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No dredging in River Tiracol: NGT

Posted on November 30, 2015

In an interim order, National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday directed the Kiranpani Port Private Limited (White Orchid Estate Private Limited) not to undertake dredging at the mouth of River Tiracol without required permissions, till further hearing.

NGT has also directed the seven respondents in the case—Kiranpani Port Private Limited government of Goa, Goa coastal zone management authority ( GCZMA), Goa state pollution control board ( GSPCB), Maharashtra maritime board, government of Maharashtra and Union of India ministry of environment and forests —to file their replies within two weeks.

The Pernem deputy collector has been directed to conduct an inspection of the sand bar to verify if sand has been extracted and file a report before the NGT within two weeks. The NGT directive has given respite to the locals who are up in arms against the dredging.

 NGT has adjourned the hearing to December 21.

“The directives by the NGT have given us confidence in the judiciary. We will continue to fight the legal battle against the illegality,” said advocate Prasad Shahapurkar, who appeared for the petitioner, former Keri sarpanch and panch member, Francis Rodrigues.

The villagers, under the banner of ‘Keri Tiracol Palye gram bachao samiti’, had approached the forests and environment minister Rajendra Arlekar against the jetty project at Aronda. The samiti comprises villagers of Keri, Tiracol and Paliem villages, who are against navigation of barges carrying coal/iron ore to the jetty.

Pointing out that the mouth of the river is between the villages Keri and Tiracol village, and villagers have alleged that the company failed to obtain consent from the captain of ports, Goa coastal regulation zone management authority and Goa state pollution control board for navigation of barges in River Tiracol.

The villagers said that the company had undertaken the dredging work on November 3 without permissions from the Goa government.

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