCA. It also alleged that the construction of the stadium was being carried out without the mandatory permissions.

"The Goa Foundation challenged commencement of work on the stadium site... The GCA admitted it also did not have panchayat license for its operations which, according to PWD, was in the region of Rs.40 lakh," Claude Alvares of Goa Foundation said.

"The EIA (environment impact assessment) notification of September 2006 does not permit even land preparation work at any site until project authorities have obtained an environment clearance order," he added.

The Goa Foundation and several residents of Thivim had filed a PIL challenging the permissions granted for felling of a forest at the proposed site. The petitioners had also challenged the project on the ground that it had not procured mandatory environment clearance.

In the court, GCA had filed two affidavits in which it stated that it had already got in touch with a party in Mumbai to assist it with the processing of environment clearance.
It also gave an undertaking, which the court accepted, that it would not commence work on the project till it had all the mandatory statutory clearances.

The court fixed the matter for Dec 31 for further orders.

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