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Sand dune razed for parking in Candolim

Panaji: Another sand dune on Candolim beach has been destroyed to create a parking facility. In August 2017, a huge sand dune within 100m of the coastal regulations zone (CRZ) had been flattened after an excavation for the construction of a toilet block.The project for the toilet block on the southern side of the road to the beach had kicked off a controversy as some villagers criticized the tourism department’s casual attitude of razing sand dunes. Tourism officials argue that these facilities are needed for tourists and bemoaned the lack of an alternative site.
The Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) had issued approvals to the project on the condition that pavers be used for the parking facility. “The contractor has flattened a 40-50m-wide sand dune, which was nearly 1.5m high,” Agnelo Barreto, a local resident alleged. Former MLA Agnelo Fernandes said that the project will disturb the area’s biodiversity. “They have violated CRZ provisions and even GCZMA has overlooked the destruction of the sand dune,” he said.GCZMA had noted while approving the project that one sand dune has been levelled for the toilet block. On Sunday, the flying squad visited the site which was earlier inspected by the talathi. “This type of development will attract domestic tourists at the cost of high-end visitors that Candolim is known for,” Fernandes said. [TOI]

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