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Goa Real Estate News & Questions

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  • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

    Truck dumping waste oil illegally on hill intercepted by Siolim locals

    TNN | Dec 28, 2018, 12:14 IST

    ON THE SLY: The truck driver was caught red-handed in the act

    SIOLIM: Panch members from Siolim-Marna village panchayat on Thursday intercepted a truck dumping waste oil along the busy, forested Mapusa-Siolim road passing through Ganeshpuri.

    The Mapusa-Siolim road passing via Ganeshpuri and housing board had turned into a convenient illegal waste dumping site for unscrupulous individuals looking to get rid of all kinds of garbage on the sly. It was teeming with refuse and emanating a foul smell before it was cleaned some days back.

    On Thursday, a garbage truck carrying waste oil from a car servicing station came and dumped it contents at the spot at around 4.30pm. Noticing this, the locals informed Joseph Willam Fernandes, a ward member of Siolim-Marna panchayat, who rushed to the spot along with deputy sarpanch Vignesh Chodankar and caught the truck driver red-handed. Anjuna police arrested Jitendra Ghodge and Bharat Shinde, who were later released on bail.

    “Currently, we do not have the provisions to treat such waste in Goa. We are in the process of setting up a plant, but right now, the correct procedure is to send the waste to Mumbai for treatment,” Dheeraj Chodankar, an engineer from Goa Solid Waste Management Corporation, said.







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    • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

      PWD to desilt Sal to prevent Western Bypass flooding

      TNN | Updated: Dec 29, 2018, 05:51 IST


      Locals have opposed the 11.9-km Western Bypass project stating that it will lead to flooding during monsoon, i... Read More

      PANAJI: Officials of the public works department (PWD) have decided to carry out desilting work on the Sal river from Colva junction onwards to resolve the issue of flooding related to the Western Bypass project.

      As locals have opposed the 11.9-km Western Bypass project stating that it will lead to flooding during monsoon in the areas where the project is coming up, officials are worried that only this stretch of the 135-km highway expansion work will remain incomplete when some of the four and six-laning projects are opened to the public next year.

      “The Western Bypass project was originally supposed to cost Rs 200 crore, but the budget for it has already gone up by Rs 150 crore. The Union ministry for road transport and highways has refused outright to increase the budget any further,” said an official.

      The four-lane Western Bypass on National Highway 17 will start near the Agnel Ashram at Nuvem and end at Dramapur. It will be built on the western side of the existing road and will pass through Margao, Seraulim, Telaulim, Benaulimand Navelim. Villagers have demanded the areas which might be flooded due to the project be built on stilts.

      “With the Union ministry refusing to increase funding for the project, there is no question of building it on stilts. So we have decided to desilt the Sal river which should relieve the areas affected by flooding during monsoon to a large extent. This will allow us to complete the Western Bypass work,” said the official.

      Many of the highway four and six-laning projects in the state will be opened for public use from January 2019. Completion of the entire project will allow commuters to cruise at 80 to 100kmph speed across the length and breadth of the state. The officials are, however, worried that only this particular stretch of the Western Bypass stretch may remain incomplete leading to bottlenecks.








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      • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

        It will have wide ramifications for Goa: Greens

        Paul Fernandes | TNN | Updated: Dec 29, 2018, 09:43 IST

        PANAJI: Certain provisions in the new CRZ regime like separate category under CRZ-III (rural) areas in coastal belt with population density as a parameter and keeping only a 20m NDZ for islands will have wide ramifications for Goa's already battered environment, activists said.

        The parameters are still not clear, but environmentalists aver that many coastal villages like Bardez and Salcete are densely populated.

        New coastal notification shocks greens

        "This means villages like Calangute and Colva will easily fall under this category," an activist said.

        The new norm of 20m NDZ for islands close to the mainland coast and backwater islands opens vast possibilities of development in the Mandovi flood plain and a few other areas.

        The NDZ for Goa's riverine islands, Chorao, Divar, Cumbharjua and a few other islands in Tiswadi will be 20m.

        Environmentalists in Goa have expressed shock at the new CRZ regime approved by the Union Cabinet on Friday. While some did not respond, stating that they have to study it in detail, a few said that a legal recourse to seek its nullification is inevitable.

        "Many groups had lodged their objections to the draft notification, providing legal reasons. How can the government go ahead without considering our objections and public consultation," Abhijit Prabhudesai of Rainbow Warriors said.

