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Goa Real Estate News & Questions

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  • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

    Move to adopt waterways gains steam

    TNN | Jan 18, 2019, 07:09 IST

    Students of GIM, Sakhali, plan to manage the popular Aravalem falls

    PANAJI: A few educational institutions have signed up for a programme that seeks to adopt 100 waterways across the state in an effort to restore and maintain them.

    Spearheaded by Goa ForGiving, a voluntary organisation, the water adoption programme draws its inspiration from the 2012 Campal creek revival project. It looks to rope in a total of 100 institutions for the purpose.

    Presently, the Sakhali-based Goa Institute of Management (GIM) is planning to manage the Aravalem falls by identifying the issues plaguing the picturesque waterbody and working on resolving them. Vithal Sukhthankar, a professor at the institute, has also begun convincing schools from the Sattari taluka to be a part of this programme. “Three schools are already on board and we are in talks with another three,” he said.

    Down south, 200 primary school students of The King’s School, Margao, are involved in helping manage Curtorim’s Raittolem lake. Last month, the students had organised a clean-up drive at the lake, which also involved them sprucing up its surroundings.

    Inspired by the water adoption programme, Majorda sarpanch Agnelo Pereira, has got schools from the village involved with the local biodiversity board. “The board comprises young, educated people who are nature enthusiasts. A lake in Majorda that had turned into a swamp and was almost forgotten, was recently cleaned as part of the project,” he said.

    Various educational institutions like St Rita’s School in Curtorim, Sunshine School in Old Goa, Sharada Mandir School in Miramar, Shenvi School in Aquem-Baixo are among those that have already consented to adopting waterways close to their respective properties.

    “Awareness about water management can only be spread across Goa if people are involved at the grassroots level,” founder chairman of Goa ForGiving, Armando Gonsalves, said.







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    • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

      TCP dept converting green zones for money: Congress

      TNN | Jan 18, 2019, 03:37 IST

      Panaji: Congress president Girish Chodankar alleged that the town and country planning (TCP) department was converting eco-sensitive zones, including paddy fields and forest cover, under Section 16B of the amended TCP Act for Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000 per sqm.

      Chodankar added that the alleged transactions were taking place at a private company’s bungalow in Altinho, Panaji. “Large-scale conversion of cultivable land is happening on fast track and some conversion is overnight,” Chodankar told reporters at the party headquarters in Panaji on Thursday.

      He said the party would investigate all land conversion cases.“We will cancel the decisions and restore all conversions and investigate each and every case,” he said.

      He also announced that the Congress would constitute a team of experts, led by architect Tulio de Sousa, to check the conversion cases that come before the TCP. Souza is expected to file an intervention petition in the high court of Bombay at Goa seeking to become party to a case challenging Section 16B.

      Chodankar argued that the norms for conducting board meetings were being violated by the TCP department. He said that meetings can be adjourned for another date only if the agenda items are not discussed or if time is a constraint or if unruly behaviour forces the chair to adjourn the meeting. “Here we see that the 163rd board meeting was first held on August 16, October 15, November 29 and December 12. And as per procedure, the minutes can be formulated only after the meeting is over. But here there are separate minutes for each of these meetings,” Chodankar said.

      Congress also expressed suspicion over the recruitment of government staff from Valpoi and Curchorem. Chodankar later welcomed Srinivas and Shraddha Khalap into the Congress fold.










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      • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

        HC directs panchayats, municipalities to identify and clear ‘black spots’

        TNN | Updated: Jan 18, 2019, 12:14 IST

        Representative image

        PANAJI: With roadside garbage dumps increasing, high court of Bombay at Goa has issued a significant order aimed at activating the state’s panchayat and municipal bodies to identify these black spots and clean them.

        The division bench comprising Justice Mahesh Sonak and Justice Prithviraj Chavan also directed the government to furnish a comprehensive report on common waste treatment facilities, proposed for treatment of such waste in the state.

        By January 23, the state has to also spell out whether it is considering setting up of a plastic disposal plant and provide details about transportation of common waste.

        While the division bench has been issuing a series of orders to induce authorities to initiate measures to control the garbage menace, the bench had on October 31, 2018, directed the state to clean the ugly spots and set up material recovery facilities.

        The failure of local self-governing bodies to devise waste collection mechanisms or initiate deterrent measures to prevent dumping and littering has created mounds of plastic waste along roadside and open spaces.

        In the order issued on January 14, the bench has given municipalities and the director of municipal administration till January 23 to complete the work and submit the compliance report.

