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Anjuna locals angry as illegal hill excavation destroys ‘scenic’ spot

Panaji/Saligao: A project for a bungee jumping site in Anjuna has run into rough weather. Villagers alleging that the promoter has resorted to hill cutting in violation of coastal zone regulations (CRZ), 2011, notification. Labourers had started excavations at the site, overlooking the Anjuna beach, allegedly within the no-development zone. Tension prevailed in the village after work started in survey number 206 a few days ago and some villagers gathered at the site and halted the excavation activity on the hill.

The workers fled the scene, while villagers alleged that the excavation appeared to be a preparation to carry out construction activity. The issue was finally temporarily resolved after the police intervened.

Villagers alleged that the project is in violation of provisions of Town and Country Planning Act, 1974, and other regulations. Following complaints to the flying squad team of the North Goa collectorate, the additional collector- I issued a stop work order last week. But, villagers alleged that work continues at the site despite the order. They have sent complaints to member secretaries of Goa coastal zone management authority (GCZMA) and Goa state biodiversity board (GSBB), North Goa collector, TCP and the police.

“This particular area is the only remaining natural scenic spot in Anjuna-Caisua village We don’t want to see it destroyed,” Balbin Malvankar stated in his letter. Environmentalist Joe D’Souza said the “hills of Goa are reservoirs of water and it is dangerous to destabilise the hill”.

Curtorim MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco told reporters that no permission has been obtained from the administrator of comunidades for the work. Hills must be kept pristine, he said, adding that he will write to the chief minister and revenue minister to conduct a thorough inquiry.

Chairman of the Anjuna Caisua biodiversity management committee, Michael D’Souza. questioned the permission granted.
 
SOURCE: TIMES OF INDIA

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