HC stays Bharat Shah's project

| 09 January 2002 22:09 IST

The prestigious commercial project of Bharat Shah, controversial Bollywood film financier, has been stalled by the court, following a petition by four NGOs here.

In collusion with the authorities in Goa, Shah had managed to get essential clauses putting restriction on construction on hill slopes relaxed, in order to construct a huge commercial complex on the hillock of Altinho, in the capital city here.

Taking up the petition pending since September, a division bench of Justice F I Rebello and Justice A S Aguiar has admitted the petition, while granting stay to the construction process.

Shah is one of the three parties who has been allowed to convert around 8000 sq. mts. of land on the hill slope of Altinho, to construct a four-storeyed commercial complex, in a close vicinity of the high court building situated there. The area otherwise was declared as conservation zone.

Right from the Portuguese regime, Altinho has been an exclusive residential area preferred by the wealthy and powerful. Besides the all-powerful Bishop's palace, the chief minister and ministers' bungalows as well as industrialists and builders' mansions are also situated at Altinho.

The earlier regulations had banned any construction on hill slopes with a gradient above 25 per cent. While dropping this restriction, points out the petition, the new regulation does not mention any gradient restriction. Shah's complex also proposes to have a height of 17.5 metres, against the restriction of not more than nine metres of height.

The state town and country planning board, the prime accused in the petition, has now been directed to submit a detailed report in this regard. Advocate general Atmaram Nadkarni has assured the court to place the report, stating that the concerned authorities are reviewing the whole issue.

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