MARGAO: Days after local residents had complained of destruction of the sand dune at Benaulim beach, an official of the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) inspected the sand dune site on Friday.
The official has pointed out that a report of the site inspection will be compiled and submitted to the GCZMA higher ups for further action.
Benaulim MLA Venzy Viegas along with Chairperson of the Benaulim Bio-diversity Management Committee (BMC) Charles D’Silva, besides BMC members, accompanied the GCZMA official at the sand dune destruction site.
GCZMA swung into action following complaint
The Benaulim MLA later told the media that GCZMA had responded within three days to the complaint filed by the Benaulim BMC on November 13. “What has happened today at Benaulim is action. This is not just talking, but action. We will ensure that the process is taken to its logical conclusion against the violators, who will have to pay the penalty and also restore the sand dune,” Venzy said.
Venzy slammed the government for not putting in place the sand dune restoration and rehabilitation plan. “In 2020, the GCZMA had proposed a restoration and rehabilitation plan, but the government has yet to put the plan in place. What we have to do now is to restore the sand dune at Benaulim after research and send the report to the Bio-Diversity Board to restore the sand dune with the help of the Water Resources Department and recover the money from the violator,” he said.
Sand dune violators liable for penalty
Saying that the owner of the property has accepted the violation, the MLA, however, said that “this does not mean that people can go scot-free after committing a crime. We want to send a message loud and clear that the violator of the sand dune should be made to pay the penalty and restore the sand dune.”
The Benaulim sand dune destruction had come to light around a fortnight ago after it was reported by a local resident Rudolf Barretto, the Benaulim Sarpanch Xavier Pereira, who had lodged complaints with the CGZMA and the Colva police for action, but in vain.