Panjim-Old Goa bypass continues to remain a garbage dump zone
In sheer contempt of the court, the Panjim-Old Goa bypass road continues to remain a garbage dump zone, while alleged illegal constructions have also mushroomed despite the High Court order last year directing Merces Panchayat to not issue further construction licenses till the garbage menace was solved.
A Division Bench of the High Court at Goa comprising Justice Nitin Jamdar and Justice Prithviraj Chavan is presently hearing a contempt petition by Aires Rodrigues over the inaction of authorities on the continued dumping of debris and garbage along the bypass road.
Despite clear directions from the court, debris and garbage along the stretch continues to find its way here, even as local authorities turn a blind eye. Besides, it has also come to the fore that constructions sans permissions have allegedly begun, which is in contravention with the court’s previous directives.
The petitioner in his contempt petition had pointed out that in 2007 a Public Interest Litigation was filed over the rampant dumping of building debris along the Panjim-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 June 26, 2008, based on a Minutes of Order that was signed and submitted to the Court. 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 this route.
It is learnt that the government had also undertaken to identify within three months 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.
However, these assurances have remained on papers. “All these assurances are an eye-wash. Instead, we see blatant violation and contempt of court,” the petitioner lamented speaking to Herald.
“If the panchayat is not taking cognizance of the high court order, it will not take cognizance of any other order. I am very happy that Lokayukta has called for all assets and liabilities of panchas, etc. The de facto sarpanch Prakash Naik’s escalating of assets is under the scanner of Lokayukta,” he alleged.
Herald tried contacting Naik but he remained unavailable for comments.