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Goa News: NGT directs coastal monitoring body to conduct fresh inspection of Colva construction

MARGAO: The western zone bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in Pune has directed the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) to hold a fresh hearing on construction activities at Colva resort. The decision came following an appeal by the Colva Citizens and Consumers Forum (CCF) challenging the partial discharge of a show cause notice issued by the GCZMA to the resort, alleging unauthorised renovation within the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) by the resort. Inspections revealed violations, including unauthorised ground+2 structures in the CRZ-III area and lack of necessary CRZ approvals. In response, the GCZMA issued a show cause notice in 2019 but partially lifted it in December 2022, stating that five cottages, a restaurant, a sewage treatment plant, a generator shed and a swimming pool were as per the sanctioned plan. The CCF challenged this decision before the NGT. During the NGT hearing, the CCF argued that the resort began construction activities without the required GCZMA approvals after acquiring the property in 2017. Satellite imagery from 2010 to 2020 showed changes to the property, raising concerns about additional unauthorised constructions, such as a basement under the swimming pool, lack of sloping roofs and an additional temporary floor added to the cottages. The GCZMA defended its order by producing permissions granted to the previous owner between 1987 and 2001 for the cottages, restaurant and swimming pool, claiming that these structures were pre-approved.

The NGT noted that the GCZMA failed to verify whether the constructions followed the approved plans and did not consider whether the current owner had obtained the necessary approvals after 2017. While some structures appeared to be pre-approved, there was no clear evidence of permissions for renovations or reconstruction by the current owner. In its order, the NGT directed the GCZMA to re-inspect the site within two months and hear the case again. The resort owner says all necessary approvals have been obtained and he plans to take up the matter with the GCZMA.

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