        For the panchayats, the deadline to clean litter and dumps is February 10. “The report should specifically state the number of black spots cleared and the location from which such black spots were cleared,” the bench stated.

        In addition, the village panchayats have to monitor activities at the black spots through routine site inspections to prevent more dumping.

        Those panchayats, which have not set up material recovery facilities — a basic requirement for systematic waste gathering — will have to comply.

        Goa state pollution control board has agreed to reconsider the pending applications for setting up this facility. Panchayats, which are yet to plan such facilities, have been directed to identify the locations and approach the board for approval.











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        • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

          SC stops construction work of airport project at Mopa

          Paul Fernandes | TNN | Jan 19, 2019, 05:59 IST


          Picture used for representational purpose only


          PANAJI: In a setback to the Mopa international airport project, the Supreme Court on Friday ordered the Goa government and GMR (Goa International Airport Limited) (GGIAL) to maintain a status quo on the construction of the airport. The apex court issued the interim order while hearing arguments on admission of two appeals filed by Hanumant Aroskar and Federation of Rainbow Warriors challenging the order of National Green Tribunal (NGT), Pune.

          When the pleas came up for hearing at the admission stage, the petitioners pressed for maintaining status quo while GMR which had filed a caveat argued on the matter. Hearing them, the court directed that status quo be maintained on the project until further orders. In response to the contention of the GMR that it is a national project and that work is underway at a fast pace, the court said they can file a detailed reply on the project status.

          The two petitioners had sought for a stay before the Supreme Court over the felling of 55,000 trees at Mopa, arguing that the environment impact assessment (EIA) report had only mentioned about the bushes on the airport site.

          In August 2018, the NGT bench had rejected their applications challenging the grant of environmental clearance for the greenfield airport.

          The state government and GGIAL officials had breathed in relief, stating that with the environmental clearance issue resolved, construction of the airport could commence at a faster pace.

          The state government had recently expressed confidence about commissioning the airport by September 2020. Phase I of the airport project is expected to be completed soon, including the airport terminal building.

          The proposed airport is being built in Pernem taluka in a total area of 2,271 acres.

          The Federation of Rainbow Warriors had contended that the EIA study and report completely ignored the ‘study area’ falling in Maharashtra, and also how it included the protected Western Ghats.









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          • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

            Change of land zone will be subject to PIL outcome: HC

            TNN | Jan 19, 2019, 12:51 IST


            Picture used for representational purpose only

            PANAJI: The high court has held that any action taken by parties in connection with the change of zone in the regional plan under Section 16B of the Town and Country Planning (TCP) Act, 1974 will be subject to the outcome of the public interest litigation (PIL) pending before it.

            TCP minister Vijai Sardesai had introduced and passed a bill in the Goa assembly during the monsoon session last year, allowing the TCP board to make on a case to case basis any land use changes requested by parties to the statutory Regional Plan of Goa 2021, on payment of fees.

            The division bench comprising Justice Mahesh Sonak and Justice Prithiviraj Chavan directed that considering the issue raised in the PIL, it be taken up for final hearing on February 26, while all pleadings in the case have to be completed by February 22.

            The PIL filed by Goa Bachao Abhiyan and Goa Foundation seeks a directive for quashing and setting aside provisions of law (section 16B) of the TCP Act and proviso to Regulation 6.1.1(d) of the Goa Land Development and Building Construction Regulations, 2010. These seek to allow ad-hoc and arbitrary conversions of privately owned plots based on individual applications without any planning, the petition states.

            The arbitrary conversions would result in rampant and unbalanced development in Goa, against the citizens interest and are incompatible with the state’s ecological requirements and resources of the state, and also in violation of Article 14, it states.

            The department has already received and issued approvals after the amendment and issued notices informing the public about the matter. Several requests from educational, religious and other bodies and individuals have been okayed by the board.

            The bench had admitted the PIL in November 2018. The bench held that no parties can claim any equities till the PIL is disposed off.








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            • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

              Rs 61L spent for 21-day beach cleaning crisis

              Bindiya Chari | TNN | Jan 21, 2019, 03:24 IST

              Panaji: Goa tourism development corporation (GTDC) paid Rs 61 lakh for cleaning beaches for 21 days, a period when it had to make an emergency arrangement after M/s Drishti Lifesaving Pvt Ltd had stopped beach cleaning.

              Drishti had stated its contract with tourism department had ended and its temporary contract had not been renewed. Drishti had withdrawn its staff from November 13, 2018, compelling the tourism department to make temporary arrangement.

