Bombay High Court Rejects Clearance to Residential Project Proposed in North Goa

Reported by

Nihar Gokhale

Published on

May 9, 2017

May 9, 2017

Updated on

May 9, 2017

Location of Conflict

Candola

North Goa

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Township/Real Estate

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

1920

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

126

ha

Starting Year

2012

State

Goa

Sector

Infrastructure

Gera Developers, a realestate firm in Goa and Maharashtra, had proposed to build a residential colony, "Enchanted Woods", on a hillock in Khandola in Goa. The residents opposed the project, saying that the hillock consisted of forest area and cashew plantations and that it was integral to water security and ecological balance in the area. When the project work began in 2012, the residents protested by blocking trucks from going to the site. They formed a committee, the Betki Khandola Samvardhan Samiti, which began collecting evidence against the project. Using the Right to Information, they found that the project was granted environmental clearance (EC) and a noobjection certificate by the Khandola panchayat in 2011, which was not made public. They also found that the Town and Country Planning (TCP) Department, which approves projects on landuse grounds, approved the plan that indicated construction on a steep slope, which is a nodevelopment zone as per zoning laws. In 2014, the Samiti filed a writ petition in the High Court of Bombay at Goa challenging the clearance. Inspections ordered by the court further revealed that while the EC was for a residential project for 600 people, the TCP Department's clearance was for 2,500 people. The Samiti also pointed out that the clearance did not mention any flora, fauna or forests, while its own survey had revealed 14,000 square metres of densely forested area. On September 9, 2014, the high court disposed of the petition as the TCP Department said it had received a revised proposal, which was under consideration. The court ordered the department to hear the petitioners while considering the application. A revised TCP clearance to the project was granted in March 2015, while the panchayat granted a new construction licence in November 2015, both of which were challenged by the Samiti in a fresh case before the high Court. On September 27, 2018, a division bench of the high court quashed the new TCP clearance as well as the licence granted by the panchayat on the ground that the authorities did not properly evaluate the impact of the project on water security, sanitation and traffic congestion. The court directed the government to evaluate any fresh application for the project considering these factors. While hearing the matter again in January 2020, the court permitted the petitioner to submit additional documents as evidence.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Complaint against procedural violations

Opposition against environmental degradation

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Both

Type of Common Land

Forest and Non-Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Other

Legislations/Policies Involved

Goa, Daman and Diu Town and Country Planning Act, 1974
Section 44: [Any person intending to carry out any development in respect of, or change or use of, any land shall make an application in writing to the Planning and Development Authority for permission]
Goa Panchayat Raj Act, 1994
Section 66: [No person shall erect any building or alter or add to any existing building or reconstruct any building without the written permission of the panchayat]
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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  5. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community? What was the decision of the concerned government department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

No items found.

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Pending

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

High Court of Bombay at Goa

Case Number

PIL WP No. 3 of 2014 (disposed of), PIL WP No 14 of 2016

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

No items found.

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Advocacy (for inclusion in courts)

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Objections as part of official procedures

Development of a network or collective

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Betqui-Candola panchayat, Town and Country Planning Department; Department of Science, Technology and Environment

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Gera Developers Private Limited, Sadekar Enviro Engineers Private Limited

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

Image Credit:  

Image Credit:  

Documented By

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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Edited By

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