Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Feb 21:
In a significant order, the Odisha High Court on Friday quashed the notice served by the Puri-Konark Development Authority (PKDA) for eviction of illegal hotels in Puri town.
Besides, the court also set aside the gazette notification issued by the Housing and Urban Development department banning any type of construction on 705 acre of land located between Chakratirtha and Baliapanda.
The court ruled that PKDA can only take steps in accordance with the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification since Puri municipal area comes under its jurisdiction.
The court issued the directive after Justice Biswanath Rath adjudicated on a case filed by the Hotel Association of Puri.
The court made it clear that whatever decisions to be taken with regards to constructions in Puri will be in accordance with CRZ rules.
PKDA had served notices to 316 hotels on the beach for illegal construction. However, challenging the order, more than hundred of hotels had knocked the doors of the High Court and had succeeded in obtaining stay orders against the notice.
The court after completing its hearing on January 20 had kept its judgment reserved in the matter.
Delivering its verdict, the court held that PKDA notice under Odisha Development Act was not tenable under law.
The court said the Coastal Zone Management Authority (CZMA) has been constituted as per provisions of the Environment Protection Act. “Since CRZ status being a provision under a Central government law, as per Constitutional provisions laws like Odisha Development Act passed by the state government cannot effected over a Central law”, it pointed out.
The court, however, made it clear that PKDA can take required steps as per the provisions of the CRZ rules.