The Goa Bench of the Bombay High Court today dismissed the government’s application to permit five shacks at Palolem Beach and directed the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) to have a fresh look at the carrying capacity of the beach.
The high court rejected the report submitted by the GCZMA Member Secretary Menino D’Souza to permit five shacks.
The member secretary admitted before the high court that the report was prepared by him alone and not the GCZMA. The high court has now directed that the report be prepared by all the members of the GCZMA.
It may be recalled that one Vikas Bhagat had moved the high court challenging the government’s beack shacks policy on grounds that the Palolem Beach was too narrow; the water enters the shack during high tide, the shacks lead to congestion of the beach and many other grounds.
Taking Suo Moto cognizance of the photographs attached by the petitioner, the high court had directed the Tourism Department and GCZMA to jointly inspect the beach for its carrying capacity.
The inspection was carried out in the first week of December following which the GCZMA report was submitted to the court. However, advocate for the petitioner brought it to the notice of the court that the report was prepared by member secretary alone and not the authority.
The high court had summoned the member secretary in the court to clarify on this point following which the order was pronounced.