All villages, including Kadamba plateau, dropped from PDA; Outdated TCP Act to be amended to address modern challenges; Board to review major conversions of last five years
PANJIM: As promised on Easter Eve, the Town and Country Planning (TCP) Board chaired by Minister Vijai Sardesai on Wednesday resolved to drop all the villages, including Kadamba plateau, but excluding Taleigao, from the jurisdiction of the Greater Panjim Planning and Development Authority (GPPDA). The PDA will now consist of only Taleigao Planning and Development Area (PDA).
The Board also decided to revisit the Town and Country Planning Act, 1974, thereby making necessary amendments to the Act to address the modern challenges. The Act will be amended taking into confidence all stakeholders and will be introduced in the forthcoming monsoon session of the State Legislative Assembly.
Following allegations of illegal land conversions in the guise of Regional Plan 2021, the Board will have a quick review all major conversions of the last five years. Nearly one crore square metres of land conversions have been reported.
Addressing media persons after the meeting, Sardesai said that the Board has decided to stand by the commitment and drop the contentious villages from GPPDA as promised on Easter Eve.
The Bambolim planning and development area comprises of villages of Kalapur, Bambolim, Cujira, Curca and Talaulim, while the Kadamba plateau area includes Chimbel, Talulim, Govle-mola, Gancim, Azossim, Carambolim, Ela, Bainguinim and Panelim. “A small portion of these two PDAs have been maintained under GPPDA,” Sardesai said.
The Minister reiterated that the GPPDA was formed after MLAs from those areas, wrote to and also submitted gram sabha resolutions that their areas should come under PDA. “Subsequently, the same MLAs gave in writing that they oppose the GPPDA. They being representatives of the people, their views have been taken into account and necessary changes have been done,” Sardesai said.
Indirectly hinting at the current protest for scrapping all PDAs, the Minister said, “Demands coming from elsewhere, other than from elected representatives, cannot be considered. However, we are open to dialogue and discussion, though the other side has just made allegations but without substantial documents.”
Speaking about amendment to the TCP Act, the Minister said there have been statements that the act is outdated as it was drafted in 1974 and this is 2018.
“Hence, we have decided to revisit the Act. We need to have an act that meets the challenges of the present day. We are in process of amending the act, taking all stakeholders into confidence. But these amendments will come up in the State Assembly,” he said.
Sardesai said that all the decisions that are taken are in the interest of Goenkars. “We are taking decisions not because we are forced or because of any agitation, but decisions are taken because we feel that what is good for the State has to be also good for the people,” he stated.
“But somewhere there has to be something called rule of the law. Development of the State cannot be paralyzed by saying that let us have nothing,” he commented.
Explaining the composition of GPPDA, Chief Town Planner Rajesh Naik said that in Bambolim, only the plateau area, where most of the land is under government acquisition, has been retained under GPPDA.
Similarly, in case of Kadamba plateau, the portion from Merces circle to Kadamba plateau with 150 meters of either side will be part of PDA.