PANJIM: Goa’s tourist hotspots- Bardez and Pernem are marred with illegal constructions along the coastline including in the no-development zones (NDZ), a study conducted by a government college revealed.
The Geography department of Government College Khandola in their report has also stated that the violations in sensitive coastal areas would lead to concretization of the areas, damaging tourism as well as the scenic beauty. It has also warned against implementation of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Rules 2019 that has reduced NDZ from 200 meters to 50 meters.
"The study on the coastline of beaches of North Goa depicts great violation in terms of the recent CRZ. In the name of boosting tourism, the CRZ will be highly violated wherein the public land will be captured by the stakeholders. The NDZ in the coastal areas will go under construction," the study states adding that built-up areas have increased significantly since 1991, when the CRZ norms were introduced.
The study, carried out by Lisha Fernandes, Dr Pravina Kerkar, Siddhi Gaonkar of the government college, is based on the Google Earth imagery.
“Tourists visit Goa for its beauty and open space where land meets the sea. If these spaces are taken over, tourism industry which survives on natural beauty will be at stake as beaches will be already crowded. Neither tourists, nor locals will have proper access to the beaches. The scenic beauty of the beaches will be lost," it adds.
According to the study, the built-up has increased from 19.6 percent to 40.3 percent, from 1991 to 2019 within the 500 mts (CRZ) buffer. The built-up has increased from 15.12 percent to 36.79 percent within the 200 mts (NDZ) buffer from 2012 to 2019. This includes permanent residential houses, resorts and temporary shacks.
The study also states that if the proposed amendments to the CRZ law in 2018 are applied in Goa "which shrinks the no development zone from 200 to 50 metres from the high tide line" it would further harm the coastal ecosystem and therefore impact tourism.