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‘Lucky Seven must go before monsoon ends’

Panaji: The high court of Bombay at Goa has warned that Golden Globe Hotels Pvt Ltd would be held accountable for the slightest environmental damage and loss caused to Miramar beach and nearby areas by the grounded vessel M V Lucky Seven. The court will monitor the progress of the vessel’s removal, and insisted that it must leave by monsoon-end.The matter is now fixed for hearing on September 5. The court made it clear that it will not grant relief to the petitioner unless the vessel is removed from the beach and its environs. The court said that it will not permit a repeat of M V River Princess, which grounded off Sinquerim beach in 2000 and altered the topgraphy of the shoreline.The court also observed “our beaches and rivers first; casinos later” and added “casinos will come and go, they are replaceable. Our beaches are not”.A division bench of Justice J S Patel and Justice Nutan Sardessai noted, “We are acutely mindful of history; not yet faded from public memory is the incident of M V River Princess, and what followed as damage to that beach and shoreline, plus, of course, the ultimate costs of that vessel’s removal. We will not permit a repetition here.”
During the hearing, the petitioner’s lawyer, senior counsel Surendra Desai had submitted applications seeking direction to the state authorities to allow the petitioners’ vessel to anchor at Panaji jetty and provide all requirements of mooring.While stating that it will not accept any of the excuses including inclement weather, the court said, “M V Lucky Seven ran aground after the monsoon began and she will leave before the monsoon ends.””There is a real and present danger now of damage to this beach, and others down the coast,” states the order. The court observed that the ship which was proposed as a floating or off shore casino, is today a wreck. “The vessel is christened, somewhat incongruously or ironically, M V Lucky Seven. There is as untrue of the vessel as it is of the city and Miramar beach.” [TOI]

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