Fearing flood, villagers oppose a luxury resort at Arossim in South Goa

Reported by

Nihar GokhaleLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

November 4, 2019

Location of Conflict

Arossim

,

South Goa

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Tourism

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

1721

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

11

ha

State

Goa

Sector

Industry

In 2006, Delhibased firm Competent Automobiles proposed to build a 236room resort on a 27acre property facing the Arossim beach in South Goa. It was a franchise for the Sheraton group of hotels. The company received a no objection certificate from the CansaulimArossimCuelim village panchayat, a consortium of a couple villages, without consulting the local village panchayat in the same year. The company also received coastal zone clearance in April 2013 and state pollution control boards consent in August 2014. This was when a large number of villagers began opposing the project on the grounds that the project is proposed on an ecosensitive land, which contains orchards of coconut trees and traditional storm water drains. Although the land is privatelyowned (and purchased by Competent Automobiles), it benefits the community through flood prevention and maintaining the local ecosystem. The hotel would also close the public access to the beach by building gates. The resorts plan could also affect sand dunes on the beach, which protect the village from monsoon tidal surges. The villagers also raised concerns that the project's close proximity to two similar luxury resorts would put pressure on the village infrastructure. In a special village council meeting called in October 2014, Arossim villagers unanimously rejected the resort project and also resolved to revoke the No Objection Certificate granted in 2006, on the grounds that it was issued without the consent the of the local panchayat. In 2016, two local community associations moved to the National Green Tribunals Pune bench against the coastal zone permission and a Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) letter in 2013 that exempted the project from obtaining a prior environment clearance. On 9th January 2017, the tribunal upheld the appeal and quashed the MoEFs exemption. It has told the MoEF to examine the project for environment clearance, which is in progress. The MoEF granted a fresh environment clearance to the project in July 2017. In December Competent Automobiles sold the property to Delhibased Daffodil Hotels Pvt Ltd (DHPL). DHPL has attempted to commence construction but has faced resistance from the villagers who have blocked its construction equipment and earth moving vehicles from reaching the site. They also raised concerns at a village panchayat meeting, seeking its construction license to be revoked. Neither Competent Automobiles nor DHPL have responded to emails seeking responses to the allegations.

Region Classification

Type of Land

Private

Private and Common

Type of Common Land

Total investment involved (in Crores):

100

Type of investment:

Land Area Affected
(in Hectares):

11

ha

Starting Year

2014

Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:

Goa State Environment Impact Assessment Authority, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of Goa, Village Panchayat of Cansaulim, Arossim and Cuelim

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Competent Automobiles Pvt Ltd, Sheraton Group of hotels

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

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