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Goa Real Estate News & Questions

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Goa Real Estate News & Questions

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    Illegal structures, RP 2021 dominate Cortalim-Quelossim gram sabha

    Panaji: The issues of an illegal mini India park project, unauthorized structures on comunidade land, stalemate on the Regional Plan (RP) 2021 and an incomplete market complex at Thane dominated the Sunday gram sabha of the Cortalim-Quelossim panchayat.

    The meeting chaired by sarpanch Hilario Figueiredo witnessed a discussion on a host of issues. A member, Mariano Dias, said that non-finalization of RP 2021 was leading to illegalities. Clandestine development activities were destroying the land, but villagers were in the dark about the legal aspects.

    The matter regarding the Mini India park, which is proposed in a riverside eco-sensitive zone, also produced some heat and dust. An activist, Lopino Xavier, sought to know what action the panchayat had initiated on a resolution to file a civil suit against the property owner for mud filling in a part of khazan land. The project was proposed in a 9,16,375 sq m area of survey Nos. 170/1 and 171/1 and villagers had lodged a complaint in October 2012.

    It came to light that the panchayat had not initiated any steps in the matter. A show-cause notice had been issued earlier. Dias also raised the issue of a three-storeyed market complex in Thane. Hardly 25% of the work has been done and speculation is rife that lack of funds has stalled it and it may even be reduced by a floor. The sarpanch was unable to say when it would be completed.

    The members also decided to take a 12-member delegation to meet local MLA and forest minister Alina Saldanha, after Donald Pereira raised the issue of a few roads being in a dilapidated condition.

    ZP member Anthony Vaz who was present for some time and hailed by members on being elected, urged the panchayat to forward him development proposals.

    The members also grilled the panchayat about the non-demolition of illegal hutments on comunidade land. These were to be razed almost a year ago. The members urged the panchayat to write to the deputy collector about the matter and send a copy to the panchayat minister. The stoppage of door-to-door collection of waste during the last few days also irked the members. The contractor had not been paid, as the panchayat had not received funds from the government. Members suggested that he be paid from panchayat funds, but no final decision was taken. Members also expressed disappointment over the stalemate in bifurcating the Cortalim-Quelossim panchayat. The panchayat had written to the panchayat minister on the issue and he had asked the directorate of panchayats to look into it, the members were told.

    Illegal structures, RP 2021 dominate Cortalim-Quelossim gram sabha - The Times of India
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      Housing pangs for Goans

      Affordable, need-based housing is fast shrinking in Goa even as the state is being positioned as a luxury destination for the rich and an “ideal” market for investment-oriented second homes.

      Top architects in the state claim that excessive speculative housing, which effectively means future housing prices driving a current demand for housing, and the trend of second homes need to be curbed by a comprehensive housing policy.

      Speaking to IANS on the sidelines of an international architecture forum in the state capital, former chairman of Indian Institute of Architects (Goa) Tulio de Souza said the total shortfall of need-based housing was as much as 18 per cent.

      “On a general level there is about 18 percent shortfall of need-based housing requirement in the state... A lot of housing stock that is being created in Goa is either as second homes to citizens and people from all over the country and the other is the speculative housing,” said de Souza, who was a member of a state government committee some years back, which was formed to draft an official housing policy.

      Rapid concretisation of Goa, otherwise known for its tourism prowess and natural beauty, has been a subject of concern for planners and housing experts.

      Over the past few years, a steady stream of luxury housing projects, niche gated residencies and mega housing complexes have emerged across the Goan countryside, even as most of the units in their upmarket tenements are vacant most of the year.

      A 2011 official census revealed that a quarter of the 5,00,000-odd registered homes in Goa are vacant and this trend is disturbing as far as creating the space for need-based housing is concerned, de Souza said.

      “We, as planners, definitely discourage speculative nature of housing, which is sometimes sought to be projected and results in the entire path of development being skewed,” de Souza told IANS.

      “Need-based housing has suffered and as such need-based housing needs to be catered to on a war footing by the government by getting the housing policy drafted immediately,” he added.

      In 2011, the Congress-led coalition government had proposed levying a heavy occupancy tax on second homes in an attempt to put curbs on speculative housing.

