The Goa Bachao Abhiyan (GBA), a body spearheading the cause of appropriate land use planning, on Sunday reiterated its demand that the Regional Plan 2021 (RP2021), State land use plan presently under controversy, should go to the villages for detailing land-use. It reiterated its long-standing demand of “one Goa one plan” which should be based on common principles applicable to all areas across the State in the land use planning.

The view was crystallised at a workshop held in the city by the GBA to deliberate on the planning issues that need to be put on the agenda during the March 3 Assembly elections. Reboni Saha , Secretary of GBA, made a visual presentation of the findings of the study of suggestions that were made to the Regional Plan 2021 when the final notified RP2021 was kept open for suggestions and corrections.

It was found that the suggestions that came from panchayat bodies were more to preserve the eco-sensitive zones whereas those that came from individuals were for self. Some panchayats were an exception where more settlement was asked. These could be traced to vested interests, said Ms. Saha.

GBA said that collective wisdom works in the interest of the community and hence the 73rd and 74th amendment for people's participation had to be pressed for.

Referring to the most contentious issues in the controversial regional plan, the participants at the workshop asserted that the roads had to be planned at the village-level keeping in mind their unique socio-economic activity. Analysis of Outline Development Plans (ODPs) overlaid on RP2021 revealed that most large landholdings are in the hands of the developers. The composition of the PDAs was mostly MLAs and businessmen hence all the land usage plans were made in the interest of developers, said some participants. The GBA demanded that the planning authority should have representatives of different stake holders and a participatory process followed. Pranab Mukhopadya of the Department of Economics, Goa University, gave researched inputs on the economic status of Goa. Architect K.D. Sadhale emphasised that the prosperity of Goa lies in protecting the land for local use and hence favoured legislation to prevent sale or acquisition of community land.

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  • Analysis of ODPs on RP2021 reveals that most of the land holdings are in the hands of developers