Activists move HC on MRF factory expansion

May 18, 2018 01:01 am | Updated 01:01 am IST

Panaji: The Bombay High Court at Goa on Wednesday issued a notice on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by the Dhatwada Usgaon Citizens’ Forum and NGO Goa Foundation that has challenged the expansion proposed at the MRF factory at Dhatwada, South Goa.

The High Court has fixed the matter for hearing on May 23.

The petitioners want MRF to be restrained from carrying out any development work or construct an additional factory at the site. They have challenged the decision of the Goa Investment Promotion Board and the panchayat of Usgaon Gangem allowing this, saying that it is contrary to three resolutions passed by the Gram Sabha opposing any expansion of the factory.

The petition says that the existing factory has polluted the village air. The factory does not have a parking space of its own, and a large number of trucks parked haphazardly in the village obstruct movement. The petition also claims that MRF has cut down several coconut trees on a plot adjoining Khandepar river.

Petitioners have complained that MRF has been allowed to extract mineral ore on the property without a valid lease under Section 41 of the MMDR Act. They have also objected to thousands of litres of water being allotted for the expansion, when there is already a shortage of water in the village. Petitioners said the State Water Resources Department has not granted permission to withdraw such a huge quantity of water from the Khandepar river.

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