The Bombay High Court of Goa on Friday sent notices to the Chief Wildlife Warden, the Goa State Wildlife Board and the National Board for Wildlife, among others, over a PIL challenging the approvals granted for three linear infrastructure projects through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park at Mollem.
Issuing notices, a division bench of the Bombay High Court comprising Justice M S Sonak and Justice M S Jawalkar have kept the next hearing on July 24. The PIL, filed by Goa Foundation, challenged the approvals stating that they are in “violation of the mandate given by Article 48A of the Constitution and the provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and are also contrary to public policy and the recommendations of the NBWL itself”.
The three projects are for the expansion of National Highway 4A, the construction of a transmission line and the doubling of the existing railway line.
On July 3, The Indian Express had reported on six members of the state board saying they had red-flagged the clearance and expressed concerns. They further said they had not recommended the proposals. The article is now part of the PIL.
The Goa Foundation has asked the court to quash the decision of both boards and also give a stay to the felling of trees till the disposal of the PIL.
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