Place hopes in TCP Minister’s assurance to review areas included in GPPDA
PANJIM: People and MLAs of St Andre and St Cruz constituency are hoping for a positive decision when the Town and Country Planning Board meets on March 19, following the assurance given by TCP Minister Vijai Sardesai to review the areas included in the newly constituted Greater Panjim Planning and Development Authority (GPPDA).
MLAs Antonio (Tony) Fernandes and Francis Silveira have promised to be with the people along with the panchayats while the people have decided to go ahead with the movement if TCP fails to take a decision in the interest of the villagers.
Fernandes has welcomed the decision taken by the TCP Minister and said that he is hoping for a positive decision. “My stand is very clear, I will be with the people of my village. I hope the Minister knows the sentiments of the people he will take the right decision to de-notify the areas included in the GPPDA”, he said.
Silveira too spoke on similar lines stating he has already submitted his resignation as member of the GPPDA. “There are certain areas in my constituency which may not be removed from GPPDA but most of the areas will be removed, that is what the Minister told me, but finally it is the people of St Andre who will decide on that, not me. I am with the people and will be with them,” he said.
St Cruz Sarpanch Mariano Araujo has also submitted his resignation as member of the GPPDA and said the movement for opposing the GPPDA will continue if TCP failed to take right decision. “We are concerned with the village and the grievances of the people. We don’t want vertical development in our village. Instead of dragging the decision Minister should immediately de-notify the areas from GPPDA,” he said.
Rama Kankonkar, an activist from St Andre said the protests will take a wider shape if TCP fails to de-notify the areas included in the GPPDA. “We don’t want vertical development in St Andre and St Cruz. We demand that all areas from both constituencies be de-notified. If for de-notifying you need to follow procedure, why not for notifying?” Kankonkar questioned.
A mega rally will be called on April 6 in Panjim that would have over 5000 protesting the GPPDA if government fails to remove all the areas of St Andre and St Cruz, he said.
Another activist from St Cruz, Andrea Pereira, said the people are annoyed because without following proper procedure the PDA has been imposed on the village and if the TCP failed to de-notify the protests will turn aggressive. “I appeal to the TCP Minister not to force the people to take to the streets and instead take an appropriate decision by de-notifying the areas from GPPDA in the interest of villagers,” she said.