              The agency continued to undertake beach cleaning 21 days later, after the government assured it to resolve its pending issues.

              During the crisis period, GTDC’s expenses towards cleaning were Rs 35 lakh for North Goa beaches and Rs 26 lakh for South Goa – an official said, which it has proposed to clear through its infrastructural funds.

              An official said that after Drishti’s employees had stopped cleaning beaches, GTDC’s project cell invited urgent quotes from contractors on its board to start the beach cleaning process without further delay.

              Bagkiya Construction Pvt Ltd, which is executing some GTDC work, was engaged for beach cleaning as a temporary measure. Besides cleaning, its men were required to segregate the waste collected, and the collection slot was 8am to 8pm.

              An official said that for beaches in North Goa, it deployed 1,742 labourers and 177 supervisors who worked in a one and a half shift, whereas for cleaning the South Goa beaches, 1,382 employees and 171 supervisors were deployed.

              He also said that the corporation had verified the attendance of labourers who were on duty, and the work carried out by them.

              GTDC also arranged to lift the garbage, despite the request coming in at the eleventh hour. There were several complaints that cleaning of beaches was not up to mark, and at some beach stretches waste piles remained unattended for days.

              On the other hand, the tourism department will likely take more time to make an permanent arrangement by selecting a beach cleaning agency. Since it received only one bidder who qualified for its tender floated a few months ago, it is now awaiting the government’s response as to whether it should float a new tender or appoint the sole bidder.







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              • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

                WRD team to inspect Khandepar river

                TNN | Updated: Jan 20, 2019, 11:21 IST

                PONDA: Taking into account video and photographs that have been making rounds on a social media app on cellphones, the water resources department (WRD) has decided to inspect the Khandepar river site where soil is being dumped into the river basin.

                After spotting several truckloads of soil being dumped into the river, several youth from Khandepar confronted the truck drivers who revealed that the Rs 5-crore project to erect a ‘bundhara’ mid-river was given to a Quepem-based contractor and the work needs to be completed before monsoon.

                Environmentalist Ramesh Gawas also visited the site after watching the video. After inspecting the ongoing work, he said misusing the river in this manner is a major offence. He said the government needs to conduct an environment impact assessment of the river before starting work.

                “Since the saline water of Mandovi meets the sweetwater in this water body, the site has three types of ecosystems. The area where both waters meet has a unique ecosystem and the saline and sweetwater sources have their own ecosystems. It is important to study the impact on these ecosystems,” Gawas said.

                He said the dumping of mud is being carried out without studying the effects of bauxite and manganese, present in the soil, being brought from the Madras Rubber Factory (MRF) unit at Usgao.

                Gawas also pointed out that river pebbles are being extracted from the river basin despite a ban by a court of law. Chief engineer, WRD, Sandeep Nadkarni, said that he has asked for a site inspection and report.









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                • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

                  Panaji corporation to cancel market allotments, seek fresh claims

                  TNN | Jan 22, 2019, 13:00 IST


                  Representative image

                  PANAJI: In a major step towards resolving the vexatious issue about illegal tenants in the Panaji municipal market, the Corporation of the city of Panaji (CCP), at a special meeting on Monday to discuss the issue, decided to cancel all allotments to the tenants. Instead, CCP plans to begin from scratch and will give tenants who have a rightful claim 30 days to submit their documents and get fresh allotments.

                  “The fact is that CCP has taken a resolution to cancel any kind of allotment of space made so far in the market,” CCP commissioner Ajit Roy said. “All allotments will be cancelled, reason being it was not done following legal procedure.”

                  Roy explained that since the rules were violated during the allotments and since the market has illegal occupants, the councillors had decided that the best way ahead was to seek claims from the tenants. “It was decided that the corporation will call all the claimants who think that they deserve a place in the market. We will give one month’s time to those who have a claim to submit all their documents, and then the corporation will scrutinize the names and as per CCP Act and other relevant rules, space will be allotted,” Roy said.

                  CCP has been grappling with this issue for years with successive commissioners struggling to resolve the issue. The lack of clarity over the tenants has also led to a loss of revenue for CCP. Though several councillors had reservations regarding the new strategy, all of them agreed to cancel the allotments.

                  The municipal body has already finalised the draft agreement that it plans to ink with the market tenants. The agreement is currently with the government’s legal cell and once the department of municipal administration gives its nod, CCP will go ahead and ink fresh leases with the market’s legal tenants.