      “Buying a home in Goa for Goans is getting increasingly difficult because a lot of rich people from outside are buying ‘holiday’ homes here. The prices are getting out of hand for the local population. Some outsiders buy homes only for their New Year celebrations. This proposed occupancy tax, we hope, will have a deterrent effect,” Rahul Deshpande, also an architect and a member of the state level committee on land use, had said.

      While the proposals eventually did not get implemented, the anxiety over rising real estate prices, which make owning a home a difficult proposition for the Average Goan Joe, was even reflected in Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar’s first budget speech delivered in the state legislative assembly last month.

      “Emphasising our focus in the area of affordable housing, I further propose to formulate a scheme to construct affordable houses for the middle and low- income groups on government land identified for this purpose and take up two such housing schemes to begin with next year,” Parsekar said.

      De Souza, however, claims that there is still time to wake up and resolve the housing issue before the real estate market realities get too harsh.

      “We may not be in a crisis situation immediately, but definitely there are signals that the planners have to be ready to meet the challenges of the emerging situation,” he said.
      According to Amit Sukhtankar, chairman of the IIA, current migratory trends are keeping Goa’s housing demand steady for now but the future is anybody’s guess.

      “Real time growth of population along with macro economics, like the kind of industry which the Goa government aims to attract, will define how many houses will be needed in future,” Sukhtankar told IANS. — IANS

      Housing pangs for Goans
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        ‘60% of building failures are due to formwork collapse’

        MARGAO: Formwork is one of the most important factors in determining the success of a construction project in terms of speed, quality, cost and safety of work as it accounts to nearly 35-40% of the total RCC project cost and 75-80 % of the project time. Therefore, though formwork is considered as temporary work in the construction industry, it should not be treated as temporary, and due caution should be exercised while selecting a type of formwork by a civil engineer.

        Kumar Neeraj Jha, an expert in the field of construction from IIT Delhi, underscored the above view, while delivering a talk on the topic 'Innovative formwork for construction projects' in one of the technical sessions of a two-day seminar that got under way at Ravindra Bhavan, Margao, on Friday.

        To drive home his point that formworks should be adequately built, Jha said that in building construction, while 60% of the building failures are caused due to formwork collapse, 8% are due to premature removal of shore and 18% due to faulty materials. With the aid of a presentation, Jha introduced the gathering of professional delegates from the building industry, to advanced and innovative formworks—such as all steel foundation formwork, climbing formwork etc—which, besides being foolproof, also ensure that the productivity of the construction workers is not compromised.

        The two-day seminar consists of 10 technical sessions by experts in the areas concerned. A technical exhibition displaying the latest construction material and technology has also been organized at the venue. Goa governor Mridula Sinha inaugurated the seminar on Friday in the presence of Sasikumar Punnekkat, director, BITS Pilani, Goa.

        In her address, Sinha underscored the need to pay due attention to the aspect of garbage management while designing residential projects, as in the absence of effective garbage treatment facilities, garbage lands up in the neighbourhood.

        ‘60% of building failures are due to formwork collapse’ - The Times of India
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          Illegal land reclamation being carried out in Paroda

          QUEPEM: Despite a complaint to Paroda panchayat and an inspection by flying squad, an illegal land reclamation in the flood prone zone area on the banks of Kushawati river is being carried out in full swing, sources said.

          Dilip Vasant Hegde, a resident of Avedem, and an NGO had complained to Paroda panchayat regarding the illegal land filling by a Rajasthani businessman. For the last two months land filling is in full swing.

          Hegde on Monday complained to flying squad regarding the illegal land filling. A flying squad team arrived at the site and instructed the owner Rafik Khan not to fill up the low lying area. But, the owner challenged the flying squad officials and the complainant in front of the media stating that he will continue land filling come what may.

          Paroda panchayat had notified its intention to declare this area as flood prone zone in 2010 and sent a communication to Salcete BDO apprising him about it.

          Hegde, in his complaint to the panchayat and town and country planning department, stated that this area is on the banks of Kushawati river and is a low lying area, adding that it gets flooded upto a height of around two to three meters during monsoon season. As this area is low lying and is adjacent to the Quepem-Margao road, the PWD had constructed a concrete retaining wall of around 2.5 meters height, stated Hedge.

