With regard to the issuance of in-principle No Objection Certificates (NOCs) to offshore casinos in Goa, social activist Kashinath Shetye has argued that the Goa State Coastal Management Authority (GCZMA) cannot grant the NOCs as the matter is sub-judice.
Shetye said that he has won the case in the National Green Tribunal (NGT) after his initial complaint was dismissed by the GCZMA. Prior to this, the GCZMA had granted an in-principle approval to offshore casinos asking them to submit environmental impact assessment (EIA) report for final NOC.
“This is in contempt of court order, a casino operator has gone to Supreme Court and the matter is sub-judice hence the issuing of NOCs is in contempt. I will now file a contempt petition in Supreme Court,” said Shetye as quoted by Goemkarponn.
The story so far
Currently, six floating casinos on Mandovi River, namely Delta Corp., Golden Globe Hotels, MV Majestic Pride, High Street Cruises and Entertainment, and Goa Coastal Resorts & Recreation are seeking NOC from GCZMA.
But apparently, due to Shetye’s recent NGT case victory, the GCZMA has decided to re-inspect all offshore casino sites before they are issued their NOC.
The NGT has also not permitted the casinos from operating in CRZ IV Zone until they acquire CRZ approval. After obtaining the NOC from the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) the offshore casinos will then be able to operate in the riverine area from LTL to 12 nautical miles.
Furthermore, the casinos will be liable to pay fines based on Goa State Pollution Control Board’s assessment if they cause any damage to the site while operating without NOCs.