PANAJI: A division bench of Justices M S Sonak and Valmiki S Menezes on December 12 permitted the resident – Hondu Gaonkar – to plead his case before a magistrate’s court.
The Goa Tamnar Transmission Project Limited (GTTPL) is an inter-state transmission system project envisaged to create an additional source of power for the state of Goa.
Gaonkar in his plea challenged the erection of an electricity pole and other ancillary work being carried out by the GTTPL on his land.
He said the project work was causing harm to the agriculture and horticulture on his land, and sought for the work being carried out to be stopped.
He also challenged the constitutional validity of the Indian Telegraph Act provisions under which the work was being carried out.
Under the Act, the telegraph authority has the power to place and maintain telegraph lines and posts.
Advocate General D Pangam, appearing for the government, informed the HC bench that a magistrate’s court earlier this month passed an order with regard to compensation.
The high court in its order noted the petitioner has said he would be satisfied if the magistrate gives him an opportunity of hearing.
“For the present, we do not wish to go into the issue of constitutional validity,” the court said.
The bench directed Gaonkar to appear before the magistrate.
The magistrate shall hear and decide the matter and communicate the decision to the petitioner within 15 days of passing the order, the HC said.
Gaonkar in his petition claimed no work can be carried out on his land as it falls under the eco-sensitive zone.
Due to the construction and land filling, the natural flow of spring water has stopped, the petition alleged.
It further claimed that in 1885, when the Telegraph Act came into force, a telegraph pole was a single wooden pole but now companies are misusing provisions of the Act to erect large metallic poles which occupy 200 sq m area, thus rendering the land unusable.