PANJIM: The Goa Government has finally decided to throw open the controversial Regional Plan 2021 to the public for feedback for one month, between August 15 to September 15, while stating that the entire process of drafting the plan would be completed by December this year.
">Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar unequivocally stated on Thursday, that all those permissions which were given before April 9, 2012 would be honoured by the Government, while responding to the discussion on the demands for grants at Goa Assembly.
Parrikar, however, categorically stated that the role of NGOs and panchayats in the finalization of the Regional Plan 2021 would be restricted and that specific suggestions from the public would not be entertained.
At the second stage, the taluka-wise drawing up of the plan would be taken up, Parrikar said.
The plan would be open for one month for general suggestions. Citizens and organizations concerned with the plan would be
provided an opportunity to put forth their recommendations, requests and objections, the chief minister said. He, however, clarified that specific suggestions on the plan would not be entertained during the one month period.
“The suggestions will have to be of general nature and related to the planning of the State”, Parrikar said elaborating that the entire plan process would be completed by December, this year.
Stating that the RP would be based on a basic principle, Parrikar said that after September 15, the drawing up of the plan for each taluka would start, beginning with one taluka each, in each district.
“The interest of the common man would be taken into consideration. The Government is not going to allow any vested interest to enter”, he said.
The chief minister hinted that the role of NGOs and panchayats in the finalization of RP would be restricted. “Government can define what are the areas of `go’ and `no-go’ for panchayats and NGOs”, he said, adding that panchayat can give suggestion only in the cases where village life is going to be affected.
“All these aspects would be discussed before drafting the plan”, Parrikar said.
Clearing the air over confusion on the clearances given as per RP2012, Parrikar said that permissions given before April 9, 2012 would be honoured by the Government. He said that those permissions will remain valid.
The chief minister hinted that many of the portions in RP 2012 which are good will be retained.
Due to widespread criticism against the Town and Country Planning Department and its role in drafting the previous plan and allegations made by NGOs, Parrikar assured more transparency in the Department and suggested various changes.
“Why should TCP officials do site inspection? Why can’t we have panel of architects who can do the inspection?”, he said, adding that these are merely ideas and not the policy decision of the Government.
The chief minister also hinted at having vertical development in some places which can ease the burden on land.
Congress MLA from Dabolim Mauvin Godinho urged the Government to keep the plan open for members of the House before finalizing it, so as to know the plans made for their respective constituencies.
The drafting and notification of the Regional Plan has been hanging fire for years now, with citizens groups, NGOs and individuals holding vociferous agitations across the State. The widespread public agitations which paralysed the streets and threatened to bring down the Government in the next election, forced the erstwhile Congress coalition Government to give in to the public demands and freeze the plan. Opposition Leader Pratapsing Rane claimed the plan had to be notified at the earliest since all developmental activity was paralysed in the State.