‘The onus of a better plan is with your government'

In its latest missive to Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, Goa Bachav Abhiyan (GBA), body spearheading cause of appropriate land use planning, has reiterated its position that the Regional Plan 2021(RP2021) is not acceptable in its present form and that it needs rectification of errors, deletions of additions not mandated in the Draft RP 2021 that was circulated to the Village Panchayats in October, 2008, especially with regard to Eco Zones.

The GBA also reiterated its demand of “One Goa – one plan” with one land use plan for entire Goa, merging all the Outline Development Plans (ODP) areas too in the regional plan.

Corrections

During the preparation of the RP 2021, people's participation and inputs were sought twice, once during its draft stage from October 2008 to September, 2009 and once again when corrections to the notified Final RP 2021 were invited between November and December 2011. The inputs are documented.

“While the best method for re-visit may be advised by the law department, the people wish that their efforts at participation over the last five years, through their Panchayats and Village Level Committees be recognised,” said GBA while softening its stand that the RP2021 should not be scrapped but revisited for rectification of errors and various other issues raised by village groups and others.

Sabina Martins of GBA recalled on Friday that last five years saw a number of agitations against mega projects and rampant destruction of eco-zones due to the vague nature of the Regional Plan 2001 which was in force.

Prepared in 1987, this plan had no clear boundaries and survey numbers in its land use plan, permitted high FAR and did not have policies on protection of Eco-Zones.

The GBA's apprehension stems from the fear that if the method of correction chosen by the government brings into force the Regional Plan 2001, it amounts to losing much what the people have fought for and opens the doors for chaos and corruption.

“The method used to revisit the Regional Plan must at all costs keep what was good in the RP 2021, namely, the policy advocating lower FARs in villages and the strict protection of Eco-Zones, demarcating each plot with survey numbers on the land use map for clarity,” Ms. Martins asserted.

Demand

“We urge you to quickly and without delay, draw up guidelines for protection of Eco Zones and sustainable development, for processing inputs from the people, and as per your party manifesto (election manifesto of BJP), definitively include the method of people's participation for future planning into State Planning,” Ms Martins said in her letter to Mr. Parrikar.

The GBA has told the Chief Minister that the onus of a better plan lies with his government and hoped to have a transparent and legally mandated method for land use planning and zone changes for the present and in the future.

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