About 90 illegal structures, including 10 shacks and 80 huts, along the Arambol coastline were demolished on Wednesday. The drive is part of the government's action against CRZ violations in view of a high court order.
Pernem deputy collector Meena Naik Goltikar said the drive, which began in the morning under heavy police protection, saw 98% of the illegal structures identified along the Arambol coast demolished. She said the drive will continue and will proceed to the Mandrem coast.
Sources told TOI that over 200 illegal structures along the Arambol-Mandrem coast have been identified for demolition.
At Arambol, prior to the arrival of the demolition squad, the owners of some structures were seen dismantling their premises themselves. Sources said that while the drive was overall peaceful, a minor dispute broke out between shack owners themselves. An earthmover was used by officials in the demolition drive.
Alleging that the government is targeting only small businesses, locals claimed that 10-12 big resorts along the Arambol-Mandrem coastline have been spared any demolition.
Arambol-resident Luis Fernandes said, "We are traditional fishermen and toddy tappers. Ours are just huts which we use to sell juices, tea and coffee during the tourist season. Ours are not constructions." He alleged, "The big resorts with heavy construction activity in CRZ area are not being demolished. Rich investors and businessmen from outside the state are being protected."
Pernem PI Tushar Lotlikar led the police team that offered the demolition squad protection.
90 illegal structures, including 80 huts and 10 shacks, demolished along Arambol coast
Structures part of over 200 identified as violating CRZ rules along Arambol-Mandrem coastline
Drive is government action in view of high court ruling [TOI]