        The acceptance of a new CRZ 2018 is gross contempt of principle of non regression, he said. "Any environmental law has to be made more strict, not more lenient," he said.





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        • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

          ‘Everyone should protect environment’

          TNN | Dec 30, 2018, 03:35 IST
          Panaji: TCP minister Vijai Sardesai said the relaxation in CRZ notification has come as a great relief for the tourism industry, as south-east Asian countries are giving tough competition.

          However, advocating sustainable development, Sardesai said, “Protecting environment is the responsibility of all.”

          Environmentalists are apprehensive that the new notification will lead to concretisation of the coastal belt and feel that the Goa government ought to have opposed the reduction of the no-development zone (NDZ).

          Sardesai said the state government didn’t have a say in central subjects. He said development is permitted close to the coastline in other countries, and with the CRZ modification, the state’s coastal belt will be developed within the framework of law.

          He said the fears of environmentalists are a result of increase in CRZ violation cases in the last few years which happened due to “collusion between panchayats and illegal builders.”






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          • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

            Illegal structures find no relief under new CRZ rules

            TNN | Dec 30, 2018, 03:36 IST


            Panaji: The fate of thousands of illegal structures in Goa already existing in the no-development zone hangs in balance under the new Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification
            While the draft Coastal Regulation Zone 2018 makes it clear that prior clearance should be taken from the authorities for undertaking permitted activities, there appears to be no relief for those who have already violated CRZ norms for over two decades. It is estimated that since 1991, there are more than 7,000 structures erected by breaching the CRZ regulations.

            Even as the government may try to regularise the existing illegal structures that may be within the ambit of new legislation, a public interest litigation has been filed by green activist Kashinath Shetye challenging the draft CRZ notification 2018 before the high court of Bombay at Goa. He has alleged that its finalisation, without hearing stakeholders and without passing reasoned orders, violated article 21 and 14 of the Constitution. He further stated that it is a “a direct attack on the fundamental rights of the citizens and litigants from Goa who fight the issues to protect the NDZ in CRZ. The matter is scheduled to come up for hearing on January 29.







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            • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

              ‘Increased FAR will not help shack owners’

              Bindiya Chari | TNN | Dec 30, 2018, 03:42 IST


              Panaji: Although, prima facie, two major stakeholders of Goa’s tourism industry, the Shack Owners Welfare Society (SOWS) and the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG), seem like they are set to benefit from the modified CRZ notification 2018, they are far from happy about the development.

              The notification, they fear, will impact the growth of tourism instead of boosting it. President, TTAG, Savio Messias said that the eased CRZ norms will further affect Goa’s coastal ecology, if planned and organised development is given a slip. Messias said that many countries have allowed infrastructure to be built close to their coastline, but it is done in a very systematic and regulated manner, unlike India. “People there don’t dump their waste into the sea. Here, people don’t think twice before empting their sewage into the sea,” he said.

              The shack operators are worried too. General secretary, SOWS, John Lobo said an increased floor area ratio (FAR), will only benefit the builders’ lobby. Once the coastline is concretised, Lobo said there will be no tourism left.

              Messias said Goa has seen how illegal constructions along the coastline have come up. “Rules have been broken and manipulated,” he said.






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              • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

                With no clarity on HTL, buildings may batter coasts

                Gauree Malkarnekar | TNN | Updated: Dec 30, 2018, 07:08 IST


                No demarcations are visible on the state’s coast to physically indicate where the high tide line stands

                PANAJI: As the central government announced a new Coastal Regulation Zone notification 2018, what the CRZ regulations, old or new, will mean to Goa’s coasts boil down to one fundamental thing – the line that is determined as the state’s high tide line (HTL).

                Coastal regulation means monitoring of activities within the 500 mts of the high tide line. Experts question the very processes used to demarcate the line for Goa.

                A scientist at the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Dona Paula, Dr Antonio Mascarenhas informed that the Goa state coastal zone management authority (GCZMA) marked out the HTL in 2006 through a ground survey.

                Presently, the process of demarcating the HTL by the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) in Chennai is believed to be applicable as the Union ministry of environment entrusted it with the task of drawing the same for India’s entire coastline eyeing uniformity. “In 2006, a ground survey was done. If the national centre is doing the survey using satellite imagery, then it will not be accurate,” said Mascarenhas.

                He added, “When I was a member of the GCZMA, and had attended a meeting in Chennai, NCSCM was using different criteria for different areas.”

