A Division Bench of Bombay High Court at Goa comprising of Justice Nitin Jamdar and Justice Prithviraj Chavan today directed the North Goa Collector to act in accordance with the recent amendment to the Goa Land Revenue Code against the illegal land filling of fields along the Ribandar- Merces Road. The Court has adjourned the further hearing to 24th October.
The Court directions came while hearing the contempt petition filed by Adv. Aires Rodrigues over the inaction of the authorities to the continued dumping of debris and garbage along the Panaji-Old Goa bypass road.
Adv. Rodrigues today drew the attention of the Court to the recent amendment to Section 33 of the Goa Land Revenue Code which was notified on 18th of September and now empowers the Collector to without giving any notice restore to its original position low lying fields which are land filled and to recover the costs incurred from the owner.
As directed by the Court on 26th June the Old Goa Police Inspector Sudesh Velip at the last hearing on September 12th had submitted his report to the Court on the illegal land filling of Comunidade fields that has been carried our along the Ribandar-Merces road.
Adv. Aires Rodrigues in his contempt petition filed last year pointed out that in 2007 a Public Interest Litigation was filed over the rampant dumping of building debris along the Panaji-Old Goa bypass road and that taking serious note of the gross violations of law, various orders came to be passed by the High Court in that petition which was finally disposed on 26th June 2008 based on a Minutes of Order that was signed and submitted to the Court.
Adv. Rodrigues further stated that in the Minutes of Order the Goa Government had undertaken to continue and take to its logical conclusion investigations into the dumping of construction debris on the Panaji-Old Goa bypass.
Adv. Rodrigues also stated that in the Minutes of Order amongst other things the Government had also undertaken to within three months identify and designate separate places for safe disposal of building debris without harming the environment besides also having undertaken to within three months identify and place at proper convenient locations public receptacles, depots or places for temporary deposit or collection of non-biodegradable garbage.
Adv. Rodrigues has stated that it was very anguishing that it was almost a decade and over the years the Goa Government has done nothing to comply with the solemn undertaking given to the High Court on 26th June 2008 and that the malafied conduct of the authorities amounts to rank disobedience to the orders of the Court.
Pointing out that in rank contempt of Court debris and garbage has continued to be dumped unabated along the same stretch of the bypass with the situation getting bad to worse by the day having now reached a point of crisis, Adv. Rodrigues submitted that it was very appalling that the authorities have been turning a Nelson’s eye to this gross violation of law and acting contrary to the solemn undertaking given to the Court which amounts to showing scant respect to the Majesty of the highest Court of the State.