The Serendipity Arts Festival 2017 showcased different art forms through painting, music, dance and even art installations. It was a week-long event to remember and if one walks around Panjim, the remnants of the festival can be seen here and there. There’s the giant painting of the Goan aunty down the side of the Junta House building on 18th June road. The acrobat man hangs out near the Market bus-stop. The Thinker sits near the old Secretariat building. And so many more. Of course, who can forget the plastic bottle art structure that sits at the river’s edge in Campal? This is an art installation that has been created by one of Goa’s own artists.
An ‘illegal’ art installation…
But it seems like all is not above board with this particular art installation. The chairman of District Level Coastal Monitoring Committee (DLCMC) Nila Mohanan has decided to take suo motu cognizance of The Navhind Times report related to sand accretion due to the erection of the allegedly illegal art installation in the intertidal zone of River Mandovi in complete violation of CRZ notification 2011.
Anyone driving along the Mandovi river promenade every day can see the plastic bottle art installation. The structure is erected on a sand-beach portion, in CRZ-I area, which is formed between the river Mandovi on one side and land surface of Campal children’s park on the other. The St. Inez’s creek water passes through the exit outlet.
CRZ rules are quite clear on permissions being granted for any activities like this. In the case of this piece of art, no permission was granted to erect any temporary structures in the intertidal zone. However, now it has come to light that no government agencies are aware of who has installed the structure and which agency gave the permission.
6 months have almost passed but neither the authorities nor the artist shows any inclination towards removing the structure. In spite of this illegal art installation being erected on the inter-tidal zone, no complaints have been received and so the tourism department and coastal zone management authority also seem to be turning a blind eye.
The danger in not removing the art installation
According to environmental experts, the art installation is in a no development zone. It is also in complete violation of CRZ rules and has even contributed to sand accumulation on that side of the children’s park by holding the sand surrounding its iron columns during high tides. This has resulted in the St Inez creek water not flowing properly into the River Mandovi.
The improper zoning of the plantation by the forest department beyond the high tide line by planting trees and mangroves along the foreshore of sand beach, which strongly holds and stabilize the land, has paved way for sand accretion.
However, experts feel there should have been a sand dune covered with vegetation and pathway to walk.
Information credit – The Navhind Times