High Court orders demolition of hotel in Siolim


The Bombay High Court at Goa has ordered the prompt demolition of a hotel built on government land in Siolim that also violated the CRZ notification.

Hearing a petition filed by one Alex Pereira, who approached the High Court alleging that despite the GCZMA directing the demolition of the structures and directing the violators to pay Rs 5-lakh per illegal structure, the North Goa Collector had failed to implement the orders.

Pereira alleged that the violators have usurped the Government land and thereafter without obtaining any permissions from the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) proceeded to construct a hotel/resort thereon.

“This is a matter where admittedly no permissions were obtained from the GCZMA even though a resort was put up in the CRZ area. Respondents have taken their calculated chances and now that their illegalities have been discovered, there is no question of any further indulgence. Besides, this is a case where the orders made by the authorities record that the resort has been put up in Government land and over an eco-sensitive area affected by CRZ,” the High Court bench of Justices M S Sonak and M S Jawalkar, said.

“In such circumstances, even assuming that there are any powers for regularization, there would be no question of entertaining such representations. The Government land cannot be usurped or encroached upon or frittered away in this manner to assist Respondent Nos 9 and 10 for their business activities. Similarly, the environment cannot be degraded in this manner by putting up a resort in the eco-sensitive CRZ area without bothering to obtain any permissions from GCZMA,” the High Court said.

“Despite the order of the GCZMA attaining finality on account of dismissal of the appeal by the NGT, none of the statutory authorities took steps to either seal the structures or to demolish the same so that the Government land can be restored to its original position at the earliest. According to us, there is no explanation as to why this was not done,” the High Court bench of Justices M S Sonak and M S Jawalkar said.

The State Advocate General Devidas Pangam assured the court that the structures will be sealed immediately and demolished within a period of four weeks.

“Accordingly, the structures at the site will have to be sealed by tomorrow. If there is any electricity or water connection granted, the same will have to be forthwith disconnected. Further, the demolition will have to be completed within four weeks from today so that the site is restored to its original position,” the Court said.

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