Bombay High Court at Goa: A Division Bench of Pradeep Nandrajog, CJ and M.S. Sonak, J. addressed the challenge to the interim order passed by NGT, Principal Bench in respect to putting a stay on the erection of shacks in Goa, and held that,
“In the State of Goa, since long on the beaches, shacks have existed for decades and there is no evidence of adverse impact on the environment on account of the erection of the shacks for a temporary duration.”
The present petition was filed challenging the interim order of National Green Tribunal’s, Principal Bench. An application was filed by the State of Goa seeking an extension of time to finalise the Coastal Zone Management Plan envisaged by the CRZ notification issued in the Year 2011. NGT noted that in the absence of the Coastal Zone Management Plan, unregulated development activity was resulting in damage to the environment. Reluctantly extended the tie for the Coastal Zone Management Plan to be prepared by the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority, the tribunal restrained the implementation of the Shack Policy.
Shack Policy for the year 2019-2022 permits 259 shacks in North Goa and 105 shacks in South Goa on the beaches to be erected. Shack Policy envisages temporary beach shacks to be erected using eco-friendly material such as wooden poles, bamboos, palm leaves, palm mats, etc.
High Court noted that the shacks are fabricated using eco-friendly, perishable material such as wood, bamboo and palm leaves. CRD-2011 specifically deals with CRZ for Goa and permits temporary and seasonal structures to be erected on the beaches and to be removed and dismantled after May each year.
Further, the Court also observed that,
“Tourist season having commenced in the State of Goa and keeping in view the fact that large employment is generated under the Shack Policy”; petitions staying the operation of NGT’s impugned order were disposed of with the state view.
Court permitted the State Government to implement the Shack Policy for the year 2019-2022 and along with this, Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority is also requested to finalise the Coastal Zone Management Plan for Goa State expeditiously. [State of Goa v. Mehdad, Stamp Number Main No. 3388 of 2019, decided on 07-10-2019]