How to ‘develop’ Goa if Pvt Forest is reserved, asks Goa Assembly

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 15 January 2016 21:30 IST

Normally they accuse each other for land conversions and destroying green Goa, but the Goa Assembly was today almost unanimous on expressing reservation over protecting Private Forest.

Across the party lines, the legislators complained about not allowing to ‘develop’ the land earmarked as settlement.

Forest minister Rajendra Arlekar said he is planning not to bring the land having conversion sanad under the purview of private forest.  

Responding to the demand from the opposition benches, Arlekar also said the government will soon have a private forest policy in place.

The issue was actually raised by ruling Bharatiya Janata Party member Glenn Ticlo, but the most vociferous were opposition leader Pratapsing Rane and independent MLA Rohan Khaunte, besides BJP-loyalist Congress rebel Mauvin Godinho.

Rane in fact made a fervent plea not to include any more land to Goa’s forest as 34% of the land is already earmarked as forest and sanctuaries.

“Over 1000 sq kms of total 3702 sq kms is already a forest. There is hardly 2000 sq kms of land available for the people to live. Please don’t add more forest”, said Rane, the former CM of Goa.

In response to his observation that mangrove area is also prohibited, the forest minister said there are also CRZ restrictions to construct along the coastline and river banks.

“We will be in trouble if the forest area increases. Where will be the land available for development”, asked Arlekar.

He also claimed that Goa is the only state in the country having a concept of private forest.

The minister also said that demarcation of private forest is getting delayed because the North and South committees formed to identify private forest are working at a very slow pace.


“Either they should expedite the work or we will have to reconsider about these committees”, warned Arlekar.

He however did not respond to Khaunte’s demand of forming a House Committee to formulate private forest policy, assured earlier by former forest minister Alina Saldanha in the last session.

Saldanha had however announced in September last year (click here) that the Private Forest Management Policy has already been formulated and sent to the Ministry of Environment and Forest for approval.

While assuring to complete the private forest demarcation by April 2017, she had also assured to place the policy in public domain for comments after the MoEF approves it.

Identifying private forest was a directive of the Supreme Court to all the states, issued in 1996.

However since the district committees were taking long while, Goa Foundation had approached the National Green Tribunal in 2014, fearing that the probable forest land was getting converted.

The NGT had thus directed (click here) the Goa chief secretary to work out time bound action plan within six weeks and submit it before the tribunal within eight weeks.

The NGT had passed the order on 30 July 2014.

“It may be possible that such delay in identification and demarcation may result into tree cutting and damage to the forest”, the NGT had stated in its order. is now on Telegram & also Youtube. Kindly subscribe for free & remain updated.

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Previous Comments

what is peocedure to construct house or hotel on pvt forest many nocs he requires? durations?is it statutory process?

- IDS, DEL | 07 th April 2016 09:47


Politicians are arguing from their point of view but it is a good point. Goan land owners must have the total right on their land and should be free to exercise their right.

Goa is a small state and there is no point keeping Goan forests as reserved, converting Goa into an amazing city would require.....

- Aryan, Panaji | 17 th January 2016 14:59


I' m praying for an earthquake at Porvorim so that all the 40 elected by Goans go under the earth for good.

- d.jUSTIN, Goa | 15 th January 2016 23:41


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