The Supreme court on Thursday allowed the GMR Goa International Airport Ltd (GGIAL) to resume construction works for the greenfield international airport at Mopa in Goa

The 65-page judgement comes on the basis of the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) report, almost a year after the apex court had suspended works at the site, ordering status quo in the case.

The Bench of Justices Dr Dhananjay Y Chandrachud and Hemant lifted the suspension on environment clearance imposed vide its order dated March 29, 2019.

After the verdict was delivered, GGIAL said the judgement in effect will result in resumption of construction activities at the project site in compliance with the conditions imposed under various environment clearances and adoption of zero-carbon programme voluntarily assured by GMR Group.

“We welcome the verdict of the Honourable Supreme Court of India. We plan to commence work for the new airport in Goa soon, in compliance with the orders of the Honourable Supreme Court,” a GMR Group spokesperson said in a statement.

“The new airport at MOPA is expected to enhance tourism and employment opportunities in Goa and open up new avenues for boosting the economy of the state. GMR Group assures its continued services towards nation building,” the spokesman said.

In March 2019, the top court had refused to lift its stay due to the illegal felling of trees on the project site. The court had asked the EAC to revisit the recommendations it had given for the grant of environmental clearance to the project.  It had also barred any other court or tribunal to accept a new petition on the matter, until a report is submitted by the EAC.

The petitioners, in this case, got the stay from the court over illegal felling of 55,000 trees, arguing that EAC report by the NGT had only mentioned bushes on the project site.

(With input from agencies)