Helipad, other illegalities in CRZ costs builder Rs 5cr

Hopefully similar violations will face the axe under the NGT


A hotel/resort owner involved in alleged illegalities, including construction of a helipad in CRZ area near the Chapora fort, a protected monument, has deposited Rs 5 crore with the state government for restoration and restitution work.

A complaint was filed by Sagardeep Shirsaikar against Diana Buildwell Ltd.

The developer has paid the amount, following an order of National Green Tribunal (NGT) dated November 3, 2016. The tribunal had directed the respondent to demolish, within eight weeks, illegal structures on the slope near the fort, which is a popular spot for tourists and film producers.

When Shirsaikar, the applicant, recently filed a plea for execution of the order of November 3, 2016, the government informed the tribunal on February 16 that the hotel owner has also deposited Rs 10 lakh with the North Goa collector towards coastal protection and sanitation facilities in coastal areas, respectively.

Shirsaikar alleged that illegal structures had not been removed.

The bench in its judgment last year had observed that the hotelier had carried out several developments and constructions in a no-development zone, in blatant violation of the CRZ notification and there was no regulatory enforcement by the GCZMA.

“Violations are also observed in CRZ-I area by construction of road, access and fencing. The CRZ Notification is aimed to conserve the pristine coastal environment,” the bench had noted.It had also noted that these actions in carrying out development in NDZ area, particularly rain water harvesting, helipad andstepped access, need to be seriously looked into.

Regarding the tribunal order to appoint an expert committee with a representative of bio-diversity board to assess the damage caused to the environment by unauthorized and illegal construction of helipad, stepped access, the bench was informed that the process has been initiated to do it and prepare a plan for its restoration and draw up tentative costs for it.

The tribunal was also informed that the case of the hotelier for reconstruction will be sent to MoEFCC for appropriate decision regarding CRZ clearance, within a week.

While the matter has been listed again on March 17, the bench held on February 17 that the joint inspection should be held by all parties to throw light on the compliance of orders passed by it.
The applicant had challenged the beach side resort alleging violations of the provisions of CRZ, 2011, after noticing hill cutting activities near the base of the Chapora fort hill, construction of road and helipad near the heritage site.
The archaeology department had also noted the illegal construction.