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National Green Tribunal directs panel to verify private forest status

Comments Off on National Green Tribunal directs panel to verify private forest status   |   February 25, 2014    11:47am   |Contributed by manoja

PANAJI: The national green tribunal has directed the state government to complete a survey on scientific lines to ascertain whether a property under dispute in Ponda taluka is a private forest within eight weeks.

The bench comprising Justice V R Kingaonkar and expert member, Ajay A Deshpande in an application filed by Nisarga, a NGO, directed that a committee appointed by the government to identify private forests in north Goa consider the parameters laid down by the supreme court in demarcating the area of private forests vis-a-vis the survey.

The dispute arose after the Thomas committee visted Ponda taluka and inspected survey numbers 193,194,156 and 157 as well as s no127 in Bethora on February 26, 2013.

The panel also visited Borim nearby. But the members only conducted an occular inspection, but no scientific study to substantiate what they saw.

Based on their inspection, they considered that the canopy density was more than 0.4, as per the norm laid down by the apex, and the area could be earmarked as a private forest.

But the NGT noted that the actual extent of area can be identified only after the survey is conducted.

The bench noted that as Bombay high court at Goa had in an order dated April 28, 2009, directed the parties concerned to maintain status quo in relation to other survey numbers.

Hence, the bench observed that it was important to complete the work of survey as early as possible to avoid hardship and complications for property holders, whose lands do not fall within the area of private forests.

NGT directed that the Thomas committee be extended all assistance, including the services of surveyors and equipments needed for the work.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/goa/National-Green-Tribunal-directs-panel-to-verify-private-forest-status/articleshow/30772001.cms

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