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Towering inferno in the flight path

Dabolim: In a shocking and dangerous precedent, Chicalim Village Panchayat has granted occupancy certificate to a seven-storeyed high rise building with 66 studio and 24 1-BHK flats at Alto Dabolim, just metres away from the flight path of aircraft landing at Dabolim Airport from the north-eastern side. The building has already been occupied by quite a few residents despite it being so close to the Aircraft Flight Path. The building reportedly does not have the mandatory permissions nor the infrastructure for fire safety.

A letter dated August 20, 2018 to Mormugao Planning and Development Authority (MPDA), Directorate of Fire & Emergency Services pointed out that MPDA had granted the project, Completion and Occupancy Certificate last year on December 20, 2017. The Chicalim Panchayat granted the project the go ahead on February 6, 2018 in gross violation of MPDA’s own condition. The MPDA had reportedly mentioned that the Development Permission that Completion Certificate will be given only after the applicant receives the Final NOC from Fire Services. The Fire Services Department has reportedly notified the builder for gross negligence obtaining Completion and Occupancy certificate without submitting Final NOC from Fire Services as required under Goa Land Development and Building Construction Regulations 2010. The builder, who obtained these certificates violating the statute, is the Chicalim Dy Sarpanch.

The deputy sarpanch’s fly-by-night permissions have not only created a dangerous high rise structure in the line of dozens of commercial aircraft, fighter planes and helicopters that land in Dabolim Airport but reportedly also violate other statutes.

Balconies have also been constructed in the building making them an integral part of the tenement/room, without any separating wall in between. The builder has thus incorporated free FAR to the size of 936.45 sq m and sold it to the many flat owners. Conservative estimates, based on the selling price of the building, point out that almost Rs 4.2 cr worth of space might have been created and sold clandestinely, violating statutory norms.

The deputy sarpanch has not obtained the Final NOC from Fire Services till date, despite getting an Occupancy Certificate as a special privilege flouting norms. Fire escapes in the seven-storey building have not been built as prescribed by the Goa (Regulation of Land Development and Building Construction) Act 2008, and in terms of the National Building Code (Part 4) Fire and Life Safety.

The Chicalim Dy Sarpanch’s building isn’t falling foul of only Fire Services. Even though a dozen or more residents have already occupied the building, Sewage Treatment plant has not yet been installed on site. As per DHS’ Urban Health Centre – Vasco’s No Objection Certificate of February 6, 2018, STP should be fully operational before occupying the residential building.

The final nail in the coffin is the fact that no NOC has been obtained from Naval Aviation Authorities manning Dabolim Airport which is mandatorily required for structures falling in funnel zone in line with Ministry of Civil Aviation Notification GSR.751 (E) dated 30-09-2015.

Dy Sarpanch’s string of illegalities with regards to his structure on Survey No 63/5 had first been pointed out by Chicalim resident Edwin Mascarenhas in the Gram Sabha held on July 29, 2018. However, the panchayat is yet to take any stringent action to remove this illicit and dangerous structure. [H]

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