Local Goa News

Friday, June 10, 2016

Another eco-destruction project gets govt nod

Chapora locals protest eco-tourism project in their village; consultants promise villagers will be made partners


PANJIM: A protest against a Rs 1000 cr eco-tourism development project appears to have become the new headache of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, which refuses to take the people into confidence, before deciding on a development plan.
The government did it when it went ahead with the DefExpo in Betul, a decision that met with huge resentment from the locals. The same is being done at Chapora, wherein a Rs 1000 cr project has

been proposed in the village at the cost of environmental degradation.
This project will include ferry terminals, a tourists village, museum, marinas, fishermen’s wharf, hotels, underwater aquarium, sea world, bird park, adventure sports island, tree top hotel, hotel complex, exhibition centre, tented accommodation and cable cars.
The consultants, Master and Associates, who have been paid a few crores of rupees to prepare the techno-feasibility report, in a bid to gain local support, have tried to lure the villagers by saying they would be made partners in the project.
Just as was done with the DefExpo, wherein locals were told they could put up stalls, but in the end the locals sold just water and cigarettes, so too they are being lured here.
The consultants say the area would be recognised as a tourist development zone with full FSI benefits and approval to Government of Goa under 44 (C). “Outright purchase of land in case owner desires to sell the land at market rates directly to developer. The rates need to be defined by the government as a base bench mark,” the report states.
The consultants further say, the project would be a joint venture between the land owner and developer and owner of a piece of land (an individual or a company) can enter into an agreement with a developer to construct residential or commercial or tourism premises on land owned by the former, with a developer getting a right to sell the whole or part of the premises which has been built.
“The consideration payable to the owner in this case may be in the form of a lump sum payment (to be paid upfront or installments) or alternatively in form of share in the property to be built or a combination of payment plus part of the property to be built,” it says.
Further, the report states that the development can also be based on Santa Cruz-Ville Parle land development in Mumbai and proposed Mapusa development where the land owner retains 30 per cent of physical land holding with 100 per cent development rights and 70 per cent of land is handed to the tourist development for which a separate FAR is granted.
The consultants’ report says, “The projects give tourists a chance to explore nature and be part of it without degradation of the forest and habitat and to show the people that Goa has something more to provide.”
It further says, “The initiative will consider framework of sound eco-system management on one hand and will provide good employment opportunities for the communities on the other. It will bring economical empowerment to the local citizens.”
The project also aims in involving locals by imparting suitable training in hospitality, bird watching, botanisation and nature guides with an aim to develop confidence and skills amongst the rural people to take up such initiatives in their own land holdings.

Herald Goa News

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