                  “We will invite claims but for the record, there is only one list, which GSIDC prepared while constructing the municipal market. That is the base document, ,” Roy said.







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                  • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

                    New coastal rules make no mention of khazan land

                    Paul Fernandes | TNN | Updated: Jan 22, 2019, 12:36 IST



                    PANAJI: The central government notified the new coastal regulation zone (CRZ) regimen on Friday. While the new norms propose a reduction of no-development zone (NDZ) along tidal-influenced water bodies from 100m to 50m, a 20m CRZ for islands, among other changes, it makes no mention of Goa’s centuries-old ecological marvels, khazans linked with bunds that extend over 2,000km.

                    The draft was first notified on April 18, 2018, for suggestions and objections from the public, which were to be submitted within 60 days. Thereafter, on December 28, 2018, the Union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the CRZ notification with a few minor changes.

                    While CRZ 2011 had a separate section for Goa, as also for some other states, and included provisions for protection of khazans from any development, declaration of fishing villages and other aspects, the same is missing in the new one.

                    But a section on salt marshes sets out some terms for conservation and protection of salt marshes with permission for traditional fishing, temporary tourism facilities under norms to be laid down and some patches for salt pan activities.

                    Activists are yet to study the new regime in detail, but considering the draft proposals, some said the consequences to the coastal environment and communities would be disastrous.

                    “Fundamentally, all environmental laws have been strengthened in view of global climate change, resource depletion and related challenges as well as threat to survival of humanity itself. In these circumstances, any dilution of environmental law is illegal and against the humanity’s interest,” environmental activist Abhijit Prabhudesai said.

                    The notification defreezes floor area ratio in CRZ II (urban), frozen in the 1991 notification. Densely populated rural areas (CRZ-III) will be split under two categories, one of which activists suspect may apply to Goa, though some disagree. Areas with a population density of 2,161 per sqkm as per 2011 will have the CRZ reduced from 200m to 50m.

                    The new CRZ notification extends protection to turtle nesting grounds identified by government.

                    At present, the land area from high tide line (HTL), which is yet to be finalised by the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Zone Management (NCSCM) to 500m on the landward side, comprises NDZ of 200m.

                    In benefits for local communities, fishermen have been allowed to reconstruct their old dwellings within 20m, but without altering the plinth. They can also offer home stay facilities to tourists, also without altering the plinth area or facade of existing houses.












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                    • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

                      No waste bins may be reason for black spots in Panaji: High court

                      TNN | Jan 24, 2019, 12:46 IST

                      Representative image

                      PANAJI: Observing that some of the eight black spots in the jurisdiction of the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) are located in the heart of the state capital, the division bench of the high court on Wednesday suggested that the government consider introducing dustbins in these areas.

                      Although the city prides itself in being “binless”, the court stated that this policy could be a possible reason for the increasing number of black spots in Panaji.

                      The advocate representing CCP, Ashwin Bhobe, stated that the city has been selected as a Smart City where cameras will soon be installed. He stated that dumping at the blackspots is taking place at night and added that the garbage is cleared by morning.

                      Observing that one of the black spots is opposite Junta House at A B road, Justice M S Sonak suggested that there be some facility to receive the garbage at the black spots and that this could be one solution to deal with the problem. Advocate general Dattaprasad Lawande, too, suggested that not having bins in the city, which tourists frequent, is not practical, explaining that if someone eats a chocolate and needs to throw the wrapper, there is no bin.

                      Advocate Aires Rodrigues told the court that garbage has also been dumped at Divja Circle at the entrance of Panaji.

                      Advocate Norma Alvares suggested that a similar facility also be introduced in Mapusa to tackle the black spots.

                      The court, last Monday, directed all panchayats to comply with its earlier directions and ensure that black spots and littered waste are cleared latest by February 10 and report to the directorate of panchayats by February 15.

                      The municipal council of Margao has five black spots, Mapusa has 14, Sakhali has seven, Valpoi has two, Quepem has 23 and Cuncolim has seven. All spots are cleared on a daily basis, the court was told.

                      Pernem Municipal Council stated that 15 of 16 black spots have been eradicated permanently while one is being cleared once a week where people from outside the municipality’s jurisdiction have been throwing garbage in the area.

                      Ponda Municipal Council stated that it has been able to clear some of the 22 black spots. Curchorem-Cacora Municipal Council stated that it is clearing its black spots twice a week. Canacona Municipal Council stated that two of its seven black spots have been permanently cleared.











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