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PIL against giving beach land to Coast Guard

Correspondent

Karwar: A public interest litigation (PIL) will be filed in the Karnataka High Court against handing over part of the Karwar beach to the Coast Guard to build offices, Kishor Desai, advocate, has said.

Addressing presspersons here on Monday, Mr. Desai said that 16 acres of beach land had been handed over to the Coast Guard by the Uttara Kannada district administration. People, including fishermen and environmentalists, had condemned the decision at a meeting held by the district administration a few months ago. Even the Coast Guard officials had said that they would respect the sentiments of the people and try to build the offices elsewhere. The district administration had written to the Government to take back the land given to the Coast Guard. But the land was yet to be returned. Hence, it had been decided to a PIL. He criticised the district administration for its “generosity” of giving 13 acres of the land to the Coast Guard when it had asked for only 10.

Mr. Desai said that 90 per cent of the beach in Karwar had been occupied by the Defence Department and only 2 km long beach was left. If this land was handed over to the Coast Guard, then fishermen would be left in the lurch. Morning joggers too faced problems and handing over of the land was against the order passed by Supreme Court in 1997.

The Supreme Court in its 1997 order ruled that the beaches used for fishing and public purposes should not be handed over to anybody. There should be no encroachment on such land. A copy of the order had been submitted to the Deputy Commissioner, he said.

Madhav Nayak, president of Janashakthi Vedike, spoke. Fishermen's leader Ganapati Manger, Rama Naik, president of the Kannada Sahitya Parishat, and Vittal Sawant, CMC member, were present.

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