Special Correspondent

GBA has submitted a 10-point charter of demands to the Chief Minister

  • It has called for a probe into land-use changes
  • Government urged to freeze setting up of SEZs

    PANAJI: Fresh from its recent victory in forcing the State Government to withdraw its controversial State Regional Plan 2011, the Goa Bachav Abhiyan (GBA), a citizens' body that has spearheaded the agitation against alleged land-use irregularities by the Government authorities in the State, has submitted a 10-point charter of demands to the Chief Minister demanding immediate withdrawal of the Outline Development Plans (ODPs) of major cities and towns.

    Accusing the Town and Country Planning Department (TCP) of subverting the provisions of law, the GBA has said ODPs are being "illegally adopted" without going through the consultative process with the local self government, and has said that they "were being operated at draft stage itself."

    The GBAon Thursday submitted a memorandum to Chief Secretary J.P. Singh highlighting irregularities that were allegedly being committed by the Planning and Development Authorities (PDAs in preparation of the ODPs and approval of projects under the old ODPs in the areas withdrawn from the jurisdiction of PDAs.

    The GBA has demanded an inquiry by Central Bureau of Investigation into major land-use changes between December 2005 and August 2006 and has called for freezing of the process of setting up of Special Economic Zones as well as Information Technology parks.

    Convener of GBA Oscar Rebello told presspersons that draft ODPs of some of the towns had been adopted and projects approved based merely on the draft OPDs. Quoting provisions of the TCP Act, general secretary of GBA Patricia Pinto said in gross violation of the consultative process involving local bodies, OPDs of six major planning areas had been done by not consulting local bodies such as village panchayats and municipal councils.