Centre puts DLF Goa township project on hold

Ministry of Environment & Forests to re-examine land ownership issue

Centre puts DLF Goa township project on hold

The lush valley where the hill cutting had begun for the DLF township in Chicalim village, near Vasco, in Goa.

In an order of recall dated April 15 which was made available to the media by the Goa Foundation, the petitioner in the case, the ministry said the points raised by the green group warranted a detailed re-examination of the project.

The order directs the Saravati Builders and Constructions — to whom all environment clearances were granted — not to proceed with the construction of its group housing project in Chicalim, South Goa, till a detailed examination of all the issues raised in the Goa Foundations’ writ petition are re-examined by the expert appraisal committee of the ministry.

The mega realty player’s first luxury township in Goa had hit a roadblock last year after few villagers and environment groups protested alleged violations in the project.

The River Valley-DLF Goa, marketed as holiday homes and Goa’s largest condominium, was set to convert 19 acres of lush riverside into a mega built-up zone with 600 apartments and row villas and a clubhouse. The project’s selling point was the unobstructed waterfront at Chicalim that has so far stayed largely untouched because of restriction on development.

The MoEF has indicated in its order that it will re-examine the issues of whether the entire project is a private forest land, whether the builders have violated planning regulations in cutting of hill slopes and whether the project requires cutting of large number of trees in an ecologically sensitive area.

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