NGT bench shifted on our request: Parrikar

first_imgIt is now clear that it was on Goa government’s recommendation that the Union Ministry for Environment Forests and Climate Change decided to change the jurisdiction of the National Green Tribunal(NGT) for Goa-related cases, from its Pune bench to the principal bench in Delhi.Finally breaking his silence, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Friday that Pune was not convenient for Goa as in case a lawyer has to be sent to represent any case, it takes three days. “Delhi has excellent connectivity (with Goa),” Mr. Parrikar told presspersons here on Friday.He said that the Goa government did not have a legal set-up in Pune as against in Delhi, where the government has empanelled lawyers.The Bombay High Court at Goa on August 22 stayed the transfer of Goa-related NGT cases to Delhi jurisdiction of the NGT and also issued notices to the State and Central government.The August 10 notification had shifted Goa from the Western zone jurisdiction of the NGT to the Northern zone, while retaining Gujarat and Maharashtra in the Western zone.The Opposition including Congress and Aam Aadmi Party and the environmental activists had slammed the relocation of Goa to the Northern zone as harassment to green petitioners because while Pune is about 470 km from Goa, the distance from Goa to Delhi is nearly 2000 km.”This is meant to discourage petitioners from approaching the NGT. This is a really draconian move by the government which has been prompted by vested interests,” Congress spokesperson and AICC Secretary Girish Chodankar had said.Goa Foundation and more than 20 groups including green NGOs have opposed the move and decided to oppose the move when the suo motu case taken up by the high court here comes up for hearing on September 5.last_img read more