Coastal body orders restoration of lagoon at Siolim within 45 days


The Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) has directed a waterfront resort to clear the mud that was filled in a lagoon of a tributary of River Chapora at Siolim and restore it to its original dimensions of 10,000 sq m. This is part of the restoration measures that are to be carried out by the proprietors within 45 days, as decided by GCZMA at its 144th meeting held on March 21, 2017.

Vaddy-Siolim residents had filed a complaint on March 4 and May 31, 2012, alleging huge development by both property owners, destroying a sluice gate, fish pond (agor) and other water bodies (poin), and encroaching in the ports administration’s property under survey number 318/2.

The area is part of a scenic backwater of River Chapora opposite Siolim church, sources said.

The deputy collector, Bardez, had issued a showcause notice on November 18, 2014, seeking demolition of structures and restoration of land to its original condition after an inquiry. Alleging that the GCZMA did not initiate further action, Anthony D’Souza, Joseph Noronha and other residents had approached the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

 The tribunal, in September 2016, had directed the GCZMA to fix two hearings for the respective property owners, on November 15 and 16, 2016, and decided the matter within four weeks. But, one of the respondents, who purchased the property in 2008, stated that he had only “carried out maintenance, aesthetically, with natural material at the opening, with the panchayat’s approval”.
The retaining wall was repaired as it had sunk due to erosion and asphalting of road was done. He had revealed that plans were afoot to install a sluice gate, but he denied encroaching in the creek.
GCZMA expert member Antonio Mascarenhas confirmed in his report, after inspection, that the lagoon admeasuring 10,000sq m in 2003 had been reduced to 6,300sq m as per a Google image of 2015. Further, the narrow, ancient sluice gate opening into the creek was widened to 12 metres, the report stated. Villagers had alleged that the sluice had been destroyed.