Local Goa News

Sunday, August 7, 2016

GSIDC gets approval for continuing work on third Mandovi bridge

PANAJI: In a major relief to Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation (GSIDC), the environment department, which is the custodian of Coastal Regulation Zone, as the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) is yet to be reconstituted, has given clearance with stringent conditions to the ongoing construction of a third bridge across River Mandovi covering the National Highway-17 between Pundalik Nagar junction at Porvorim to the Merces junction.

A meeting was held on Friday under the chairmanship of the secretary (environment) along with nine other members including National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) scientist and former GCZMA expert member. The permission is valid for five years for commencement of construction and operation.
The approval was granted after a detailed discussion and due deliberation and taking into consideration the site inspection reports carried out last month by the former GCZMA expert members as well as clarifications made by the representatives of the GSIDC emphasizing that the bridge construction activity would have minimal adverse impact on the coastal environment.
While granting the approval, the committee warned against revoking the permission if construction debris is disposed in the CRZ area and Environment Management Plan (EMP) not implemented properly. During the meeting, GSIDC exhibited current bridge works complying GCZMA suggestions by appointing NIO, Goa for Morphology study wherein the report furnished by NIO was reviewed during the meeting and found to be in order. The Consultant M/s Fine Envirotech Engineers also briefed the committee on the updated EIA report, which was submitted to the GCZMA on May 6.
The NIO report on ‘Influence of New Bridge Piers on Bed Morphology and River Bank’ stated that the new bridge piers are unlikely to cause any major impact on the local bed morphology beyond the bridge and on the river banks. Also, it was pointed out that there are no significant changes in the river flow pattern and bed morphology due to the inclusion of new bridge piers.
Regarding the mangroves, GSIDC informed that the necessary permission for felling 247 mangroves has been obtained from GCZMA and the forest department. The GSDIC has further agreed to plant the mangroves as per site identified by the concerned department such as Goa State Biodiversity Board and the forest department.
While granting the permission, the committee further decided to direct the nodal agencies – Captain of Ports, water resources department and the public works department – to conduct proper EIA studies and feasibility check in respect of the benthic morphology before removing the debris.
It may be noted that the Goa Foundation had filed a complaint last year before the National Green Tribunal, Pune, challenging the construction of the third bridge across River Mandovi alleging that the construction has begun without necessary Environmental Clearance (EC), environmental studies, Environmental Management Plan or other environmental safeguards.
Subsequently, the said application was disposed off by the NGT on April 7 this year directing the project proponent GSIDC and giving it one-month time period to apply for fresh CRZ clearance with the GCZMA as well as to submit revised EIA report as per CRZ Notification 2011. The GCZMA was directed to take decision within four months on the application made by GSIDC. The matter was kept for hearing on filing compliance report on August 8.

NT Network Goa News

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