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Goa Real Estate News & Questions

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Goa Real Estate News & Questions

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  • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

    ‘Mopa land was taken by fraud, return it’

    TNN | Apr 2, 2019, 04:50 IST

    Panaji: With the Supreme Court suspending the environmental clearance for the greenfield airport at Mopa, the residents are demanding their land back.

    “The government has committed criminal fraud and misused the laws and their powers to rob us of our lands, resources and lives only for the blind greed and profits of a few. The Supreme Court judgment has exposed how our government falsified facts by saying that our plateau is barren, without trees, wildlife, people or value,” Mopa Vimantal Pidit Xetkari Samiti convener Sandip Kambli told reporters here.

    Various issues were raised during the public hearing, but were brushed aside, he said. “The public hearing was held as a mere formality,” Kambli said.

    The committee also demanded water supply from the Tillari irrigation project to the plateau so that lives of thousands are enhanced and food and water security conserved. A farmer Sudin Kambli said their lives are dependent on cashew plantations. If there were hardly any trees on the site, how did the government give permission to cut thousands of trees?

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      Burning waste chokes locals at Taleigao plateau

      Lisa Monteiro | TNN | Apr 3, 2019, 04:37 IST

      Panaji: Carcinogenic fumes emanating from the continuous burning of gigantic plastic garbage dumps on Taleigao plateau, have been engulfing the homes of residents in the vicinity for days now.

      When residents thought they had seen the worst of it - fumes visibly covering the entire plateau, making it difficult to breathe over the past few days - a massive fire broke out on Monday evening and couldn’t be doused even after more than four hours.

      Three fire brigades, Goa police and ambulance services were seen on site with traffic diverted on the Taleigao slope through Adwalpalkar’s Horizon residence on the Taleigao road.

      Residents who have been bearing the brunt of the toxic fumes for more than a week now, told TOI that after complaining to the panchayat, the problem has only aggravated.

      “They told us the problem would be sorted out in a few day’s time, but the plastic dump has been burning more aggressively after that. The fact that this has been going on for so long and in broad daylight only proves their blatant disregard for the health and safety of the community. Those in power are simply not acting. Someone needs to be held accountable,” Mike Smith, a resident of the area told TOI, adding that the fumes have been entering his home on the seventh floor despite him shutting the doors and windows.

      “I have developed a severe chest infection. Authorities don’t care about the amount of toxins being released into the air. People will face the brunt of the fumes in the years to come,” he said.

      Local MLA Jennifer Monserrate said the fire at the dump began a few days ago outside the compound wall of the garbage site, and added that the contractor was not responsible for setting the fire. The dry waste that is collected is baled at the site and then sent to a cement factory, she said, adding that the solution is to set up a garbage treatment plant at the site.

      Sarpanch Janu Rosario, when contacted, said the panchayat is looking at solving the problem.

      Geetanjali Mehrotra, another resident said no solution has been forthcoming and added that she feels helpless with the ash settling on clothes drying in the balcony. “My three-year-old son has been falling ill. It breaks my heart to see him breathe the toxic air. We decided to bring him up here because we thought the air was pure,” she said.

      Goa State Pollution Control Board chairman Ganesh Shetgaonkar said the board hadn’t received any complaint regarding the pollution as a result of burning of plastic, and added that he would look into the problem. Earlier on Monday, workers were seen at the garbage dumping site physically sifting through and segregating glass bottles from the other dry waste, sans gloves or masks while a large pile of plastic waste was burning.

      The National Green Tribunal has banned burning of waste in the open, and the pollution board after receiving complaints from residents hase fined a number of panchayats in the past, including Taleigao panchayat.

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      • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

        More fires at Taleigao dump, pollution board yet to act

        TNN | Apr 4, 2019, 04:10 IST

        Panaji: Despite urging the Taleigao panchayat not to let its garbage dump burn, more illegal fires were seen on Wednesday, with the authorities turning a blind eye to the thick smoke laden with toxic fumes emanating from the burning plastic.

        Residents met local MLA Jennifer Monserrate and the sarpanch at the panchayat office on Wednesday, a day after a massive fire at the site took over four hours to be put out. The fire brigade was seen at the site again on Wednesday, dousing fires and moving a tree that caught fire on Tuesday.

