Wednesday 27 April 2016

Objections to construction of retaining wall around Vanxim by Ozone Leisure and Resort Pvt Ltd

Date: 26th April 2016
The Minister of Water Resources,
Secretariat, Porvorim, Goa

The Chief Engineer,
Water Resources Department,
Porvorim, Goa

The Chief Executive Director,
Investment Promotion & Facilitation Board (IPB – Goa),
Cabin no. 20, Ground Floor,
Porvorim, Goa

Subject: Objections to construction of retaining wall around Vanxim by Ozone Leisure and Resort Pvt Ltd


We have come to know that Ozone Leisure and Resort Pvt Ltd through Gajanand Karkare and Mahendra P. Gaunekar have requested your permission/ approval for construction of the retaining wall around Vanxim Island in Tiswadi.
We write to object this retaining wall proposal as the entire involvement of Ozone Leisure and Resort Pvt Ltd in Vanxim is fraud and we urge you not to be part of the same by granting approval. Even though we have filed our objections to the Governor of Goa as well as the Chief Minister of Goa who is the Chairman of the Investment Promotion Board, we wish to repeat the same for your information.
1.    The entire island is CRZ area and No development Zone. Besides island has Khazan land as well as low lying Paddy fields. Section 8 (iv) of the Goa Investment Promotion Act 2014 placed restriction on Board recommending Coastal Regulation Zone Areas for setting up of projects under this Act.

2. Investment Promotion Board has never conducted site inspection to verify the nature of land in Vanxim. Vanxim is an island in Mandovi River and CRZ regulations are applicable on all sides. Besides it is also low lying area with biologically active mud flats, Khazan land, thick mangroves which cannot be touched by law including sluice gates.

3. The transfer of occupancy rights from Santa Monica of Old Goa to Ozone Leisure and Resorts Pvt Ltd are fraud as it is effected with cases against tenants for condonation of delay in Deputy Collectors’ office in Panjim when deputy collector has no powers to entertain such cases. The powers rests with Administrative Tribunal and hence entire occupancy rights in favor of Ozone Leisure and Resorts Pvt Ltd is void. We have called for Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe against the two former deputy collectors involved in this scam namely Shabaji Shetye and Sanjeev Desai. Everybody wants to know why CBI is not investigating after knowing that it is a fraud. Is this what BJP government is meant by zero tolerance to corruption?

4. Investment Promotion Board is outsourcing of cabinet powers to private entities under Goa Investment Promotion Act 2014. This law overrides Panchayati Raj Act, TCP Act as well as Land Revenue Code and Regional Plan besides making mockery of the democratic system. Through this law democracy has been replaced with dictatorship. The elected representatives who supported this law have either not applied their minds or willfully betrayed their voters. The transfer of powers of Cabinet to the private actors spread out all over the country and beyond is unacceptable, as the People living in Vanxim knows what hardships they went through right from their childhood till date and we don’t want anyone to take advantage of our people. We do not support this law and it must be repealed with immediate effect. We urge you to reject the Investment Promotion Board recommendation for land conversions in Vanxim.

5. The decision of the Investment Promotion Board to bully Town Country Planning Department into getting ecologically sensitive areas of Vanxim is motivated by high level of political interference and we have already called for CBI probe into these links involving Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, His secretary Krishnamurthy and Krishnamurthy’s wife Sejla Chawla Krishnamurthy who is Deputy General Manager at Ozone Leisure and Resorts Pvt Ltd. We have already called for CBI investigations into this nexus reported by Prime TV Channel in Goa.

6. Occupancy rights on tenanted land in Vanxim (Capao) have been transferred to Ozone Leisure and Resorts Pvt Ltd by Archbishop Felipe Neri Ferrao via Mahendra Gaunekar violating Tenancy law and Canon law by selling land without informing tenants. The tenants and the People of Vanxim were not aware and were never informed that the Agreement to Sale signed in 1999 and sale deed was registered in 2006. Only after four years of the registration of the sale deed Vanxim People came to know about the same when some people from Vanxim were taken to Bicholim and made to put their thumb on documents and offered cash. These people who put their thumb did not know to read and write. So total manipulation and fraudulency involved. Few from amongst those who knew to read and write asked for documents and then the entire game plan was revealed followed by which we went in for RTIs and got all details. We have called for CBI investigations into this aspect too.

7. There has been opposition to this project at Malar Panchayat Gram Sabhas as well as Town and Country Planning office. Now Investment Promotion Board decision on Vanxim is a coup-d’état against every democratic institution on ground and complete insult to these institutions. Democracy has been replaced with Dictatorship and Goa has been converted into Colony open for abuse. The political consequences of Goa Investment Promotion Act 2014 is loot and plunder of Goa’s land, and Jurisprudential value of this Act can best be compared to an assembly of thieves gathering in the middle of the city hall and proclaiming their decree. It is unfortunate that Constitutional authority – Governor of Goa – has given assent to this to make it a law.

8. Goa Investment Promotion Act 2014 is direct violation of not only Article 48-A and Article 51 –A (g) but also of Article 21(Right to life) of the Indian Constitution. Supreme Court relying on Article 21 declared in M.C. Mehta V/s Union of India (1987) that life; public health and ecology have priority over unemployment and loss of revenue.

9. In M.C.Mehta V/s Union of India (1997) the Supreme Court of India has enunciated the doctrine of “Public Trust”, based on the legal theory of the Roman Empire. The idea of this theory is that certain common properties such as rivers, sea shores, forests, and the air were held by the Government in trusteeship for the free and unimpeded use of the general public. The resources like air, sea, waters and forests have such a great importance to the people as a whole, that it would be totally unjustified to make them a subject of private ownership. The concept “environment” bears a very close relationship with this doctrine. The doctrine enjoins upon the resources for the enjoyment of the general public, rather to permit their use for private ownership or commercial purposes. Goa Investment Promotion Act 2014 is precise infringement of this Public Trust Doctrine as right to life.

10. Investment Promotion Act 2014 is direct contravention of directive principle of State policy under Article 48-A of the Indian constitution that states as “Protection and improvement of Environment and safeguarding of forests and wild life - The State shall endeavor to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wild life of the country.

11. Further under Article 51-A (g) it is a fundamental duty of every citizen of India “to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures.” In exercise of our duty under Article 51-A (g) we call upon you to reject any proposal to of converting land in Vanxim Island as settlement zone for construction of luxury villas, 5 star hotel, resort and Golf course.

12. There are serious civil law and canon law frauds involved in the manner in which Vanxim has been sold. For further details visit the link below:

We call upon you not to grant any approval /permission for construction of retaining wall around Vanxim Island in Mandovi River.

Thanking you,

Yours sincerely,


Maggie Silveira,
Goa State Unit

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