SC once again upholds CRZ guidelines, orders demolition

| 25 August 1998 23:09 IST

The supreme court has once again upheld the coastal regulation zone guidelines in order to protect the coastline of India, this time a tiny beach of Palolem in Southernmost taluka of Canacona in Goa.

Upholding the Bombay high court order directing the Canacona municipality to demolish all the hotel constructions within 200 metres of the high tide line, the supreme court appears to have clearly indicated that it would not tolerate violation of the judgement it had passed two years ago on the CRZ petition filed by M.C. Mehta.

The apex court has dismissed a batch of three special leave petitions filed by three tourist hotels from Palolem against the 29-page high court order, passed on 18 July, on a petition filed by the Goa Foundation and five Palolem villagers. They had challenged several illegal constructions erected by influential people in the No Development Zone at Palolem beach.

Palolem is one of the most beautiful beaches in South Goa. To cater to the demand low-budget foreign tourists flocking the place, several persons had illegally put up tourism-related constructions here, which were in fact destroying the beauty of the beach.

Manipulating the CRZ guidelines, close family members of the CMC president and vice president as well as the councillors themselves converted several boat houses on the beach into hotels, which actually is not permissible. It only permits repairs and not reconstruction of any structure within the prohibited zone.

The Bombay high court was courteous enough to positively respond in November last year to the letter signed by over 300 villagers, seeking judicial intervention against the constructions.

Subsequently, five villagers, in association with the Goa Foundation led by Dr Claude Alvares, filed a comprehensive writ petition challenging the legality of some of the hotels and other constructions.

They challenged the permissions, obtained fraudulently from the CMC. The high court also refused to go by electricity bills, house tax receipts and other documentation issued by the municipality. is now on Telegram & also Youtube. Kindly subscribe for free & remain updated.

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