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Leading Hotel Cut trees at Tiracol without permission to setup Golf Course

BOUNCERS AT THE SITE OF GOLF COURSE IN TIRACOL (Image Credits: HERALD)

The Leading Hotels Pvt. Ltd. who is on their way to setup the biggest Golf Course Resort in North Goa has apparently cut the trees without any permission on May 14th & 15th. This was the big issue raised by the media in the month of May 2015 when the Leading Hotels sent their bouncers who threatened to terrorize the villagers of Tiracol in the middle of a night to destroy the trees to make a way to their site where the proposed Golf course project is underway, although according to the available sources they did not had a permission to cut the single tree.

According to the news published by the local daily Herald, they have accessed the documents pertaining to the illegal activities of the Leading Hotels in a Tiracol village. The Leading hotels have committed the following illegalities and violations along with the hired bouncers to prevent the villagers coming in their way of illegal destruction of trees despite of not having the permission to do so.

The following portion is sourced from the local daily Herald for the purpose of information of the readers.

1) They did not just illegally slaughter trees when their tree felling permission dated July 8, 2014 had expired, but they went back on their own assurance to the National Green tribunal that they would “not undertake any felling of trees without permission from the concerned forest authority and as and when the permission for the same will be sought, the concerned forest authority shall consider all parameters…” (Extract of Affidavit to NGT Pune by P. Ravi, authorized representative of Leading Hotels)

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2) Leading Hotels was aware on the night of May 14/15 that it did not have the permission to fell a single tree. In point number 4  of the same affidavit referred to in point number 1 above, P Ravi of Leading Hotels states “ I say that Respondent no 7 (Leading Hotels) was granted tree felling permission dated 8/7/2014 by the Deputy Conservator of Forests for felling of 155 trees. The permission is no longer in force and therefore the question of Respondent no 7 felling trees on the basis of the said permission dated 8/07/2014 does not arise” (See Evidence 1)

3) Violated the NGT order dated April 16 of Justice V.R Kinagaonkar and Dr Ajay Deshpande stating ‘Status quo to be maintained till lawful permission is granted for tree felling”, to the project proponent. This is even more serious because in an affidavit in the Bombay High Court, in response to the larger challenge to the manner in which Leading hotels received Environment and CRZ clearances, Leading Hotels admitted that the NGT order asked to maintain status quo “to the limited extent of felling of trees till lawful permission for felling of trees was obtained from the appropriate authority”. Inspite of this it did not maintain the status quo on May 14/15 when it destroyed trees in Tiracol in the dead of the night, terrorising villagers.

4)  And this is the last nail. In the same affidavit referred to in point 3 above, in fact in the very same paragraph, (Point 2) from where the above reference was taken, Atmaram Ramkrishna Barve, who signed the affidavit of behalf of Leading Hotels states “I state that on 20.05.2015 and on 5.06.2015 (five days and 21 days after the destruction of trees in Tiracol respectively), the applicant/petitioner has obtained permissions from the appropriate authorities for the felling of trees.

If there was ever any doubt  if Leading Hotels, backed by Chief Minister Parsekar, did not have permissions  to carry out the act of destroying trees in Tiracol with the help of muscle men on May 14/15 2015, their own affidavit in the Bombay High Court, confirms this. The truth always has a way of coming out, in the most unexpected of ways.

News Source:  HERALD

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