PANJIM: The opposition to the draft Goa Land Development and Building Construction (Amendment) Regulations 2022 is growing throughout the State with activists demanding immediate scrapping of amendments and to formulate of a new Regional Plan 2031 with public participation.
As many as 17 amendments have been proposed in the draft Goa Land Development and Building Construction (Amendment) Regulations which was notified by the Town and Country Planning (TCP) department on August 29 this year. The last date to submit objections and suggestions to the draft regulations is September 28.
The activists have been holding meetings across the State creating awareness among the villagers about the impending dangers if the draft regulations are finalised by the government. Environmentalists Claude Alvares, environmental architect Elsa Fernandes, Bharat Mukti Morcha State convenor Sebastiao Rodrigues and Abhijit Prabhudesai of Federation of Rainbow Warriors will address a meeting at Grace Church Hall, Margao on Saturday while massive protest has been planned outside the Chief Town Planner’s office at Patto-Panjim on Monday morning to demand rejection of the amendments.
Goa Bachao Abhiyan (GBA) convenor Sabina Martins demanded that the government should immediately scrap the Goa Land Development and Building Construction (Amendment) Regulations and prepare a new Regional Plan with people’s participation as per the 73rd and 74th Constitutional amendments land, which will determine the rules for the regulations and not the other way round. There should be a sustainable development plan by maintaining a balance between green infrastructure and the ongoing grey infrastructure concretising the tiny State. The construction of golf courses etc should not be developed in the name of tourism.
Abhijit Prabhudesai of the Federation of Rainbow Warriors who has vociferously demanded the scrapping of the regulations said that draft regulations will cause massive destruction of the State.
He demanded that the government should start preparing a new Regional Plan to face climate change and prevent it since 15 per cent of Goa’s land is contiguous.
Goencho Swabhiman Party vice-president Roshan Mathias said these regulations are making provisions for what was wrongly included in the regional Plan 2021. He alleged that the government is bringing rules against the wishes of the people and promoting builders' lobbies.
He demanded that the government should start the process of preparing a new Regional Plan 2031 and that the power of planning should be entrusted to local self-bodies as per the 73rd and 74th Constitutional amendments.
The TCP department has no right to plan our villages.