Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Feb 21:
The Orissa High Court has served notices to the Centre, State and nine private firms seeking replies against alleged use of Chandrabhaga coast in Odisha’s Puri district for water sports in violation of Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) rules.
A division bench of the High Court comprising of Chief Justice Vineet Saran and Justice B R Sarangi after conducting a hearing on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by lawyer Bibhu Prasanna Mohapatra on the matter issued the notices seeking replies.
In the petition Mohapatra has alleged that various private enterprises were earning hefty sums from tourists by engaging hovercrafts, speed boats and Jet Skis for water sports at Chandrabhaga.
For such water sports the concerned private enterprises need to have clearance from CRZ authorities, Mohapatra has stated in the petition.
But only three out of the nine firms have CRZ clearance, the petitioner has alleged adding that the remaining six have clearance from the Environment Ministry.
Mohapatra has wondered how the six firms have managed to get clearance from the Environment Ministry without having CRZ clearance.
By organizing such water sports without obtaining CRZ and other statutory clearances, the concerned private enterprises have pushed the lives of the public into danger, the petitioner has alleged.
Lastly, Mohapatra has prayed that such water sports should be organized keeping in mind the safety of the tourists and the locals by obtaining CRZ clearance and adhering to all other rules and regulations.
The petitioner submitted before the court facts obtained through RTI application.
While lawyers-Kali Prasanna Mishra, Chinmay Mohanty and Sambit Mohanty represented the petitioner in the proceedings, P K Padhi represented the Central government and B P Pradhan represented the state government.