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

Reported by

Anamika GodeLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

February 8, 2021

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

Starting Year

2017

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.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources, Opposition against environmental degradation

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Private

Type of Common Land

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Legislations/Policies Involved

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:

Land-record discrepancies

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

High Court of Bombay at Goa

Case Number

PIL WP 34/2018

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

Official name of the criminal law. Did the case reach trial?

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Complaints, petitions, memorandums to officials , Involvement of national and international NGOs

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority; Mamlatdar of Pernem

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:

M/s KCT Realcon Pvt LTd

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of Corporate Authorities Approached

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Goa Foundation

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:
No Images Available

Documented By

Anamika Gode

Reviewed By

Anamika Gode

Updated By

Anamika Gode

Edited By

Anamika GodeLand Conflict Watch
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