Villagers challenge land allotment to SEZ developers in Goa

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Panaji, Jul 10 (UNI) Challenging the allotment of land to Special Economic Zone (SEZ) developers, three villagers in Goa in a writ petition before the Bombay High Court at Goa sought CBI probe into the entire episode.

The villagers from Sancoale, Verna, and Keri-Ponda, in their separate writ petitions, prayed for quashing the land allotment in the industrial estate and revert it to the original owners from whom the land was acquired.

The petitioners urged the court to order a probe by an independent body like the CBI or by a Commission of Inquiry headed by a High Court or a Supreme Court judge to find out the irregularities in the land allotment and graft if any.

The petitions, filed yesterday, were posted for hearing on July 18.

They alleged that the Goa Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) had transferred the land in gross violation of law, even without putting up an advertisement or calling for tenders or auctioning the land to the highest bidder.

The villagers also accused the GIDC of allotting the land in total violation of the provisions of the Special Economic Zones Act, 2005 and Goa's own SEZ policy.

It might be recalled that the GIDC had allotted land to M/s Peninsular Pharma Research Center Private Limited for an SEZ in Sancoale, M/s Meditab Specialties Private Limited in Keri-Ponda and M/s K Raheja Corporation Private Limited, M/s Paradigm Logistic and Distribution Private Limited, M/s Inox Mercantile Co Private Limited, M/s Planet View Mercantile Private Limited, Maxgrow Finlease Private Limited, for SEZs in Verna Industrial Estate.

The government, bowing to popular appeal, had urged the Centre to denotify the already notified SEZs in Goa besides deciding to scrap the SEZ policy and withdraw the land allotted.

UNI BM GR BDP RAI1111

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