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Goa Real Estate News & Questions

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  • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

    Conservation plan for protecting Goa’s biodiversity takes root

    TNN | Oct 15, 2018, 03:44 IST

    Panaji: The Goa Biodiversity Board together with the State Medicinal Plants Board is in the process of setting up a medicinal plant garden at the campus of the Aldona primary health centre where more than 100 species are expected to be planted.

    A nursery will also be set up within the campus that will allow residents to procure saplings. The centre is being taken up as a pilot project and could be replicated at other health centres if successful.

    The Goa Biodiversity Board is also in the process of setting up a conservation and restoration cell to address the restoration of degraded ecosystems, especially where projects impacting large landscapes are concerned. The board has already received approval for a conservatory on Mopa plateau where the new Greenfield airport will come up. “We will try to conserve important species of plants on the plateau. One aspect will be replantation of species, while the other will be in situ where a small patch within the complex will be used to conserve species,” member secretary Goa State Biodiversity Board, Dr Pradip Sarmokadam said.

    Sarmokadam said the board took the initiative following which it moved a file stating the need of a conservatory for afforestation, and transplantation at the Mopa plateau has already been approved by the government.

    “There will be a specific place allocated only for conservation of those important species in the area. We will involve local biodiversity management committees, and a plantation plan will be prepared,” he said.

    Biodiversity management committees throughout the state have already been constituted at all panchayats and 53 are in the process of preparing people’s biodiversity registers with the assistance of the board and technical support groups in order to document biological diversity in their villages and local knowledge associated with it.







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    • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

      Village garbage collection may get civic helping hand

      TNN | Oct 15, 2018, 03:51 IST

      Panaji: Door-to-door garbage collection in villages may soon receive a helping hand. The directorate panchayats is in the process of proposing to the government that garbage be collected from panchayats that are close to the municipalities.

      Panchayat officials are currently working out the list of villages that will be clustered for this service.

      “Panchayats touching the boundary of a particular municipality will be clustered and we will seek assistance from the respective municipality for garbage collection. A proposal will be sent for government approval,” said director of panchayats Ajit Panchwadkar.

      Village panchayats already receive a grant of Rs 1 lakh for garbage collection and the practice of door-to-door collection is already in place. Yet, further assistance is required from municipal waste collectors owing to the amount of waste generated in the village areas, Panchwadkar said.

      Panaji is the only municipal corporation while Margao, Mormugao (including Vasco da Gama), Pernem, Mapusa, Bicholim, Sanquelim, Valpoi, Ponda, Cuncolim, Quepem, Curchorem, Sanguem, and Canacona are municipal councils.











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      • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

        Margao civic body collects dues worth Rs 4cr

        TNN | Oct 15, 2018, 03:50 IST

        Margao: With Margao Municipal Council (MMC) relentlessly cracking down on illegal traders with a new-found zeal for the last two months, the issue of non-payment of huge amounts of taxes leading to a deficit in the civic body’s coffers, may soon be a thing of the past. Over the last two months, the civic body has recovered over Rs 4 crore from the total outstanding of Rs 12 crore, sources said.

        Officials of MMC’s taxation department are confident that the municipality may well be on its way to becoming self-reliant once all revenue recovery avenues are efficiently tapped, now that the drive has started to show the desired results.

        MMC has started sealing commercial premises of traders who have defaulted on “hefty” dues, and those operating without trade licences. Last week, the MMC’s raiding team led by chief officer Siddhivinayak Naik sealed three such businesses and, sources say, several more are on the radar.

        Naik, speaking to reporters, made his priorities clear. “As of now, our priority will be to recover the dues from big business establishments like banks and financial institutions and showrooms of reputed brands. These commercial units have been depriving the MMC of revenue for the last several years,” he said.

        “These are offices of big firms and financial institutions which had defaulted in paying their arrears running into lakhs of rupees. If action is taken against all such defaulters, the municipality will soon be flush with funds. If all other revenue recovery avenues are tapped, we will soon become self-reliant,” a senior official said, exuding confidence about the success of the drive.

        The efficacy of the endeavour is already evident with several errant traders rushing to the civic body’s offices to clear their dues. A steady stream of traders coming in to clear their tax dues has been keeping the MMC’s cash registers ringing.

        The MMC, during its recent surprise raids, had issued notices to scores of shops and business establishments in the town for failing to produce trade licences and tax documents. The notice enjoined upon the owners of the premises to produce the original documents pertaining to trade licence and payments of house and trade tax immediately. The civic body had earlier issued a public notice asking traders to clear their dues towards house tax and trade tax and keep all relevant documents ready to be produced on demand by officials.

        Following the drive, MMC sources said, while many have paid their arrears, those running businesses without trade licenses have applied for one.








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        • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

          ‘5 structures in CRZ will be demolished’

          TNN | Oct 15, 2018, 03:48 IST

          Panaji: Advocate general Dattaprasad Lawande recently told the high court of Bombay at Goa that orders to demolish five structures lying in the coastal regulation zone (CRZ), including the waterfront hotels Casa Vagator and Casa Britona, are being issued and would be implemented within five weeks.

