Unconvinced with the Goa Chief Minister's reply to its recent memorandum over the status of the State Regional Plan 2021 (land use plan of the State which is under finalisation), Goa Bachav Abhiyan (GBA) started a series of meetings on Tuesday in the villages to press for the notification of eco-sensitive zones and restriction to 50 FAR pending the finalisation of the plan.

The groups have asked the State Government to release the plan as the deadline ended long ago, while the Chief Minister has once again given reasons why the plan is taking time and promised to release it in phased manner.

The first meeting of villagers was held at St. Christopher's Club in Tivim, Bardez taluk under the aegis of Tivim Bachao Manch. The villagers group is spear-heading the action to protect the demarcated “Private Forest” on the outskirts of Mapusa city into a hotel enclave allegedly as part of a proposed international cricket stadium for which 1.3 lakh square metres of land has been acquired by the State Directorate of Sports and Youth Affairs and sanction for development given to Goa Cricket Association under amended Sections 16 & 16A, controversial amendments of Goa Town Planning Act, as a public-private-partnership (PPP) project. The matter is in court.

Besides, local farmers, including Uday Malvankar, representatives of organisations of various socio-economically backward classes such as Ganv Ghor Rakhan Manch convenor Geraldine Fernandes, GAKUVED president Durgadas Gaonkar, representatives of non-governmental organisations such as Goa Foundation's Claude Alvares, secretary of Centre of Social Justice and Peace Fr. Maverick Fernandes, executive committee members of GBA and other village leaders addressed the people on the issues involved.

The second meeting was held on Wednesday by Benaulim Parish Social Action Forum in south Goa. People from Benaulim and adjoining villages, including Cana, Vanelim and Colva, attended the meeting, according to Sabina Martins of GBA. This will be followed by a meeting of the Chicalim Village Action Committee in south Goa on Thursday. On Friday, a meeting will be held in the Chandor Panchayat Hall in south Goa.

Abhiyan unhappy with Chief Minister's reply on Regional Plan 2021