PANAJI: The Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) was ordered by the High Court of Bombay in Goa on Friday to proceed with demolishing any illegal structures constructed within the mangrove area and within the 50-meter mangrove buffer under the CRZ Notification 2011 at Merces.
The two petitioners’ appeal for interim relief to approach the Supreme Court was also denied by the Division Bench, which is made up of Justices Mahesh Sonak and Valmiki SA Menezes. This was due to the observation that they were flagrantly breaking the law and utilizing the illegal construction for commercial purposes, causing harm to the environment and mangroves.
The Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) issued the demolition order in August of last year. According to the two petitioners from Vaddy-Merces, Johnny and Shaine Fernandes, the GCZMA purposefully and intentionally concealed certain facts alleged in the petition, and without disclosing such facts—which the petitioners claimed were in their favor—the GCZMA passed the demolition order.
The petitioners’ appeal before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) was denied in September of last year, and the Supreme Court upheld the GCZMA’s directives by dismissing a civil appeal in November of the same year.
The Court declared, “There is no doubt in our minds that the property in question clearly falls within the mangrove area and the setback designated from the mangrove along the property’s periphery after perusing the aerial photographs in conjunction with the plan. This observation was made by the respondent GCZMA in its order dated March 7, 2022, which became final before the Indian Supreme Court when the petitioners’-initiated civil appeal was dismissed on November 7, 2022.