Goa Residents Demand Recognition of Colva Lake as Wetland

Reported by

Anamika Gode

Published on

September 19, 2019

September 19, 2019

Updated on

September 19, 2019

Location of Conflict

Colva, Salcette

South Goa

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Other Kind of Infrastructure

Multipurpose sports complex

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

31

ha

Starting Year

2013

State

Goa

Sector

Infrastructure

The residents of Colva village in Goa have opposed the change in land use of the seasonal Colva Lake, which has been proposed by the panchayat to be used for the construction of a multipurpose sports complex. The Colva Civic Forum has been fighting since 2013 to get the lake recognised as a wetland.  Land for the sports complex was acquired by the panchayat in 2006, but according to the Forum, the proposal for a change in land use was put forward in 2013. Members of the Forum told LCW that the National Green Tribunal, in an order dated September 26, 2014, had directed the Goa State Biodiversity Board (GSBB) to carry out a site inspection through an expert agency to document the biodiversity of the area and also comment on the nature of the land use at the site. The decision of the GSBB is pending. The Forum contends that no development work at the site can be undertaken until then. An independent inspection carried out by the GSBB on December 5, 2013, recorded the lake site as a lowlying area. In August 2019, the Bombay high court ordered the Colva panchayat and other authorities to stall any construction on Colva lake until the GSBB and the Goa State Wetland Authority submitted their study on whether the lake should remain as a water body or be reclaimed. Earlier, the Forum had filed a PIL restraining any construction on the lake. The case was disposed of by the court.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Opposition against environmental degradation

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand to recognise Colva lake as a wetland

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

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

Environmental Laws, Other

Legislations/Policies Involved

Guidelines for Declaration of Eco-Sensitive Zones around National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries dated 2011
Point 3 [Purpose of declaring ESZ is to create “Shock Absorber” for protected areas and be a transition zone from areas of high protection to areas involving lesser protection]
Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, 2011
Point 1(ii) [CRZ to apply to land area between High Tide Lane to 100 metres]; Point 3 [Prohibited activities within CRZ to include setting up of new industries, reclamation of land for commercial purposes such as for shopping and housing complexes]
Environment (Protection) Act, 1986
Section 3(2)(v) [Union government to take necessary measures to protect and improve quality of environment by restricting areas in which industries operate]
Environment Protection Rules, 1986
Section 5(1) [Union government can prohibit or restrict location of industries from operating in specific areas having environmental importance]
Goa Panchayat Raj Act, 1994
Section 60 [Panchayat may issue resolutions which promote the health, safety, education, comfort, convenience or special or economic well-being of the inhabitants of the panchayat area]
Guidelines for implementing Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017 dated 2020
Point 45 [Prohibited activities within wetlands to include setting up of industries and any construction of a permanent nature]
Rule 2(g) [Includes lakes in the definition of wetlands]; Rule 3 [Wetlands Rules to not apply to wetlands falling under a CRZ]; Rule 4(1)(ii) [Restricts the setting up of industries on wetlands]; Rule 4(2) [Restricts the use of wetlands for non-wetland purposes without prior approval of the Union government]
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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.

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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:

Violation of environmental laws

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Disposed

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Yes

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 15/2018, PIL WP 33/2019, NGT- OA 67/2014

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

No items found.

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Colva panchayat, Goa State Wetland Authority, Goa State Biodiversity Board, Town and Country Planning Department

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:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Colva Civic and Consumer Forum

Resources Related to Conflict

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

Image Credit:  

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Documented By

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