PANAJI: The Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) has been asked to deposit Rs 50,000 as compensation for the delay by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) following the coastal authority’s nearly eight-month-long failure to file a reply.
The tribunal has further stated that payment of this fine must now come before accepting the reply-affidavit from the GCZMA.
According to the NGT, the GCZMA ‘lacks seriousness’ and has shown a similar disdain in other cases that have come before the tribunal.
“We are baffled as to why there has been such a significant delay in submitting the reply-affidavit, as no reasonable explanation has been provided. It demonstrates GCZMA’s lack of seriousness. The reply-affidavit was filed after an extremely lengthy delay, and we discover that GCZMA is doing this consistently in other matters as well,” the NGT stated.
This case concerns an alleged Colva CRZ violation, for which the Colva Civic and Consumer Forum approached the tribunal.
“We have no option but to impose cost of Rs 50,000 upon GCZMA to be deposited by it with NGT Bar Association at Western Zone Bench, Pune, within two weeks, subject to which the reply-affidavit would be taken on record, with a direction that a copy of the same shall be served on all other parties, who may file replies/rejoinder within two weeks thereafter,” the order from the NGT states.
The next hearing date for this case is February 22, 2024.
When the GCZMA asked for more time on Wednesday, the NGT stated that “as per our previous order dated April 13, 2023, we had allowed two weeks’ time to the learned counsel for GCZMA for filing the reply-affidavit, but even today i.e. after lapse of more than eight months, reply-affidavit is not being filed and it is being informed that the same would be e-filed today.”