Drone picture of Bombay HC at Goa, Porvorim

HC stays Zoning Certificates of five Coastal Villages

In a damning order issued today (reserved yesterday), the Bombay High Court at Goa comprising Justice Mahesh Sonak and Justice Valmik Menezes today stayed the operation of the illegal circular issued by the Chief Town Planner on 22.12.2022 by which he had issued directions to the Town Planning offices to follow Outline Development Plans already withdrawn by the government. Based on such zoning certificates the collectors, planning authorities and panchayats were granting construction approvals.

The ODPs of Calangute-Candolim, Parra, Nagoa and Arpora were notified on 15.12.2022. However, the very next day, the Goa government issued an order recalling these 5 coastal villages as planning areas. Once an area is withdrawn from a planning area, the ODPs approved for the area lapses.

On 22.12.2022, the Chief Town Planner, ostensibly following on a decision taken by the Town and Country Planning Board (chaired by the TP Minister), took a decision to direct the town planning offices to issue zoning certificates in respect of these 5 villages as if the ODPs were still valid in law.

The High Court prima facie has found that no such power is allowed to the Board. It therefore stayed the impugned circular and granted interim relief to the petitioners. The detailed order is enclosed.

Claude Alvares
Goa Foundation