Goa's Spirited Online Weekly Magazine.

Lion Roars -33

December 23-29, 2013

Abhishek Engineers robs River Zuari of 3,850 sq mt

Apart from an earlier ‘stop notice’ issued by the Chicalim panchayat on October 28, 2011 (see Lion Roars – 32) Abhishek Engineers was served with another ‘stop notice’ on April 10, 2013.  But it ignored this too.  In fact its owner has consistently mocked the law and government agencies with both, the earlier Congress government and the present day government apparently providing him some support at many levels.

AN EXAMPLE OF THE OWNER UDAY NAIK’s mocking the law is this classic case.  In October 2010, the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) following a decision it took at a meeting held on January 15, 2010, specifically approved (GCZMA/S/09-10 dt. 27.10.10) the size of the barge repair workshop blocks to be: Block A – 9.68 x 3.30 mt; Block B – 11.65 x 3.20 mt; the area entirely in Survey no. 16/6 of Dabolim village.  Naik, however simply ignored this.  The words GCZMA used in its approval letter were “temporary workshop” and “All temporary G.I structure/sheds Block A and B”.
The approval was given subject to; approval from the Town & Country Planning; construction licence from the Chicalim Panchayat; “Consent to Establish/N.O.C” from the Goa State Pollution Control Board; and N.O.C/approval from the Captain of Ports.

According to the Chicalim Villagers Action Committee (CVAC), Naik far exceeded this limit to the extent he encroached on to Survey nos. 16/7 and 72/1.  The latter, all of it submerged land, he purchased at a low price as part of his game plan to encroach on the river.    

GCZMA dead as a Dodo

The most damning evidence came from the Directorate of settlement and Land Records which prepared a site plan at the behest of GCZMA which showed apart from several large structures, a slipway and steel rail slipway as being built.  Clearly Abhishek Engineers had no intention to stick to the GCZMA approved measurements which he had obviously applied for and, as was to be proved later had intentionally misled GCZMA in the first place.

While several government agencies continued to make a mockery of their own rules and regulations in the meanwhile shooting off ‘stop notice’ and ‘show cause’ letters by the dozen, for the record at least a letter written by the GCZMA is perhaps the best indictment of the government connivance in the entire matter.  On July 7, 2012 the GCZMA sent yet another missive to Naik on the issue of “Illegal construction of retaining wall with rubble stones having length of 40 metres and 1 meter height at water front without obtaining permission.”

Importantly, it meant that Abhishek Engineers was definitely violating the 100 mt zone from the high tide line (HTL) of the river and also the 200 mt zone from the HTL itself, which is designated as the ‘no development zone’.  All the while Naik’s best defense was that the CVAC secretary Rui Costa Araujo had a “personal vendetta due to political reasons” But with Michael D'Souza, as GCZMA member secretary, all the agency did was to shoot off letters by the dozens.