Proposed Construction in Goa Village Blocks Residents' Access to Agricultural Fields, River

Reported by

Anamika GodeLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

November 10, 2020

Location of Conflict

Agarwada

,

North Goa

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Township/Real Estate

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

32

ha

State

Goa

Sector

Infrastructure

Residents of Agarwada village have opposed the proposed construction of a corporate guesthouse on agricultural tenanted land in the village. According to a resident, who wished to remain anonymous, the plan of the company is to develop the guesthouse into a larger project eventually. The proposed site is the immediate bank of the Chapora tidal river, which is surrounded by mangroves. The entire area comprises either khazan land (agricultural land close to tidal water bodies), salt pans or paddy fields. Most of the paddy fields are tenanted under the provisions of the Goa, Daman and Diu Agricultural Tenancy Act, 1964, which prohibits the sale of agricultural tenanted land, and are protected under Section 2 of the Goa Land Use Act, 1991. The property in question consists of multiple agricultural fields and salt pans, which have been used by the villagers for cultivation. A part of the property also forms a pathway to access the Chapora river for fishing, the main source of livelihood for the residents, besides collecting shell fish and mussels.
In 2016, the property was bought by M/s KCT RealCon, a Kolkata-based real estate firm, allegedly through illegal sales, according to a PIL filed by the non-profit Goa Foundation. In 2017, a fence with a locked gate was erected around a part of the property, blocking the access of the villagers to the salt pans and the river. The residents allege that the sluice gate (to regulate the flow of tidal water into the khazan fields) and the nallah that facilitates the drainage of water from the village also fall within the property and that access to the same has been blocked (see other documents related to conflict). They claim the nallah has been considerably narrowed by dumping of mud for construction, which led to the flooding of agricultural fields in the vicinity in 2018 and 2019. After repeated complaints against their blocked access to the fields and river and the illegal construction to government authorities proved futile, the villagers, along with the Goa Foundation, approached the High Court of Bombay at Goa in 2018 seeking relief. On March 6, 2019, the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) took cognizance of the issues raised in the petition, which was filed by the Goa Foundation in September 2018, and issued a preliminary order against the company, directing it to maintain status quo on the construction, to allow the villagers access to the river and salt pans and to remove the encroachment in the nallah. The GCZMA also directed a government agency, the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management, to conduct an inspection and provide a detailed report on the various violations alleged in the petition. The report is awaited. The villagers, meanwhile, claim that the company has not complied with the directive of the GCZMA to provide them access to the river and the nallah.

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Private

Private and Common

Type of Common Land

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Land Area Affected
(in Hectares):

32

ha

Starting Year

2017

Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:

Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority; Mamlatdar of Pernem

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Goa Foundation

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

M/s KCT Realcon Pvt LTd

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Resources Related to Conflict