                “In areas like Galgibaga, untouched vegetation on the sand dunes was used to determine the HTL while in areas like Candolim, where more footfalls have disturbed the vegetation, the berm was used,” said Mascarenhas.

                “Berm is a sloping surface created parallel to the coast. It is dynamic and cannot be considered an accurate factor to determine the line,” he said.

                “I don’t know why the simple process of demarcation is made complicated. The HTL is the line where the vegetation begins. This is why the sand dunes also start from the point of vegetation. In the case of rivers, it is the embankment where the HTL is. If higher footfalls have destroyed the vegetation in a patch, then the HTL has to be marked just by joining Point A with Point B where the vegetation is,” the scientist said.

                Commenting on the new notification, Mascarenhas said that activities are seen carried out in a blatant manner with no regard to the CRZ notification of 2011.

                “See what has been done to the coasts in areas like north Goa. People had reached near the HTL (with construction activity) even though 2011 CRZ norms were in operation. Now, allowing only 20 mts of no development zone will mean the activities will enter sea,” Mascarenhas said.

                The NCSCM in Chennai, after being handed the task of demarcating the HTL in 2014, has completed the survey as of May 2016 in six states, but has not made HTL data public for these states.

                A lot depends on the HTL as its demarcation determines how much space will be available for development along the coast, especially in a state where tourism is the key industry.

                No demarcations are visible on the state’s coast to physically indicate where the HTL stands.

                In a state like Goa, where development has taken place along the entire stretch of its rivers, it is still not clear what the impact of the new notification will be.

                A state official said that only announcement of the CRZ notification 2018 has been made and what it means for Goa will be revealed only when the actual notification comes out.

                “As per the new notification, the HTL has been brought down for rural coastal areas having a population of more than 2,161. But most villages in Goa may not have this density,” he said.

                In Goa, 14 coastal economic zones have also been planned by the Centre and the new notification may be a boon for this project.










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                • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

                  Goa’s eco-fragile islands in crosshairs of tourism assault

                  Paul Fernandes | TNN | Updated: Dec 30, 2018, 07:02 IST


                  Goa province beach in India with fishing boats and stones in the sea

                  PANAJI: Goa’s popular islands off the coast, Sao Jorge (St George) and Grande island have already seen some development in the tourism and defence sectors, but no heavy construction activity. Away from the coast, lack of easy connectivity had kept tourists largely away from Goa’s unique and idyllic riverine islands.

                  But now the tourism juggernaut is set to roll heavily into all these islands and a few more scattered in other parts of Goa, as the Union cabinet approved on Friday a reduced 20m ‘no development zone’ (NDZ) under a new coastal regulation zone (CRZ) 2018.

                  Scores of water sports operators are taking hordes of tourists and visitors to the islands off Vasco.

                  The impact of the unregulated activity - piles of garbage of all types – is already being seen. The islands are biodiversity hotspot of coral reefs, shipwrecks and other rich biota.

                  “This is what happens when you have concretized development in any eco-fragile islands. The islands have already been affected by climate change and other anthropogenic stressors and by reducing protection for coastal areas, the risk is higher of species extinction and also lesser resilience towards climate change,” says founder-director, Terra Conscious, Puja Mitra. The organisation focusses on responsible travel and marine conservation.

                  In the Mandovi basin, Chorao, Divar and Vanxim, among seven panoramic islands, would have been rid of their peaceful enviornments long ago if they were linked by bridges. And yet, water sports, heritage walks and cruises are laying a toehold here.

                  A few years back, an agitation over a hotel project with luxury villas rocked the small island of Vanxim, accessed, interestingly, only after two ferry crossings.

                  “It is not just an island but an eco-sensitive area and with biologically active mud flats. The decision (to reduce NDZ) has been driven by commercial interests and not ecological interests,” says Sebastian Rodrigues, a local activist. In Divar, the breached bunds and rising water level has raised a concern. A water sports project, which cleared mangroves to be set up on a bund had been stopped by villagers but is being operated again. “This reduction of NDZ will affect the mangrove cover. In an unilateral decision, the government is proposing encroachment on the very areas declared as eco-sensitive areas without conservation measures,” said former scientist, National Institute of Oceanography, Arvind Untawale.

