South Goa Residents Oppose Brewery-cum-Distillery near Uguem River, Project Put on Hold

Reported by

Nihar Gokhale

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

June 14, 2017

June 14, 2017

Updated on

June 14, 2017

Location of Conflict

Amdai, Sanguem tehsil

South Goa

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Beverages

Beverages

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

2880

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

12

ha

Starting Year

2016

State

Goa

Sector

Industry

Residents of Amdai, a settlement on the outskirts of Sanguem town in South Goa, have been opposing a large brewery and distillery factory proposed in their area since 2016. The factory is promoted by Vani Agro Farms, a New Delhibased company that has permission to produce up to five crore litres of beer every year, besides other spirits. The project is located near Uguem River, which is a lifeline for Amdai as well as for the settlements of Uguem village downstream of the proposed factory. The residents feel that the factory's massive water requirement of five lakh liters per day will dry up the river and their water sources. Although the company has clarified that it would use water from the nearby Salauli Dam, the people are not convinced. They claim to have received some documents using the Right To Information Act, which shows that the brewery has permissions from the government to draw water from the river. The people are also agitated that the factory is coming up on a coconut orchard and entails cutting nearly 500 coconut trees. The residents allege that Goa's infamous 2015 amendment to the Goa, Daman and Diu Preservation of Trees Act, 1984, which removed coconut from the list of protected trees, was done specifically to favour this brewery. In response to various news reports, Vani Agro has denied any connection with the coconut amendment but has admitted that because of it, it does not require any permissions for cutting the coconut trees. The residents are also angry that the government declared the factory land as an "Investment Promotion Area" under the Goa Investment Promotion Act, 2014, which takes away the panchayat's powers to veto the project. The residents say that being a "red category" industry, a brewery cannot come up on orchard land as per Goa's zoning laws. The villagers, along with the nonprofit Goa Foundation, filed a writ petition before the Bombay high court, seeking the project's clearance by the Goa Investment Promotion and Facilitation Board to be cancelled as it is a 'Red' category industry. The petition also challenged the Town and Country Planning Department's decision to convert the land use from 'Orchard' to 'Industry'. In April 2017, the coalition government in Goa considered reversing the coconut tree amendment and also reviewing all decisions given by the Board. Subsequently, the project was kept on hold until the government reviewed it. In 2018, the Board, chaired by then Chief Minister (now deceased) Manohar Parrikar decided to review the project through an external consultant. Since then, the project has been on hold.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Opposition against environmental degradation

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Private

Type of Common Land

Total investment involved (in Crores):

138

Type of investment:

Cost of Project

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, Environmental Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

Goa Investment Promotion Act, 2014
Section 7: [Power of the Board to recommend to the government to demarcate an area as investment promotion area]; Section 8: [Restrictions on where the Board cannot recommend land for setting up of investment promotion area]
Goa Preservation of Trees (Amendment) Act, 2016
Section 3: [Omits coconut trees from the definition of trees under Section 2(j) of the Act]
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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

Disposed

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

PILWP 22/2016

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

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

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Advocacy (for inclusion in courts)

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Goa Investment Promotion and Facilitation Board

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:

Vani Agro Farms Private Limited

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations 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:

Image Credit:  

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Reviewed By

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