Thursday 08 Dec 2022

NGT draws the line on structure beyond beach carrying capacity

Sets aside GCZMA nod for construction at Sernabatim

THE GOAN NETWORK | SEPTEMBER 29, 2022, 12:56 AM IST

MARGAO
In a decision that may have a bearing on the allotment of shacks and temporary structures beyond the beach carrying capacity, the National Green Tribunal, Western Zone Bench, Pune has ruled that no such construction should have been allowed by the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) in the Sernabatim area without clearly mentioning as to whether the permission granted of the said construction, would fall within the beach carrying capacity or not.

The Colva Civic and Consumer Forum had filed an appeal before the NGT, Western Zone Bench, Pune challenging the order of the GCZMA about the constructions at Sernabatim area of Colva village.

In the order, the NGT bench comprising Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh, Judicial member, and Dr Vijay Kulkarni, expert member, observed, “We are of the view that, in view of the report of NCSCM, Chennai, it is clear that the Survey Number in question does not contain any sand dunes, therefore, it cannot be said to be NDZ rather it is stated to fall in CRZ-III according to the Respondent No. 1. We hold that on this count, permission could have been granted to the Respondent No. 4 by the Respondent No. 1, in respect to the said construction. But in view of the policy laid down by the Respondent No. 1 GCZMA through its Minutes dated November 15, 2016, the decision of which is quoted herein above, it is clear that GCZMA has decided not to allow any further construction of huts, etc in the Survey Number in question and yet has proceeded to allow the said construction which appears to violate the said policy.

The Bench added: “Keeping in view the precautionary principle, we are also of the view that no such construction should have been allowed by GCZMA in the said area without clearly mentioning as to whether the permission granted to the said construction, would fall within the Beach Carrying Capacity or not. Therefore, given this non-clarity on the part of Respondent No. 4, both the impugned orders dated 04.03.2022 and 23.12.2020 need to be set aside and are accordingly set aside with liberty that in case, Respondent No. 4 approaches the Respondent No. 1 again concerning raising the construction of temporary huts, etc, the same should be considered in the light of the ‘Beach Carrying Capacity’ on the date of its consideration.”

Commenting on the order, Colva Civic and Consumer Forum Secretary Judith Almeida said the NGT order should now apply to the entire coast. “Our complaint and grounds were that the NOC could never have been granted when the Beach Carrying Capacity Report said that Colva panchayat had exhausted its carrying capacity and no more NOCs could be granted. And, Sernabatim already had three shacks which exhaust the Carrying Capacity,” Judith said, saying the NGT has now set aside the NOC granted beyond the beach carrying capacity report by GCZMA.

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