Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding unauthorised structures on the beaches of Goa, 19/10/2020
Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Victor Fernandes Vs Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority dated 19/10/2020.
The matter related to unauthorised construction in a no development zone of Ashvem Mandrem, Goa by M/s Rai Resort. A three member Committee comprising of the Deputy Conservator of Wild Life, Goa, Member Secretary, Goa State Pollution Control Board and Member Secretary, Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority submitted a report with regard to the unauthorised construction and the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) vide its resolution February 11, 2020 passed an order for demolition of the structure which was found to be unauthorised and to pay a penalty of Rs. 1 lakhs.
Aggrieved by the order the present appeal was filed by Victor Fernandes to quash and set-aside the order of February 11, 2020.
The NGT while dismissing the appeal said that some of the beaches of Goa are preferred by the sea turtles particularly Olive Ridley turtles for laying their eggs, therefore, every effort is required to be made by the concerned authorities to keep such beaches undisturbed and in pristine condition.
There should not be any structures, whether temporary or permanent, to be erected in such beaches and no artificial lighting or food articles or litters to be allowed to be thrown in these beaches. Artificial lights disturb turtles since they are extremely sensitive as they are guided by natural light and moon lights. And there should not be any litter on the beaches which would attract unwanted predators. There should not be any interference during hatching process and a distance should be maintained, and if disturbed the turtles withdraw from nesting.
The Tribunal directed that the sheds, sunbeds etc., which are there in these beaches be removed before the turtle nesting season begins. The authorities may also keep these areas fenced to keep the beaches pristine and undisturbed during turtle nesting season which starts in November – December and continuous upto March-April.