Union Environment and Forests Ministry has stayed its clearance granted to Goa government to construct an international cricket stadium in Thivim, 15 kms from here.
State government officials said MoEF’s Deputy Conservator of Forests N S Murali has written a letter to Goa government stating that the NOC granted for cricket stadium project has been kept on hold for a period of one month.
Goa Cricket Association (GCA) has been constructing this stadium with the sitting capacity of 50,000.
A local NGO, Goa Foundation told MoEF that the stadium project was being constructed by destroying the forest land. “It has been decided to keep the approval granted by this office vide letter No.4-GOB427/2007-BAN dated 23rd October 2008 under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 for diversion of 4.3725 hectares of private forest land for International Cricket Stadium at Thivim in North Goa District, in favour of Director of Sports and Youth Affairs, Goa in abeyance till a decision is taken on the representation of M/s Goa Foundation,” the letter stated.
In 2008, the MoEF had given approval under Section ‘2’ of Forest (Conservation) Act 1980 for the project. Goa Foundation has challenged the project before the Goa bench of the Bombay High court.
In its interim order, the Court had asked the Goa Foundation to first raise all grievances with the MoEF, before seeking judicial recourse.
Immediately after the court’s interim order, MoEF had asked Goa government to submit details of the project, which was not given by the state.
Awaiting Goa government’s response, MoEF had sent another reminder in December 2010, which also went unanswered by the state government.