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CRZ violation: NGT axe pulls down 500 illegal structures.

Panaji: About 500 illegal temporary seasonal shacks, huts, cottages and tents in private properties have been demolished in the last one year following the National Green Tribunal order.The order had directed demolition of seasonal structures constructed in  no-development zone in violation of the CRZ Notification 2011.Following the NGT order, the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority  revoked its permission granted to 113 applications and issued order to deputy collector in May this year to demolish the structures.There are over 3000 temporary structures operating in violation of CRZ rules.These structures are located within 500 mts of high-tide line – where construction is not allowed – along the beachfront of Betalbatim, Colva, Varca, Sernabatim, Palolem, Morjim, Velsao, Calangute, Candolim, Mandrem and Arambol.
It has been observed that maximum number of applications, whose permission has been revoked, have more than one shack and over 20-30 temporary wooden cottages and huts with a lounge, kitchen, swimming pool, food and beverages section and staff area. In its recent order passed earlier this week in connection with a writ petition filed by Aleixo Pereira on contempt of orders, the NGT has directed the GCZMA to demolish the structures within 15 days.However, the government officials have expressed their inability to comply with the order within the given time.
“We have revoked the permissions granted to 113 temporary structures and demolished around 500 temporary structures in the last one year following the NGT order, but to demolish all the structures within the timeframe is not possible in view of lengthy administrative procedures,” an official said.The green court in its earlier order passed on February 9 this year  directing the GCZMA to revoke all such permissions given for putting up  temporary seasonal structures in private properties against its own guidelines within a week.The court rapped the authority issuing show-cause notices to the GCZMA to explain lapses in non-compliance of its direction.
According to the CRZ Notification, all the activities proposed to be undertaken within 500m from HTL, would require prior NOC/permission of the GCZMA, which would also include temporary seasonal structures, such as shacks; whether on government land or in private property between the month of September to May in CRZ-III areas.The nine-member interim committee in its first meeting held in August resolved to demolish temporary seasonal structures operating without any permission from the GCZMA.  The panel decided to direct all coastal village panchayats, municipalities and block development officers to identify such structures and submit a compliance report as soon as possible.The committee also issued a public notice asking general public to   inform the panel about illegal temporary structures in the CRZ areas.
The officials sought time for compliance and the bench accordingly extended the time-limit on several occasions. When the matter came up on July 26, the officials gave the reason for delay – non-re-constitution of GCZMA. They sought more time.“Undoubtedly, MoEF has to answer to the lapses and act of malfeasance and misfeasance or violation of the orders of this tribunal. Hence, we issue notice to the principal secretary, MoEF, to look into these issues and make his submission by the next date of hearing,” the bench said.The shack policy was notified by the state government in 2013 after obtaining necessary approval from the GCZMA.The policy is for the period of 2013-2016 and identifies 240 locations in North Goa, and 104 locations in South Goa and lays down the terms and conditions for granting licences for putting up temporary beach shacks on identified beach stretches. [NT]

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