                  Environmentalists and villagers are cautious about upsetting the eco-balance. “We will have to wait and examine what provisions are made in CRZ 2018 for eco-sensitive areas in CRZ,” Rodrigues said. The relaxation will affect local communities dependent on traditional livelihoods and open up more migration into the fragile islands, says Mitra. “It is better to leave them wild and untouched as much as possible to protect these last wilderness,” she concluded






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                  • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

                    Massive blaze engulfs Pernem’s coastal plateau, swathes of plantations gutted

                    Keshav Naik
                    A huge fire raging for hours on a vast plateau, once considered to be the location for a greenfield airport, devastated hectares of cashew plantations belonging to farmers in Arambol, Paliem and Keri in Pernem from Sunday noon till night.
                    | TNN | Updated: Dec 31, 2018, 07:59 IST


                    Farmers from Arambol, Paliem and Keri, some of whom suspect it to be a sabotage, are yet to calculate their losses.

                    PERNEM: A huge fire raging for hours on a vast plateau, once considered to be the location for a greenfield airport, devastated hectares of cashew plantations belonging to farmers in Arambol, Paliem and Keri in Pernem from Sunday noon till night.

                    The blaze, which started on the plateau’s northern Keri side and gutted hundreds of cashew other fruit trees and vegetation, caused massive losses to the farmers.

                    However, the entire amount of the damage is yet to be calculated. The cause of the fire is also not known.

                    Hundreds of trees, bushes, grasses, ferns, birds, animals and reptiles were reduced to ashes on the patch of the land so large in size that the other end is not visible to the naked eye. A large number of birds were seen hovering over the raging flames spread across hectares of land as their nests and eggs were burnt into flames.

                    In Paliem, about 40 farmers, including women, and children battled the fire themselves, as fire tenders have no road connectivity to reach the site. One has to travel at least 40 minutes either from Keri, Paliem or Arambol to make it to the spot.

                    “We cut big sticks and branches and beat dry grass to put off the fire, but without water, helmets and gloves, we only burnt ourselves,” said a farmer.

                    After more than seven hours of fighting the fire, the villagers had to give up the operation after sunset. The farmers, who returned home after darkness set in, feared that the blaze might spread and cause further damage to the plantations.

                    A similar episode had occurred a few years ago when almost the entire plateau had been gutted.

                    “We suspect sabotage to destroy our cashew plantations. Or, it may be some tourists who go to the plateau to enjoy the view from it and smoke there. Such incidents never used to happen during our childhood, but we are witnessing this since the last eight years,” said Shantaram Naik, 65, whose cashew plantations have been gutted consecutively for the last five years. “It was very scary up there fighting the fire with bare tree bushes. We tried our best but it could not be totally doused as the affected area is large,” said a local from Keri.









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                    • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

                      New CRZ rules give us clarity,say developers

                      TNN | Dec 31, 2018, 03:30 IST

                      Panaji: Relaxation of norms governing development of India’s coastline has brought some year-end cheer as the new Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) 2018 rules could open up development potential along Goa’s 105km long coastline.

                      Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the CRZ 2018 notification which among other changes, de-freezes the floor space index (FSI) and permits higher FSI for construction along the coastline. This, say real estate developers, will enable redevelopment of old structures along the coastline and could push land prices further north.

                      Stakeholders in the real estate industry say the new CRZ norms may not necessarily boost the industry, but will benefit individuals or companies who have already acquired land in those zones where construction will be allowed.

                      “It could open up new avenues, but this would depend on a plot-to-plot basis. The biggest benefit is that the notification gives us more clarity because CRZ guidelines had not been finalised for long,” said CREDAI – Goa president Jagannath Prabhudessai.

                      While builders have been cautious in their reaction to the notification, the one thing that they acknowledge is that the new guidelines provide a clear path for future development along the coastline.

                      A realtor, who wished to remain anonymous, said that if construction of residential projects was cleared, the prices of the residential units would command a premium due to their location. “If a tall building comes up, the builder will market the sea view and only the super-rich can afford to purchase such flats. A finer reading of the new norms would be required to see its impact,” the realtor said.

                      Prabhudessai pointed out that currently, most residential projects in Goa are built away from the high tide line (HTL) and around towns or in developed villages. “I don’t see a direct benefit for the real estate sector and it is not like the sector will flourish overnight,” he said.

                      Several builders said the coming months will indicate whether the new CRZ norms spur redevelopment or new projects along the coastline.

                      Kamat Infra Tech director and chairman of Indian Green Building Council – Goa chapter Bharat Kamat said, “This will lead to urbanisation of coastal areas. The impact will be seen through damage to the natural buffer zone. On the other hand, property prices will go higher.”











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