          The flying squad team informed TOI that they will submit a report to the deputy collector for further action.

          Ajit Panchwadkar, deputy collector, incharge of the flying squad, has given instructions to flying squad officials to file an FIR against the Rajasthani owner and directed them to confiscate the machinery used for land filling.

          Earlier, an FIR was lodged against the same owner by TCP draftsman Francisco Rodrigues at Quepem police station for illegally filling low lying land from the low level without obtaining permission from the town and country planning department. But a senior town planner had submitted his report to Quepem police that no offence is made out under Section 17/A of TCP Act. As per his submission, Quepem police closed the case and sent it to JMFC for final order.

          Hegde informed that the senior town planner had seen that the said area came under flood prone zone and blindly gave a clean chit to the owner.

          Bailon Mascarenhas, resident of Quepem, stated that it cannot be accepted that the complaint made by Francisco Rodrigues, planning draftsman grade-II of Town and Country planning was in bad taste when he is fully aware of TCP acts and the area filled is more than 3 mtrs which can be verified by any person at any time.

          By overruling the complaint of Rodrigues, the senior town planner has discouraged and degraded their own officer thereby making it easy for law breakers to carryout land filling which is carried out rampantly all over Goa, Mascarenhas said adding that he will file complaints with all concerned authorities shortly.

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            ‘Permanent’ temporary structures

            PATNEM BEACH: The one kilometre strip of gently curving beach sandwiched between awesome rocky outcrops is often talked about as one of the five best in the world, but now it appears it is all wrapped up and has nowhere to go.

            The tourism season is over and only a few domestic tourists and stray dogs can be seen watching the powerful waves lash the shore. The temporary structures on sand dunes should have disappeared, too. But a six-metre high thatched barricade running, intermittently for a few hundred metres, just above the high tide line conceals the structures within.

            Stakeholders owning cottages, rooms, shops and other commercial structures, albeit illegal, have wrapped them up in coconut leaves and vanished till the next tourist season.

            The access to the beach is a narrow road, barely able to accommodate two vehicles. The entire sand dune area which should have been free, except for old structures before the CRZ 1991 notification was enforced, is cluttered with structures and open spaces are hard to find, except on the southern side of Patnem-Colomba beach.

            "Many violations are invisible, as they are being done within the premises of houses or hotels. I discovered by accident a bore well dug in one such house," a source said. As the area is within 200m of the high tide line, intrusion of salt water can ruin the ground water table.

            Patnem beach was relatively undeveloped just over a decade ago and there were even more natural elements to its landscape.

            The headland jutting out into the sea in the north, referred to as Turtle hill by locals and foreigners, lends the beach a mystic touch. The waters are clean during fair weather and many savour the joy of holidaying here and bathing in the blue water. The sand dunes were not so high, but have been ruined by scores of structures.

            "Sand dunes are severely degraded at most places, the vegetation is uprooted due to haphazard human activity; the identity of beach-dune system is being lost," Antonio Mascarenhas, an expert member of the Goa coastal zone management committee (GCZMA) said at a meeting.

            The shacks which the GCZMA has inspected are all located within the mandatory no development zone (0-200m from HTL). As per the Beach Shack Policy 2013-2016, they cannot be defined as shacks. "Several structures have a first floor," the minutes of the 112th meeting stated.

            The sand dunes have been flattened and other vegetation, more decorative than protective of erosion, has been raised. The establishments along the shoreline have stone or concrete steps leading to the beach or parapet walls along the HTL.

            Tourism has brought cheer to many middle class and even lower middle class families, as well as small entrepreneurs from other states. But apprehensions are rife that the mass of violations may turn the beach into another concrete jungle.

            "As per the conditions for the grant of permission, the temporary structures should be dismantled and the material stored after the season is over," Wilson Fernandes, a stakeholder from Canacona conceded.

            When a GCZMA team conducted inspections to consider permissions for temporary erection of huts, shacks and other tourism-related structures, the officials mostly found that the site came under no development zone (0-200 m) and the frontal dunes were damaged. The property owners or lessees had also laid sand bags and built stone walls along the HTL in some cases.

            Other violations abound, as they have laid cement floor while structures have a host of other facilities ranging from kitchens, bathrooms, septic tanks and soak pits.

