Politicians, media tycoon accused of Goa violations

Panaji, April 17 (IANS) Politicians, mining companies, luxury resorts, government agencies as well as a top media tycoon face complaints of violations of the coastal regulatory zone (CRZ) rules in Goa, a minister said Wednesday.

Minister for Environment Alina Saldanha told the Goa assembly that since March 2012, 131 complaints were received by the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA), which regulates a narrow strip of environmentally sensitive coastal land, in which new real estate development is banned.

Twenty five-star hotels and resorts have been complained against, Saldanha said, including the prestigious Park Hyatt at the Arossim beach in south Goa.

A complaint was also received against Anthony Fonseca and Prannoy Roy, head of NDTV, a national news channel, for “illegal construction of a structure/hotel project”.

Two government agencies, the state water resources department (WRD) and Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) have also been hauled up for illegal construction in the CRZ area.

While the WRD has been accused of an “illegal construction of a retaining wall of concrete” along the Sal river, the GTDC’s resort at Colva beach in south Goa has illegally constructed a ground plus-one-floor within the CRZ limits.

Saldanha told the state assembly that a complaint has also been filed against ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member Anil Hoble for “illegally encroaching on the government land and converting to their own use by forging documents”.

Wife of former deputy chief minister Dayanand Narvekar, Sushma, proprietor of Golden Heritage, has also been named for illegal constructions in the CRZ area.

The charges include illegal cutting of sand dunes, illegal road being built to the beach (and), and illegal excavation. The construction, according to the complaint, lies within the coastal no-development zone.

Mining company SESA Goa also has been accused of constructing an illegal iron ore loading jetty, said Saldanha.

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