        Mounds of plastic have been on fire for days now, releasing toxic fumes, which has forced residents to shut their doors and windows and keep their children indoors. Some have even temporarily move out of the neighbourhood.

        When contacted, chairperson of Goa Pollution Control Board Ganesh Shetgaonkar told TOI that the board hasn’t received any complaint about the pollution and plastic garbage dump burning, but has taken cognisance of news reports and will conduct an inspection of the area. “We can’t take action unless there is evidence. We have not received any written complaint. We have seen it in the news. We may have to issue the village panchayat a notice,” he said.

        Residents have been tweeting photographs and videos of the visible pollution as a result of the burning plastic and tagging chief minister Pramod Sawant, BJP and Congress.

        “We will get an independent environment impact study done of soil and air toxicity and prove how poisonous the fumes from burning plastic are. Without it nobody is taking us seriously,” a resident said. Monserrate denied that the fires are being deliberately being lit to clear the dump.

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          Santa Monica jetty development to include walkway, boating amenities

          Newton Sequeira | TNN | Apr 6, 2019, 04:38 IST

          Panaji: In order to efficiently utilize central government funds, Imagine Panaji Smart City Development Limited (IPSCDL) and Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) have decided to collaborate and dovetail the development of the Santa Monica jetty under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation scheme, government officials said.

          Officials of both bodies held a meeting to decide on the development of the proposed terminal building of the Santa Monica jetty. While GTDC had plans to redevelop the jetty under the Swadesh Darshan scheme, IPSCDL also lined up plans under the AMRUT scheme.

          The Panaji jetty is currently used by a handful of cruise vessels for river cruises on the Mandovi, but lacks a proper terminal and other amenities.

          “You are kindly requested to take up the work, before which necessary drawings be submitted to GTDC for its approval,” GTDC chief engineer Pramod Badami said in a letter to IPSCDL, a copy of which is in possession of TOI. Badami told IPSCDL that GTDC board gave the approval at the 160th board meeting, which was held in January.

          Along with the jetty terminal, a hawkers’ pavilion, walkway, boating and children’s park at Rua de Ourem creek are also planned under the AMRUT scheme.

          “As agreed, IPSCDL will be taking up the project and you may kindly remove it from the scope of GTDC work and may utilise the same at another suitable location,” said IPSCDL’s managing director and chief executive officer, Swayandipta Pal Chauhuri.

          According to officials, while the ownership of the land and assets will remain with GTDC, IPSCDL will utilise AMRUT funds and execute the construction of the projects.

          While giving IPSCDL the all-clear to go ahead with the project, GTDC has set a few conditions for the collaboration. GTDC has said that IPSCDL must complete the work and hand over the same for maintenance and operation to GTDC and that no change in the title of the property will be allowed.

          “The entire plans, designs to be submitted to GTDC/director of tourism for approval before commissioning the work,” Badami said in the letter.

          Initially, GTDC planned to take up the project under the development of coastal circuit II of the Union government’s Swadesh Darshan scheme. GTDC’s original plan also included the construction of a mini convention centre opposite Paryatan Bhavan and development of the Rua de Ourem side of Panaji.

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            Beach cleaning: Goa government invites bids at Rs 30.5 crore

            TNN | Updated: Apr 5, 2019, 11:45 IST

            Picture used for representational purpose only

            PANAJI: The department of tourism has floated a fresh tender inviting bids for beach cleaning that will entail providing comprehensive services such as collection, segregation, transportation and disposal of garbage for three years at Rs 30.5 crore. The contract can be extended by two years.

            The new tender has been floated after the government cancelled the earlier one as only one bid qualified during technical evaluation.

            The finance department had raised queries about certain conditions laid in the earlier tender, seeking explanation as to whether the terms of the tender were restrictive.

            Currently, beach cleaning is being carried out through Drishti Lifesaving, which has been working with the tourism department for over two years on a temporary basis.

            Ever since its beach cleaning contract with Ram Cleaners and Developers Pvt Ltd and Bhumika Cleartech Services ran into troubled waters following repeated allegations of a scam, the tourism department has been at the receiving end of severe criticism.

