The Goa cabinet today approved an ordinance to allow construction of eco-friendly structures within ecologically-sensitive areas through amendments in the Goa Town and Country Planning Act.
Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar said the amendments are in tune with the state’s eco-tourism policy and will allow the private investors to construct tourism facilities like camp sites, forest cottages within private forest areas, hitherto disallowed by the Goa Town and Country Planning Act.
“Investors, who have more than two hectares in their unencumbered possession, can avail of this benefit, subject to the condition that they use only natural material to construct and all the constructions take up less than 5 per cent of the two hectares plot and the height does not exceed 7.5 metres,” Parsekar said.
“The move is aimed at pushing tourism, which is currently concentrated along the beach belt, into the hinterland,” he added. The Goa administration has already approved two eco-tourism projects, but those fall outside the ecologically sensitive zones, including a golf course project in Tiracol village.
Development in ecologically-sensitive areas has been a delicate issue in Goa.