          Lawande gave this assurance in connection with a writ petition by social activist Kashinath Shetye, seeking that the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) be directed to implement its February 28, 2017, decision in the case. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had passed an order in the same matter a little over a month earlier, on January 12.

          Based on Lawande’s recent assurance, a division bench comprising Justice N M Jamdar and Justice Prithviraj K Chavan, disposed of the matter. The bench noted that by an order dated July 10, 2018, the review plea filed by the private respondents had been rejected. “Therefore, there is no impediment for the authority as on date to proceed with further legal process,” the judges said.







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          • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

            State govt finds flaws in coastal zone draft plan

            TNN | Oct 15, 2018, 03:52 IST

            Panaji: The state government has observed that ground thruthing, ground verification of high tide line (HTL) and survey map is not being carried out by the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) while preparing the Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP).

            The presentation of the preliminary draft of CZMP was given to state government departments. CZMP maps were also presented to government officials for viewing. The maps was shown with geo-referenced satellite imagery. It was decided to view the coastal villages from Keri to Loliem and accordingly, the coastal villages along the Arabian Sea were scrutinized.

            The directorate of settlement and land records observed that missing data of survey maps was seen in many villages; for example, Gonsua, Keri, Tiracol, Mandrem and Morjim.

            “An overlaying error of 30m-40m was observed in geo-referenced cadastral maps,” the report stated, further adding that uniform delineation of the bay was not seen and all sheets available with the national hydrographic office were not utilized by NCSCM.

            The report also said that uniform marking of no-development zones (NDZ) was not done along the sea coast especially in areas where traditional monsoon water drains merged with the sea.

            “Ground verification of the HTL is not done. Masking is observed in areas where data is to be printed in CRZ villages,” the report stated.

            The state government had sought an extension till October 30 to finalize the plan before the national green tribunal (NGT).

            In November 2017, NGT had set a deadline of April 2018 for all coastal states and Union territories to submit CZMPs. The ministry of environment, forest and climate change was expected to approve the plans by July 30, 2018.

            The state government has asked NCSCM to prepare the draft report of coastal zone management plan (CZMP) taluka wise and submit the report.






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            • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

              ‘Tenancy Act gaps used to deprive farmers of land’

              TNN | Oct 16, 2018, 03:09 IST

              Mapusa: The Agricultural Tenancy Act, 1964, safeguards cultivable land from conversion to commercial purposes. However, due to scarcity of land for development, farmers are being deprived of their land using loopholes in the system.

              At a meeting held at Mapusa on Sunday, legal experts sensitized farmers from Mapusa and adjoining areas about their rights under the tenancy act and how they can collectively fight against lopsided land acquisition for so called public purposes which is actually diverted for real estate development.

              Guru Shirodkar, an advocate, spoke about how the concept of collective land ownership has slowly faded and how elected representatives have followed a divide and rule policy to undermine it. “Fields are prime land where traditional Goan vegetables and fruits were grown, but now the government is acquiring it for haphazard development. This is unfair,” he said.

              Further, he urged farmers to fight collectively for their rights. “If you cannot get your rights under this act, then whom has it been made for?” Shirodkar said.

              Goa Foundation’s Claude Alvares said anybody in possession of the land or cultivating it or has his name included in the record of rights (form I & IV) is considered a deemed owner and purchaser. However, the act, which was passed over 50 years ago has kept some farmers dangling due to legal tangles and improper implementation, he said.

              An amendment to hand over land to the tiller was implemented only since April 20, 1976. The mamlatdars had to identify tenants and issue purchase certificates, but this process is still incomplete, Alvares lamented.

              Alleging that paddy fields are being targeted for construction activity due to shortage of land, John Lobo, an advocate said, “There is much corruption under the BJP government and farmers are suffering.”







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              • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

                Green victory: Forest ministry bans construction, mining in Western Ghats

                Paul Fernandes | TNN | Updated: Oct 16, 2018, 07:27 IST


                Picture used for representational purpose only

                Panaji: The ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEF) has finally notified the identified area of 56,825 sqkm spread along a 15,000km corridor in six states, including Goa, as the Western Ghats ecologically sensitive area (ESA).

                A total of 1,461 sqkm of the Western Ghats area in Goa with 99 villages has been included, which comprises 83.57% of the earlier identified natural landscape of 1,558 sqkm. The final draft notification, which will be considered after 60 days following the submission of objections or suggestions by the public, proposes a complete ban on mining, quarrying and sand mining in the ESA. All existing mines are proposed to be phased out within five years.

                Any new thermal power projects and expansion of existing plants will not be allowed in the ESA.

                “All new ‘Red’ category of industries as specified by the Central Pollution Control Board or State Pollution Control Board and the expansion of such existing industries shall be banned,” the notification states.

                In terms of construction activity, all new and expansion projects with built up area of 20,000 sqm and above will be prohibited.

