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Goa's Baga Hill: High Court steps in to save illegal cutting of forest cover

The notice, returnable by July 2, was issued by Justices Suresh Gupte and Prithviraj Chavan, follows a petition by green NGO Goa Foundation and others.

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Panaji Updated on: June 19, 2019 20:11 IST
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The Bombay High Court in Goa on Wednesday issued notices to the North Goa Planning and Development Authority and other agencies over the alleged illegal cutting of forested cover and construction of a road at the pristine Baga hill, which overlooks popular Baga beach in north Goa.

The notice, returnable by July 2, was issued by Justices Suresh Gupte and Prithviraj Chavan, follows a petition by green NGO Goa Foundation and others, which has also demanded that the Baga hill be declared a 'no-development zone' in the interest of inter-generational equity. 

The Court issued notice returnable on July 2.

In the public interest litigation, the petitioner has said that trees have been illegally cut and a road is being built across the face of the forested hill to benefit a group of real estate interests and resort developers. This was in violation of the Forest Conservation Act, 1980, Biological Diversity Act, 2002 and by allegedly making illegal changes in the final outline development plan 2025.

"The petitioners' right to ecology and environment, to the natural forests, to the biodiversity of the hill, is shared with the future generations under Article 21 of the Constitution and this is seriously threatened by environmentally destructive developments on the hill," the petition states. 

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