Karnataka

The tasks ahead for Goa’s new Chief Minister

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Apart from resumption of iron ore mining, which has affected the State’s economy for over two years, State’s land use plan put on back-burner for long could immediately haunt Goa’s new Chief

Minister Laxmikant Parsekar.

Goa’s activists spearheading the movement for appropriate land use are not in agreement with Manohar Parrikar’s parting statement as Chief Minister on Friday that he did not allow uncontrolled construction,

and that his government restricted itself to best of Regional Plan (RP) 2001 and 2021, Goa’s land use plans.

“Firstly, Mr. Parrikar failed to deliver his electoral promise to finalise RP 2021 by getting into a participative process with village committees and other stakeholders over anomalies in draft RP which was not denotified by his predecessor despite public agitation and protests. By merely putting the RP 2021 on hold, Mr. Parrikar’s contention of having operated with best of both the plans is misleading as this provision has not been notified by the government till date, and as such he allowed developments not as per law but based on his government’s discretionary powers which are bound to be arbitrary,” Sabina Martins, who heads the movement under the banner of Goa Bachav Abhiyan (GBA) told The Hindu on Sunday.

“By continuing to delay acting on RP 2021, avoiding meeting us despite seeking appointments, with nothing in black and white for interim arrangement, his government, for last over 30 months allowed development using discretions which has led to huge scope for illegalities and irregularities in construction,” she said and added that “GBA will meet the new Chief Minister to put an end to this style of functioning and begin the process of consultations with stakeholders for finalisation of RP 2021 in right earnest.”

According to sources in the government, however, the delay in finalising the RP can get much longer as the State will have to wait for the next Legislative Assembly session for the government to form a House Committee to discuss the modalities for RP, as was announced by Mr.Parrikar in July. Mr. Parrikar had claimed that he wanted to first tackle the resumption of mining on a priority basis and then take up the RP 2021.

The GBA and other village groups which are apprehensive over illegalities in construction, including growing attacks on eco-sensitive zones, are agitated that during the 2012 Assembly election campaign, the BJP had promised to denotify the RP and draft a fresh plan taking into confidence all stakeholders and local

bodies. Goa Governor K. Shankaranarayan, in his introductory speech of the new government on the floor of the House in March 2012, had stated that his government was firmly wedded to grassroots planning and

participation of people in all development activities. Following this, the Chief Minister gave a series of deadlines right from September 2012 to July 2014, either to denotify the plan or to keep it open for

public suggestions or for referendum, much to the annoyance of the groups like GBA, Ms. Martins pointed out.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 6:47:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/the-tasks-ahead-for-goas-new-chief-minister/article6580481.ece

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