            The contract was revoked in September 2016, and Drishti Lifesaving was selected as a temporary measure.

            Goa Lokayukta, which investigated complaints of the beach cleaning scam, had also pointed out to irregularities in the contract and had asked the state government to consider handing over the investigation to CBI. The Lokayuktahad found then tourism minister in the Manohar Parrikar-led government, Dilip Parulekar, guilty of favouritism and other irregularities.

            A tourism department official said that this time around, they were hoping to complete the tendering process at the earliest and see that the new agency is at work before the new tourist seasons commences.

            A senior official said the task would have been made much easier if it was allotted to the Goa State Waste Management Corporation (GSWMC), a body solely entrusted with the task of managing solid waste.

            It was due to the intervention of incumbent tourism minister Manohar Azgaonkar, who thought his ministry was better equipped to handle the responsibility, that the tourism department decided to handle beach cleaning on its own.


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            • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

              Burning Taleigao dump finally inspected by pollution board

              TNN | Apr 7, 2019, 08:04 IST

              The garbage dump at Taleigao continues to burn and emit toxic fumes

              PANAJI: The Goa pollution control board on Friday finally conducted an inspection of the garbage dump at Taleigao that has been burning and emitting toxic fumes for weeks together.

              “Once we receive the inspection report we will decide on the action to be taken. It looks like we will have to fine the panchayat for the pollution,” chairman of the board, Ganesh Shetgaonkar, told TOI.

              With no action forthcoming from authorities, residents lodged an official complaint with the board over the burning of plastic and other waste at the dump.

              “The residents have photographic evidence that the fires burning plastic and garbage did in fact originate from different locations within the dump over a period of approximately one month. There is continuous severe air pollution which residents are facing. They are being subjected to health hazards,” stated the complaint signed by over a dozen residents. On April 2 evening a huge fire broke out at the village’s garbage dump, with clouds of toxic black smoke causing severe air pollution, they added. The fire could be seen for kilometers away and it took three fire tenders over three hours to douse the fire. Traffic had to be diverted to the Taleigao-Dona Paula road. Despite shutting their windows and doors, residents have been inhaling the carcinogenic fumes, with some already complaining about feeling the ill effects of the fumes.

              Last month, following a complaint, the pollution control board had imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on the neighbouring St Cruz panchayat for burning garbage. Resident Arturo D’Souza had complained to the board about the panchayat suddenly stopping garbage collection in the villagers without giving any reason and that they set the garbage dumps on fire late at night, causing air pollution. This is the second instance of the St Cruz panchayat being fined for burning waste.

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              • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

                ‘Coconut trees on Guirim NH will not be touched’

                TNN | Apr 9, 2019, 04:44 IST

                Saligao: Revenue minister and Porvorim MLA Rohan Khaunte on Monday stated that the existing coconut trees along the Guirim–Porvorim stretch of NH 66 will not be touched when the expansion of the national highway is carried out. Khaunte said that efforts will be made to replant coconut trees during the monsoon.

                Khaunte was speaking to reporters after visiting the spot where the coconut trees were to be chopped for the expansion of the NH 66.

                Also present were Salvador do Mundo sarpanch Sandeep Salgaonkar, Socorro sarpanch Sandeep Vazarkar and villagers of Guirim and Socorro.

                It may be recalled that a group of citizens had recently protested against the alleged cutting of around 20 coconut trees along the Porvorim stretch of NH 66 to facilitate the expansion of the highway. The group was led by heritage activist Prajal Sakhardande.

                Khaunte further said that he will call the NGOs, along with the people of Porvorim and the authorities from the national highway, when trees will be planted during the month of June.

                “The alignment of the national highway was itself changed in order to ensure that the trees are saved,” he said. Khaunte further said that “only those trees which were not in tune with the road alignment were chopped” and the other trees were not touched.

                “I also have that much of love for the coconut trees just as the way the environmentalists have,” Khaunte said. “I assure that we will ensure that after work of expansion ends, new trees will be planted,” he said.

