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No objections to demolition of road-side religious structures?
August 13, 2012
People from north Goa point out several other religious structures not listed in draft policy
SHWETA KAMAT email@example.com
PANJIM: Contrary to expecations that there could be a public uproar over demolition of roadside and non-roadside religious structures, district administration officials have come across a completely contrasting picture when they received suggestions from people.
Government records indicate that almost all people from north Goa, while placing their suggestions and objections to the Draft Policy on Religious Structures, have pointed out to the several other religious structures not listed in the policy, instead of submitting their ‘objection’
to the demolition.
Deputy Collector Santosh Khorjuvekar who is busy compiling the objections and suggestions said that almost all applications were ‘suggestions.’ “There are applications from people pointing out to structures along the roadside. They claim that those structures should also be the part of the list,” he added.
The policy, open for public suggestions from July 1-30, has received a total 21 suggestions from the north.
Another interesting fact is that there is no suggestion from Sattari taluka, while a maximum of eight suggestions are from Tiswadi and Bardez. From Ponda and Bicholim there are two suggestions each while one is from Pernem taluka.
The suggestions have
taken district administration officials by surprise, who were apprehensive that the policy might be objected to, as orally people had opposed demolition of these structures, in some parts.
Khorjuvekar said that the applications received were mostly from individuals, some had been submitted to the mamlatdar’s office while others were dropped at the collector’s office in Panaji.
“Some applications also mention relocating some structures,” he added.
The Manohar Parrikar government had drafted the policy as per the Supreme Court guidelines on religious structures on government land, which are meant to be demolished. Structures in private land would be left untouched.
The policy seeks to lay down procedure for removal of unauthorized religious structures, while retaining and regularizing decade-old ones and relocating others. Unauthorized religious structures in non-comunidade land are proposed to be removed within 90 days after the order is passed.
Of the total 979 illegal structures identified by the committee during the erstwhile Congress government, only 80 of them were earmarked for demolition -- 31 in north and 49 in south -- around 292 for regularization and the others for relocation.
After compiling the records from both districts, the state level committee is expected to meet on Monday which will discuss the suggestions and objections from various people.
The implementation of the policy will also be an important issue before the committee meeting, which is expected to be chaired by Parrikar.