Thursday 1 October 2015

Bharat Mukti Morcha condemns Baina demolitions

Bharat Mukti Morcha strongly condemns demolition of people's houses at Baina beach on 26th September 2015 under the direction from Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority. 157 houses were demolished in order to clear up the beach. Bharat Mukti Morcha observes double standards in enforcing the CRZ regulations in Goa. Bharat Mukti Morcha calls for immidiate halt to any future demolitions at Katem-Baina.

The Supreme Court of India, on January 21, 2009 had ordered demolition of a portion of Cidade de Goa, owned by Fomento Resorts and Hotels that houses 54 hotel rooms besides a health club, conference and business rooms and other facilities. Goa Government instead of demolishing the hotel changed the law through ordinance to amend a 114-year-old law in order to save a portion of a five-star resort.

Demolition was ordered as the hotel management violated certain guidelines in the agreement reached between the government and the resort and three months were given to implement the order. At this juncture State Cabinet decided to promulgate an ordinance amending the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 so that the government is empowered to modify any agreement with the hotel management to meet any exigencies. At that time employees association had pointed out that around 650 jobs would be lost, if demolition takes place. All this is recorded in times of India report available online at the links:

Government it appears was concerned about jobs of 650 people and now careless about houses where more than 2000 people stay for many decades. The point is that Cidade de Goa was protected through ordinance route and then ratified in Goa Legislative Assembly for the reasons of race. Audhoot Timblo who owns the Hotel Cidade de Goa, Digambar Kamat then Chief Minster of Goa as well as Manohar Parrikar, then Leader of the Opposition are all Euressian Bamons. Ordinance was passed to protect Bamon Raj. In Baina no Bamon is affected and all the people are mulnivasis.

Again we see the similar situation in case of Hotel Grand Hyatt in Bambolim. The high court of Bombay at Goa on 25th February 2014 delivered a split verdict on a petition filed by two NGOs against Hotel Grand Hyatt and others at Bambolim for illegal constructions in a no-development zone (NDZ). Justice Roshan Dalvi directed demolitions of constructions within 100m of the high tide line (HTL) of the river bank, while justice F M Reis set aside the permissions granted and ordered the authorities to examine the revision/re-validation of the plan afresh. Justice Reis ordered exemplary and punitive costs on the respondents and directed Goan Real Estate and Construction Ltd and Goan Hotels & Clubs Pvt Ltd to pay Rs 25,00,000.

That means both the Judges found Hotel Grand Hyatt illegal. One Judge advocated demolition while other one ordered exemplary punishment.

Then on 22nd January 2015 Justice U V Bakre in his judgment has agreed with the findings of Justice F M Reis, who in his judgment had sought penalty and revalidation of the construction of hotels at Bambolim, and not demolition. That means Hotel Grand Hyatt was protected and construction carried on illegally in no-development zone was condoned and allowed to exist. Why then demolition in Baina? This is recorded in Navhind Times report :

We understand that people of Baina are no Eurasian Bamons. They are mulnivasis living on beach, engaged in hard work, fishing and other type of work. We are also aware that MPT has plans to establish its control over Baina Beach.

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