PANJIM: The road towards scrapping the controversial Section 16B of the Town and Country Planning (TCP) Act is through the State Legislative Assembly or Ordinance. The pro-people act of the Sawant government will be completed after the re-introduction of the Bill in the House to repeal that section of the law
TCP Minister Vishwajit Rane on Monday announced to scrap close to 7,000 applications that were granted either final or provisional approvals for zone change under the much-debated Section 16B, with immediate effect. Rane also said that an affidavit would be filed before the Bombay High Court at Goa informing government decision.
Speaking to HERALD, Advocate General Devidas Pangam said “It is a law and it has to be repealed either through a new legislation or by issuing an Ordinance,” he said.
Pangam said that even after issuing the Ordinance, the government will have to introduce a fresh amendment to the Act to delete the Section. “The Bill has to be passed by the House and then the Governor has to give the assent,” he explained.
Secondly to facilitate the decision and close this chapter individual parties and cases have to be heard and sis[posed off
NGO Goa Foundation and Goa Bachao Abhiyan had in November 2018 moved High Court with a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) for quashing and setting aside provisions of law (Section 16B of the Goa Town and Country Planning Act and proviso to Regulation 6.1.1 (d) of the Goa Land Development and Building Construction Regulations, 2010) that seek to allow ad-hoc and arbitrary conversions of privately-owned plots in the Regional Plan based on individual applications from such zone changes.
Therefore, those who went ahead with projects based on provisional approvals always ran the risk (and this was understood by all) of any decision adverse to them, since the decision, like it is now, pro people and pro Goa
In November 2019, the State Government had assured High Court at Goa that no final approvals would be granted to new proposals till the court passes final orders. Accordingly, the government went ahead with provisional approvals. Before that, nearly 250 applications had received final approvals.