The Goa Government today submitted before a Division Bench of the Bombay High Court at Goa comprising of Justice Nitin Jamdar and Justice Prithviraj Chavan on the steps being taken to tackle the dumping of debris along the roads. The Court adjourned to 5th June further hearing on the contempt petition filed by Adv. Aires Rodrigues over the inaction of the authorities on the continued dumping of debris and garbage along the Panaji-Old Goa bypass road.
The Court was given details of the meeting convened by the Advocate General on 30th April which was attended by Adv. Norma Alvares, Adv. Aires Rodrigues and the heads of the concerned departments to devise ways to handle the menace of debris dumping.
Amongst other steps the Court was told that Flying squads would be deputed to ensure that no debris is dumped along highways and other public places while all Municipalities and Panchayats having been directed to remove all existing debris by the end of May.
The next meeting would be convened by the Advocate General in the first week of July and thereafter every month to find solutions to ensure that Goa remains free of debris dumping in public places.
Adv. Aires Rodrigues in his contempt petition has 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 has 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 is 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 photographs showing the debris and garbage dumped along the Panaji-Old Goa bypass.
Stating 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, Adv. Rodrigues has stated that the blatant and continued gross inaction of the government on the issue amounted to scant respect to the Majesty of the highest Court of the State.