            GCZMA team could not penetrate beyond the so-called shacks in the front row clustered with wooden structures without much open space and closed fences.

            "The entire sea front activity can be termed a clear violation of CRZ 2011 guidelines," Mascarenhas said.

            ‘Permanent’ temporary structures - The Times of India
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              FIR against Curtorim resident in land filling case

              MARGAO: The Maina-Curtorim police recently registered an FIR against a resident of Curtorim following a complaint from the town and country planning (TCP) department regarding illegal filling of khazan land in the village.

              A complaint has been filed against Armando Barreto under Section 17 A of the TCP Act after another resident of Curtorim, Jaime Rodrigues, brought to the department's attention the works undertaken in the low-lying area in survey no. 567/29 of Curtorim village in December last year.

              Rodrigues has alleged that the land belongs to the comunidade, but despite several representations made to it, the comunidade has remained silent on the matter.

              The complaint filed by the TCP states that a flying squad had conducted a site inspection of the khazan land in December and on December 15, 2014, had issued Barreto a show-cause notice as well as a stop-work order. Barreto was also instructed to appear at the TCP's district office at Margao with all the requisite permissions/approvals/licences within 24 hours or an FIR would be registered against him.

              On December 24, 2014, authorities rejected Barreto's reply on grounds that no NOC under Section 17A of the TCP Act was given, nor were approvals or permissions obtained from the competent authority for the land-filling activity carried out by him.

              On March 13, TCP official Francis Rodrigues, planning draftsman, grade II, who inspected the site, stated, "It was verified that filling of land in survey no. 567/29 at Curtorim has been undertaken in an approximate area of 379.50 sq m for an approximate height of 1.50 m. Since no permission has been obtained for filling of land, it is illegal." Rodrigues further requested the police to stop the land-filling and to file an FIR. The FIR was filed on May 11.

              The complaint filed by the TCP states that a flying squad had conducted a site inspection of the khazan land in December and on December 15, 2014, and had issued Barreto a show-cause notice as well as a stop-work order

              FIR against Curtorim resident in land filling case - The Times of India
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                Mayem issue will be resolved after proper study: Goa CM

                BICHOLIM: Chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Wednesday held a meeting with departmental officials and committee members concerned to resolve the evacuee property issue in Mayem.

                Deputy speaker Anant Shet told mediapersons that Parsekar directed the officials to complete the formalities as early as possible so that he can hand over Mayem village back to the sons of the soil. Rules and regulations framed to resolve the issue were also submitted to the law department. After the discussion, Parsekar said that the issue would be solved after undertaking a proper study of all related legal aspects.

                Chief secretary R K Srivastava and collector Neela Mohanan were also present at the occasion. When he was chief minister of Goa, current Union defence minister Manohar Parrikar had passed a special ordinance in the Goa legislative assembly to sort out the evacuee property issue and the legal formalities of the same are still in progress.

                Mayem issue will be resolved after proper study: Goa CM - The Times of India
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                  Panaji’s cityscape gets a shade greener

                  PANAJI: The city's landscape, particularly the river front, boasts of some majestic trees. But the replacement of uprooted ones has taken a back seat in recent years. To this existing green crown, a few saplings of fruit-bearing trees were added on Monday morning.

                  In a modest attempt to improve Goa's green cover, The Times of India in association with Central Bank held a tree plantation drive at the department of sports and youth affairs, Campal, on Monday.

                  Tree planting contributes significantly to the environment and afforestation efforts.

                  Observing the theme 'plant trees and save lives', Shubham Chodankar, Panaji mayor, and Anil Kumar, forest department's deputy conservator (wildlife and eco tourism -north), participated in the tree plantation drive.

                  "There is potential for trees to grow in this city; planting saplings during the monsoon will provide them with water naturally. This initiative is an attempt to inculcate the habit of tree plantation in our society," Chodankar said as he planted a cashew sapling at the premises of directorate of sports and youth affairs, Panaji.

                  Planting a lemon sapling, Pradip N Waingankar, regional head, Central Bank of India, said that since trees play a very important role in our personal lives, they must be nurtured and protected. VM Prabhudessai, director of sports and youth affairs said, "An initiative like this has a very positive impact on young minds. Children should also participate in tree planting activities."

