HC directs tourism department to take action against illegal constructions and businesses on beaches

Panjim: The Bombay High Court in Goa has directed the tourism department to crack down on illegal constructions and businesses running from such premises on beaches across the state.

The Court has asked the Tourism Department to initiate strict action against such constructions and maintain strict vigil to ensure that such illegal constructions do not take place on the beaches across the State.
The Court also asked the government to ensure that water and electricity connections of such structures are disconnected and ordered that criminal action be initiated against existing and ongoing illegal constructions on the beaches.
The Environment Department has also been directed to recover the environmental damage costs from the owners of these illegal constructions. This direction of the court came during the hearing of the case related to illegal construction in Calangute and Baga.
The court asked the tourism department to remove all government and illegal constructions on beaches in Calangute and Baga areas. Although officials of the tourism department and other authorities had removed many such constructions, during inspection by officials on March 15, several more such structures were detected. The government told the High Court that these illegal structures will also be removed within the next two months.
Advocate General Devidas Pangam said the beaches belong to the government and the public and the High Court has directed the Director of Tourism to keep a vigil on any kind of illegal activities, especially illegal constructions, on the beaches across the state.
The High Court has said that the Tourism Director should take the responsibility that no illegal activities take place. Any illegal encroachments including signage placed on the beach should be removed and this should be done expeditiously.
The order is to be enforced by the Director of Tourism with the aim of keeping the beaches clean and free from encroachment.

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