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                • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

                  Cong: Will revoke CRZ notification

                  TNN | Apr 9, 2019, 04:51 IST

                  Calangute: The recent coastal regulation zone notification which allows structures up to 50m from the high tide line will be revoked if Congress forms the government at the Centre after the Lok Sabha elections, said GPCC president Girish Chodankar, while campaigning in Calangute and Candolim on Monday.

                  “If construction is allowed up to 50m, then the beaches will be completely concretised. If beaches are gone, tourists will stop coming to Goa,” said Congress’ candidate for the North Goa Lok Sabha seat.

                  Responding to queries about Congress’ inability to form the government, he said BJP has been purchasing MLAs to bolster its numbers.


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                    Evaluate damage caused by sand mining, NGT directs Goa

                    It noted that a recent economic survey had cited that more than 2.5 lakh hectares of government land have been taken over by illegal mining activities. PTI | April 13, 2019, 17:00 IST
                    File photo
                    NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Goagovernment to estimate the damage done due to sand mining activities and recover compensation from the polluters. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said rampant mining in areas rich in iron ore and other minerals is threatening the forest cover as well as posing a health hazard to the local population in various parts of Goa.

                    "More than one-fourth of the state has been affected by mining activity and along with legitimate mining, illegal mining too has come to stay in Goa. And the situation is only going to get worse as the mining companies are gearing up to further increase the amount of ore they extract from the ecologically sensitive regions of the small state," the tribunal said.

                    It noted that a recent economic survey had cited that more than 2.5 lakh hectares of government land have been taken over by illegal mining activities.

                    "It is essential to evaluate the damage caused to the environment and the cost required for its restoration. This is a mandate under the 'Polluter Pays' principle which is in accordance with Section 20 of National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 and Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

                    "Therefore, we direct the state of Goa to estimate the cost of damage in such cases and recover compensation from the polluters for restoration/restitution," the bench said.

                    The tribunal also noted that there were other issues like deterioration in groundwater levels, damage to forests and wildlife and unscientific, besides uncontrolled, sand mining etc.

                    "Unsatisfactory implementation of the law is clear from the fact that in spite of severe damage, there is no report of any convictions being recorded against the polluters, nor adequate compensation has been recovered for damage caused to the environment. Steps for community involvement are not adequate. There is reluctance even to declare some major cities as fully compliant with the environment norms," it said.

                    The tribunal directed the Goa chief secretary to appear before it in person on October 21 with the status of compliance.

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                      Green body raps Goa for not reporting pollution damage

                      TNN | Apr 13, 2019, 09:08 IST

                      Picture used for representational purpose only

                      PANAJI: Coming down heavily on the state for failing to protect the environment, the National Green Tribunal (NGT), while issuing directions for compliance of the solid waste management rules, noted the “unsatisfactory implementation” of the solid waste management law in the state.

                      It noted that it is clear that in spite of “severe damage”, there is “no report” of any convictions being recorded against polluters, nor adequate compensation been recovered for damage caused to the environment.

                      “There is reluctance even to declare some major cities as fully complaint with the environment norms. The authorities have not been able to evolve simplified and standard procedure for preparing project reports and giving of contracts,” the order passed by chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel, judicial member K Ramakrishnan and expert member Nagin Nanda stated.

                      It added that there is no “satisfactory plan” for the reuse of treated water or use of treated sewage water, and for segregation and collection of solid waste, for managing the legacy waste or other waste.

                      All human activities should be conducted in such a way that the rights of future generations to access clean air and potable water are not taken away, it observed.

                      “At the cost of repetition it may be mentioned that water is being polluted because of discharge of untreated sewage and effluents. Air pollution is result of failure to manage solid waste and to prevent other causes leading to air pollution. There are also other issues like deterioration in groundwater level, damage to forests and wildlife, unscientific and uncontrolled sand mining, etc,” the order further stated. The tribunal directed the state to estimate the cost of environmental damages and recover compensation from polluters. It also directed the chief secretary to consider qualified and experienced environment experts in his secretariat, who may not only facilitate him to monitor the progress on each issue but also help to device monitoring and surveillance system.

                      “Needless to say that improvement in this respect is not only the inalienable duty of the state, but is also necessary for sustainable development which is essential for the health and wellbeing of citizens as well as for intergenerational equity,” it stated.


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