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State to file review plea before NGT



Hours after the National Green Tribunal stayed the implementation of  Goa  beach shack policy, the state government on Friday said that it will file a ‘review’ application before the tribunal.

“We will approach the NGT with a prayer to vacate the stay order in the interest of the tourism industry in Goa. Every year we allow shacks on  beaches, and for this particular season we have also obtained permission from the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority,”  said Deputy Chief Minister Manohar Azgaonkar while interacting with media persons at the official residence of Chief Minister Pramod Sawant at Althinho in Panaji.

The green watchdog stayed the implementation of the beach shack policy as the state  has failed to comply with a  NGT order that had asked the state government to prepare and submit its coastal zone management plan  2011 to the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change.

Sawant chaired a joint meeting with Azgaonkar, RDA Minister Michael Lobo, advocate general Devidas Pangam and shack operators to explore  legal options for interim relief from the NGT’s stay order.

Azgaonkar, who holds the tourism portfolio, claimed that shack operators will challenge the NGT order in the High Court.

However, the shack operators maintained that they are yet to take any decision on approaching any authority, and will seek legal opinion to get immediate relief from the NGT order.

Lobo said the state government is duty-bound to come out with the CZMP,  adding that the government will impress the green court upon the repercussions the tourism industry would face if shacks are not allowed on  beaches.

“The shacks on the beaches are only for a period of six months, and are temporary in nature. Foreign and domestic tourists need deck beds kept at the shacks. We will  tell the NGT that these shacks are allotted to the unemployed youth… that’s how we try to beat unemployment  to some  extent,” he explained.

Lobo urged the people to cooperate with the government in preparing and finalising the CZMP at the earliest.

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