Hill cutting, trees cleared for hotel in Arpora will file FIR against PDA officers, says Rane | Goa News

Panaji: The construction of a hotel in Arpora was halted on Sunday by forest officers after massive cutting of hills and the illegal clearing of trees was found on the spot. Forestry Minister Vishwajit Rane said an offense would be recorded against Planning and Development Authority (PDA) officials, who allowed the illegality. The government will come down hard on the land mafia, he said.
“Today morning, the Assistant Conservator of Forest, North, inspected the construction site of the Park Regis Hotel in Arpora. During his inspection, a massive cut of hills was noticed without permission. The article 8 of the Goa Tree Preservation Act 1984 classifies it as a serious offence,” Rane said.
An offense was reserved for violation of Section 8 of the Goa Tree Preservation Act 1984.
“An FIR will be filed against the PDA officers who authorized the massive hill cutting for the hotel project in Arpora and the company for violation of Section 17A. The land mafia in Goa must note that the law will fall heavily on them In accordance with all TCP laws, we will not tolerate land mafia encouragement,” Rane said in a series of tweets following the crackdown.
He said the failures of the PDA and the Department of Town and Country Planning will be highlighted by the state government in its affidavit in court. “This government is for the people, by the people, to protect the state of Goa. The government, in its affidavit, will ensure that the facts are produced in court, in the case filed by the Goa Foundation,” Rane said.
A day earlier, the Minister of Forests and TCP had said that he was considering reorganizing the TCP department. “Professor Edgar Ribeiro, India’s former Chief Urban Planner, was instrumental in the creation of the TCP Act. I will be calling on him for advice on the way forward regarding my vision for the TCP department,” Rane said.