MMC deputy chairperson says in Margao, land is scarce and the people depend on the municipal garden; In Aquem, Fatorda and Borda, there are a lot of open spaces demarcated and shown in the ODP but the ownership is not with the MMC and hence these cannot be developed
While kids celebrate Children’s Day across India and especially in Goa, the issue we deeply look at in Margao is the open spaces, their development, if developed their maintenance and ownership. Each of these issues denies a space for a child to play and experience Mother Nature.
Recently, TCP Minister and Fatorda MLA Vijai Sardesai had stated that riches and money can be purchased but land is scarce in Goa especially in Margao which needs to efficiently managed and transferred to the local body and developed and most importantly managed. “In Margao, land is scarce and the people depend on the municipal garden. But in Aquem, Fatorda and Borda, there are a lot of open spaces demarcated and shown in the ODP but the ownership is not with the municipality and hence these cannot be developed. In the past, some have even been given permission to construct on land demarcated for an open space to develop a park but ownership is a restriction,” says MMC Deputy Chairperson Tito Cardozo.
Cardozo says, “These lands are still in possession of developers and individual owners despite being demarcated in 1960 and open spaces seem like privately-owned spaces which should have been government-owned. The only way forward I had suggested as a SGGPDA co-opted member earlier is to earmark all open spaces through a survey or study and table a bill in the Assembly and takeover these spaces, deeming them as being handed over to the MMC and then the council can develop them and device a maintenance plan.
MMC has over 58 open spaces and lands in its stride in Margao which include Rajendra Prasad Stadium and BPS Club. Some open spaces have been half developed into children parks and others as public utility places.
There is a need for open spaces and planning them as public places like Joggers Park and most importantly into children parks as there are not many compared to the density of children in the town.
“Developing and having ownership is one issue the next is maintenance and keeping the anti-social elements at bay. Beer bottles at Ana Fonte and Nehru Park Gogol and even sometimes drug abuse and sexual abuse is rampant at these places especially during the night due to non-functional of the lights,” says Clarys Mascarenhas, a Borda resident.
Margao Town Police PI replied that it’s also important that people regularly complain so that the police can look into these matters but rather without complaints it’s difficult for surveillance.