                All new and expansion townships and area development projects with an area of 50 hectares and above or with built up area of 1,50,000 sqm are also prohibited. But there shall be no restriction on repair or extension or renovation of existing residential houses in the ESA as per prevailing laws and regulations.

                The Western Ghats ecology expert panel, headed by ecologist Madhav Gadgil, had recommended 64% of the area come under ESA, in its report submitted to the Centre on August 31, 2011.

                The high-level working group headed by scientist K Kasturirangan, which the central government appointed and viewed as an attempt to water down the Gadgil report, had recommended 37% (59,940 sqkm) of the area.

                The ministry had been extending deadlines to some states, including Goa, to file their reports after physical verification of villages.

                The issuance of the notification follows much dilly dallying by the central government while substantial destruction has already taken place in the eco-fragile zones.

                Unesco has included certain identified parts of the Western Ghats in its world natural heritage list for the rich endemic biodiversity, terming it as a cradle for biological evolution.

                The Sahyadris, as it is called in the Konkan region, also supports a population of approximately 50 million people and includes areas of high human population density, raising the need for its conservation.








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                • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

                  Green norms for commercial bldgs

                  TNN | Oct 16, 2018, 00:45 IST

                  From January 1, all commercial buildings with a built up area of more than 2,000sqm will have to adhere to green building norms as defined by Indian Green Building Council and TERI Griha, the Town and Country Planning board resolved on Monday. The TCP board also made it mandatory for all hotels and government buildings to adhere to the norms.

                  “Our aspiration is to at least comply with the gold rating,” Sardesai said explaining that these buildings will have to focus on solar energy, water conservation. tnn






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                  • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

                    IT Park at Chimbel will have zero carbon footprint

                    TNN | Oct 16, 2018, 00:45 IST

                    Porvorim: The first phase of IT Park at Chimbel will come up in just 40,000 sq mtrs and will have a zero carbon footprint, said IT minister Rohan Khaunte on Monday. Addressing the media a day after citizens and activists protested at the site of the Chimbel IT Park, Khaunte assured stakeholders that they would be consulted before the project commenced.

                    He said that the department had appointed a consultant to prepare the design of the IT Park barely 10 days ago and only once the design was complete could the government hold a stakeholder meet with Chimbel Panchayat and stakeholders.

                    “We want to work together with the panchayat, every stakeholder and villager in a consultative way,” said Khaunte. “We will have a presentation after Dussera to showcase what is the first phase. By then we should have a rough idea of what the IT Park will look like.”

                    Trying to assuage the concerns of the activists and the local people who had opposed the IT Park, Khaunte along with IT secretary Ameya Abhyankar said that the IT Park would not create any pollution nor would it turn into a commercial or residential project.

                    “The proposed IT park will be a carbon zero footprint. The water tank will be separate and the pipeline will be separate. The electricity substation will be different and the load will be different. The village will not lose anything. At the most the village may get extra water and electricity. We also plan to uplift the ST community. We have told the panchayat that we can support the panchayat through CSR,” Khaunte said.

                    The minister appeared irked over the protest that took place on Sunday and lashed out at “so called intelligent people” and “failed politicians” who were “trying to blackmail the government by opposing the IT Park”.

                    He said, “We condemn activists who are creating hurdles for IT Park at Chimbel. Don’t politicize the issue.”

                    Abhyankar said, “Our masterplanner is working on the plans and once they are concretized, then we can show the plan. We don’t want to do anything in a non-transparent way. As and when it happens, the stakeholders involved in the project will be taken into confidence. We want the Park should be built with local materials and inspired heavily by Indo-Portuguese architecture.”







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                    • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

                      Hinterland Eco-tourism policy approved for Goa

                      Newton Sequeira | TNN | Oct 15, 2018, 22:43 IST

                      PORVORIM: In order to promote farming and offer tourists a taste of Goa's hinterland, the Town and Country Planning board on Monday approved the Goa Eco-tourism policy which will allow farmers to setup jungle resorts or Eco-resorts. Town and Country Planning minister Vijai Sardesai said that 5% FAR would be sanctioned for eco-tourism projects that come up in up to 20000 sqmtrs of land while the FAR would be capped at 3% for land parcels larger than 20,000 sqmtrs.

                      “Agricultural land, which is not low-lying paddy fields, not Khazan, not private forest and up to 20,000 sqmtrs of land will be given 5% FAR to have tourism projects. This is basically to promote hinterland tourism,” Sardesai said.

                      Insisting that the policy was not a backdoor entry for developers or hoteliers to build resorts in eco-sensitive zones, Sardesai said that the eco-tourism projects would have to use local building material and would not be allowed to build more than the ground floor.

                      Given that the policy aims to “supplement agricultural income through an alternate revenue source” the policy makes it compulsory for project proponents to have a krishi card. “This is done to promote agro tourism. He should first be a farmer and to increase the farmer’s income this is an incentive,” Sardesai said.








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