Monday, January 31, 2022

HC: Can’t regularise illegal structures near Goa airport

Panaji: The high court of Bombay at Goa has stated that the Chicalim panchayat cannot consider regularisation of 46 illegal structures that have mushroomed around Goa International Airport, and rapped the panchayat for passing resolutions that regularisation could be considered, reports Lisa Monteiro. The panchayat’s resolution stated that applications for regularisation could be considered if occupants produce NOCs from naval authorities and planning authorities. However, the high court stated that such resolutions “cannot operate to defeat court orders or otherwise frustrate the implementation of court orders”.

“Now that it is quite clear that neither the naval authorities nor MPDA can grant any NOCs for retention of these structures, there is absolutely no question of the panchayat delaying the action of demolition by granting the occupants time to produce NOCs and thereafter, consider their case for regularisation of such structures,” the high court stated.

“Ultimately, it must be remembered that this is a matter where illegal and unauthorized structures have come up in the funnel zone or other prohibited areas around the airport, and inaction by the authorities will pose a serious hazard to aviation safety,” stated the division bench comprising justices Mahesh Sonak and R N Laddha.

Show cause notices were issued to around 46 structures, which were prima facie found to be illegal and unauthorised, and counsel for the panchayat Zeller D’Souza submitted that most of the occupants have either accepted that the structures are illegal and unauthorised and are unable to produce any permissions or documents to establish the legality of such structures.

“…It is the naval authorities who had themselves complained about the mushrooming of illegal and unauthorised constructions in the funnel zone or other prohibited areas around the airport. It is at the behest of the naval authorities that several directions were issued in the main petition to clear these illegal and unauthorised constructions. Therefore, there is no question of naval authorities themselves even considering the grant of any NOCs for the retention of such structures,” the high court stated.

31/01/22 Lisa Monteiro/Times of India

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