HC fumes over pending files
BANGALORE,5 Mar 2009,
The high court on Thursday took government officials to task for sleeping over files for years, terming them "sleeping giants". Shocked to hear about pendency of files regarding 5,000-MW power projects for 12 years, the court suggested that the government formulate a green channel or single-window system for speedy clearance of projects.
"There is power shortage on one side; here, officials are sitting on files as sleeping giants for years together. You have to encourage entrepreneurs. But they are made to wait for a decade. A 5-MW mini-hydel project is yet to take off though permission was given in 1997... make a fool-proof system so there is no scope for such litigations," the division bench headed by Chief Justice P D Dinakaran told K Jairaj, principal secretary, energy department, and counsels of KPTC and KREDL. The court also told them to file an affidavit containing the guidelines.
Earlier, Jairaj told court that about 4,000 MW of wind energy projects and 800-1,000 MW mini-hydel projects are awaiting clearance.
The court gave Prabhakar Power Projects Private Limited two years to complete the 5-MW mini hydel project at Narayanapur dam in Raichur district. The dispute was between Sparta Power Projects (Hyderabad) and Prabhakar Power Projects.
GO on liquor challenged
The High Court ordered notice to the finance department and state excise department over a petition filed by two liquor vending licence holders challenging the February 28 GO seeking to reduce the profit margin of retail sellers from 20% to 10%.
"The state government has taken this decision without consulting the affected parties. It has no legal support," G K Bhat, counsel for the petitioners, told court.
The state government, citing the arrack ban, said that since 2007, liquor business has doubled and there is need to regulate profit margins. The GO came into effect on Thursday.
The court asked PWD authorities to clear unlawful encroachments along NH-19 and NH-63, which run along Sindhanur town, within two months. The court also asked the authorities to take action against Surendra Babu, PWD (NH)executive engineer, for his failure to give proper instructions.
A division bench directed the authorities not to permit cutting of trees on coffee estates. The order was passed based on a PIL filed by the Kaveri Sene.
The court passed an injunction order on one acre of kharab land along the NH in Devanahalli town. V S Murali and others moved court, claiming that the land belonged to the government, while Shivanna filed a petition, seeking change of khata of the property in his name.