With the lukewarm response to the call of the village groups asking all Goans to unite against the Regional Plan, it is becoming increasingly certain that the government led by chief minister Digambar Kamat is in no mood to “scrap” the regional plan.
And the Chief Minister’s Liberation Day speech, saying the plan would be “rectified” only makes it all the more certain.
However, what exactly does “rectification” mean? As of now that remains unclear. Chief Town Planner S T Putturaju said that a criteria would be drawn up after the Town and Country Planning Department (TCP) and the State Level Committee (SLC) go through the suggestions submitted by the village panchayats and the gram sabhas. “Different people can interpret rectification differently, but rectification according to me would mean correction of errors,” he said. When asked if zone changes would be allowed, he said they would be done only in case of errors.He said that the main changes would involve reduction of road width as recommended by the panchayats, honouring past permissions.
However the Chief Minister’s statement has infuriated the Village Groups, which have said that the Chief Minister makes little sense. “When this is a completely messed up plan and includes large scale selected manipulations, how can the CM say that minor errors can be rectified. The CM is misleading the people. There are so many instances where NDZ (No Development Zones) have been marked as settlement areas,” Yatish Naik said.
“When every village has openly rejected the plan in its present form, and the CM ignores this, they are neglecting the voice of the people. We need a plan that will sustain a good growth in the state. Goa’s identity is unique. That is why we have been asking for the de-notification of the plan keep the task force plan as a base, reconstitute the SLC and draw up a new plan,” Naik added.
According to data available with the Town and Country Planning Department, 176 of 189 panchayats in the state have reverted back to the TCP department of which 12 have offered no comments 86 have asked for rectifications while 13 have asked for scrapping of the regional plan of their village. The rest have said “let’s have a discussion.”
Eight municipalities have also reverted back but made no comments.
Source - O Heraldo, December, 2011.
Last changed: Dec 29 2011 at 9:16 AM