The Goa State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) finally approved Delta Corp Limited’s casino-integrated township project at Dhargalim, Pernem. The company will invest Rs 3,000 crore in its resort and casino township project, which will spread over 90 acres of land near Mopa airport.
Last October, the state government gave the nod to the company’s project, which is expected to improve the local economy and create more job opportunities. But it could not proceed without SEIAA’s approval, which is why the project was recommended for prior environmental approval by the Goa State Expert Appraisal Committee (Goa-SEAC) at its most recent meeting this June.
According to the media outlet The Times of India, the Goa SEIAA said that the authority granted environment clearance to the proposal after examining the documents submitted by the company and taking into account the recommendation by Goa’s State Expert Appraisal Committee. Delta Corp, however, must meet plenty of conditions as part of its corporate environmental responsibility (CER).
According to an office memorandum issued by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on May 1, 2018, infrastructure creation for drinking water supply, health, education, roads, and sanitation are some of the activities companies must carry out under CER. SEIAA also ordered Delta Corp to build a biogas plant and ensure it properly manages electronic waste. Besides, the company must use groundwater for drinking purposes only.
Delta Corp Wins Key Environmental Permit Despite Ongoing Controversy
Delta Corp’s casino-integrated township project, which includes three hotels, a cinema hall, a convention center, a shopping area, banquet facilities, a water park, and a kids’ play area, has been delayed multiple times over the past few years due to legal hurdles and objections from the locals.
This June, Bailancho Saad, a woman’s non-governmental organization, asked the government to stop Delta Corp’s casino-integrated township project, claiming that the company presented women as sexual figures in its casino advertisements in a bid to attract the attention of more gamblers. The NGO also noted that the existing casinos, particularly those operating on the Mandovi River, have a negative impact on the population.
The organization added that Delta Corp’s casino project would harm the environment and negatively affect young people. Sabina Martins, a representative from the organization, explained that the village may lose its identity due to the inflow of tourists. Ms. Martins also pointed out that casino naysayers had to use trolleys with gambling advertisements at the airport. The NGO even urged the government to ban gambling advertisements and impose fines on casinos under the Indecent Representation of Women Act.
With SEIAA’s recent approval, the company is now ready to implement the project. The resort-cum-casino project is expected to be completed by 2027.