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Congress questions Goa govt’s SC challenge on Tiger Reserve

BJP government to challenge the Bombay High Court bench at Goa
Photo Credit : IANS

Panaji :Asking what is compelling the BJP government to challenge the Bombay High Court bench at Goa order to notify the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary as a tiger reserve, the Congress on Thursday said that this move will make the coastal state suffer.

On July 24, the Bombay High Court bench at Goa had directed the state government to notify the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary as a tiger reserve within three months.

The court was hearing a petition filed by ‘Goa Foundation’ (a local NGO). It had sought a direction from the court to notify a tiger reserve in the state.

“What compels the government to take the matter to the Supreme Court, when the majority of people feel that this is the right and best order. It is in the interest of the state. We want to know the reason why the government wants to challenge this order,” Congress leader Elvis Gomes said during a press conference.

“This government has become a curse on the future of the youth of Goa. It is not (working) in the interest of the state. This appeal should not be filed,” Gomes said.

According to the opposition parties in Goa, notifying the tiger reserve would make the state’s case against Karnataka stronger to stop diversion of water from the Mhadei wildlife sanctuary.

“Goa will suffer due to water scarcity. Industries will not get sufficient water. Domestic households will not get water. People suffer due to acute shortage of water (in April and May),” he said.

He said that the High Court came to a conclusion based on the Wildlife Protection Act. “The order has also cleared that the rights of inhabitants should be protected,” he said, adding that the order is in the interest of even the tribal communities.

Earlier, the Goa government had rejected the proposal to set up a tiger reserve in the state, claiming that Goa’s small wildlife sanctuaries did not fit the National Tiger Conservation Authority’s (NTCA) criteria for setting up a tiger reserve. The government had also hinted at challenging the High Court order.

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