                  Besides cashew saplings, the team also planted lemon, kokum and guava plants at the premises. The plants were provided by Anil Kumar. Speaking at the event, Kumar said, "There is a significant bird population along this coastline. Planting fruit bearing trees will not only benefit the birds but the staff of the directorate of sports too."

                  Kumar said the plantation of fruit, flower and shade-providing trees are being encouraged by the forest department. As part of Van Mahotsav, the annual tree-planting festival, the forest department will distribute saplings free of cost.

                  Panaji’s cityscape gets a shade greener - The Times of India
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                    Mapusa outline development plan faces opposition from farmers

                    MAPUSA: Some farmers from Mapusa under the banner of Bodgeshwar Shetkari Sangh have opposed the Outline Development Plan (ODP) of Mapusa calling it as a move which can open the doors for corruption and precious agricultural land will go in the hands of the builders' lobby.

                    "We are opposing giving our agricultural land to builders in the name of development. It is an attempt by the government to acquire agricultural land for various projects. The sangh will oppose the anti-farmers provisions in the outline development plan of Mapusa," said Sanjay Barde, president of Bodgeshwar Shetkari Sangh on Wednesday.

                    Barde blamed Mapusa MLA and deputy chief minister Francis D'Souza for not taking farmers in to confidence while drafting the ODP and threatened that if farmers are still not taken into confidence they will resort to an agitation.

                    "We are not opposing the development project for Mapusa. Our opposition is only against giving our land for projects that would benefit the builders. On Friday, the sangh will submit its list of suggestions and objections to NGPDA," Barde said.

                    North Goa planning and development authority (NGPDA) has decided to open up the ODPs for Panaji, Mapusa and Taleigao.

                    Barde alleged that one Mapusa municipal council councillor, who, he alleged is an agent of the Mapusa MLA, has been trying to split the farmers.

                    Barde raised objections to ODP 2009 on the issue of the proposed warehouse and truck terminus saying that these kind of facilities are not required in the town and instead these types of projects are required to be close to the railway station where goods can be easily transported.

                    Mapusa outline development plan faces opposition from farmers - The Times of India
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                      Government notifies hike in FAR rules

                      PANAJI: The state government on Thursday notified the amended building regulations giving additional FAR (floor area ratio) of 20% to 4 and 5 star hotels and government-recognized educational institutions.

                      An additional FAR of 20% for 4 and 5 star hotels may be granted on the recommendations of a committee headed by secretary (town and country planning) and consisting of president of Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG), director (tourism), a person nominated by the government from the field of architecture/engineering with chief town planner as member secretary, says the amended Goa Land Development and Building Construction (Amendment) Regulations, 2015.

                      As per the notification issued by the chief town planner ST Puttaraju, any existing hotel or hotel under construction or new proposals of 4 star and 5 star categories of hotels is eligible to avail this benefit.

                      Any other relaxations required to accommodate the additional higher FAR, such as height of building, minimum required set back and coverage may be considered by the government for buildings either existing or under advance stage of construction based on the provisions contained in Annexure XIII of the regulations.

                      The notification said that the maximum permissible height of the building will be relaxed for one additional floor only and will not exceed the building height of 24 mts. "The height may be relaxed by the government to 28 mts. in commercial (C-1) zone, on merit of the case, subject to fulfilling the requirement of parking, fire safety measures, etc", the notification said.

                      In case of existing buildings, relaxation of 5% additional coverage may be considered by the government. The calculation of 20% additional FAR will be on total net effective plot area. The requirement of access road will be as per the width specified under the Goa Land Development and Building Construction Regulations, 2010, it said.

                      For allowing additional FAR of up to 20 % to the education institutions, the institutes will have to have a plot area of minimum of 2,000 sq mts. The notification said that only one additional floor is allowed. The benefit cannot be availed for any leased or rented premises. Leased land with building owned by the school will be permitted provided the lease is in force for at least 10 years from the date of application, the notification said.

                      Structures on agricultural lands, including cultivable land, orchard land may be permitted by the government for the purpose of promoting agricultural activities. The uses permissible and the type of structure (temporary or permanent) that may be permitted are provided in Annexure XI of the regulations.

                      Government notifies hike in FAR rules - The Times of India
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