Monday, June 29, 2015

HC gives state two more weeks to form new policy.

HC gives state two more weeks to form new policy

AThe state government has received an extension of two weeks to frame an eco-tourism policy for Gir region. This after Gujarat High Court refused state government's plea seeking one more month to form the policy for Gir where illegal construction is rampant. HC had taken suo moto notice of the matter after learning of the proliferation of illegal hotels, farmhouses and guest houses in and around the Gir National Park. It banned all commercial activities in and around the lion sanctuary till the state government came out with afresh policy.

Following the suo moto, the state government had to accept through an affidavit that 66 illegal structures were operating in Gir-Somnath, Junagadh and Amreli districts. In May, the government had promised the court to frame a fresh policy to grant permission to new hotels as well as hotels within two-km buffer zone surrounding the Gir forest spread across the three districts — Gir Somnath, Junagadh and Amreli.

Advocate Arvind Singh Supehia, appearing for the suo moto, said, "Claiming they did not get much time to frame the policy, the state government asked for one more month to do so. However, the HC granted only two weeks' time." More than 60 hotels and guest houses — including Taj Group's luxury resort which were found constructed in the buffer zone without adequate permissions -- were sealed by the authority last month following the court order. There are nearly 130 hotels and resorts in the area.

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