Friday 24 May 2024

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Issues | Regional Plan

No 'green belt' conversion in cities: Correa

 

Padma Vibhushan awardee and renowned architect Charels Correa has clarified that all the six Outline Development Plans of Goa will have to be altered to excludes all green pastures from the land conversion activity.

He was talking in a debate organised by Prudent, a local TV channel, after notifying first two talukas – Canacona and Pernem – as per the Regional Plan 2021. He is member of State Level Committee constituted by chief minister Digambar Kamat to prepare the regional plan.

Correa admitted that the ODPs of Panaji, Taleigao, Mapusa, Mormugao, Margao and Ponda are not presently part of the RP21.

However, he said, the town and country planning department will have to exclude the Eco 1 and Eco 2 zones earmarked in the RP21 from the ODPs.

Eco 1, almost 54 per cent of Goa, consists of government and private forests including sanctuaries and mangroves, paddy fields, khazans, rivers, nallas, ponds, sand dunes, sandy areas, mud flats and no development slopes.

The SLC deleted all the settlement zones marked in these Eco 1 areas, in RP 2001. The RP21 totally bans any kind of development in these green and virgin areas.

Eco 2, around 26 per cent, consists of cultivable land, orchard, natural cover, fish farms, salt pans, irrigation command areas, archaeological parks as well as heritage parks/trail/buffer etc.

The SLC has totally banned any developmental work in Eco 1 while bare minimum development in Eco 2, like construction of a pump house etc in order to maintain the natural beauty of these areas, would be permitted.

Goa Bachao Abhiyan convenor Sabina Martins, who otherwise expressed several reservations about RP21, has welcomed the statement made regarding alteration of ODPs.

The issue has become crucial as constructions are booming in cities either by filling the paddy fields or mangroves and cutting the hillocks.

Similarly, Correa has also clarified that neither SLC nor the Task Force (he was member of both) had ever proposed that the existing National Highway 17 or NH 4A should be diverted to hinterland.

“What we have proposed is widening of the existing state highway from Tivim to Usgao-Dharbandora to Balli to four lanes. The NH 17 and NH 4A should exist and should also be widened to four lanes,” he said.

The National Highway Realignment Committee members had earlier claimed that the regional plan has also suggested diversion of existing national highways to the hinterland.


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With all due respect, to our renowned Mr. Correia and SLC and the Task Force, it is fine that Tivim to Dharbandora is to be widened to 4-lane, in fact in the present form they, the NH-17, 4-A can hardly be called National Highways, being only 7-8 metres wide, anywhere along the whole gamut.

In fact, in order to remove pressure at Dharbandora, from heavy traffic, a 25 metre MDR passing Southwards, alongside the Konkan Railway going towards Margao is/was in the RP-21. What logic was that ? Would it not have been closer to go to Margao via Borim/Ponda? Nothing can be said at this stage because we don not know what happenedd to people's suggestion, we will wait for the finalization.

Secondly, if what is said about both NH's is correct, then what was the future plan strategy for a real National Highway of 6-Lane? Would that not have to pass through the hinterland? Forgive me if I am being so blunt and naive. Any National Highway has to bring benefits to the locals and must be in the planning.

 
Ludovico , Old-Goa

If one looks at various projects which have come up in Goa in the recent years, like the Football ground at Fatorda, the Ravindra bhawan at Margao, the Swimming pool complex in Margao. the Bus stop at Kuncolim, the Football Stadium at Kuncolim, etc, - one finds that those projects have come up after land filling in the fertile fields!

One really wonders whether all those projects could be called legal - as all those have been executed after bending the basic fundamental rules to suit convenience! More over most of them are in the congested part of the city -inviting lot of traffic jams!

In the long run it would be better if the underdeveloped villages are given priority for new projects -while spending public funds- instead of spending all the money in the cities which are already congested!

Leading by example would always be better before forcing the common man to follow!

 
Vishwas Prabhudesai , Loliem

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