Sunday 21 April 2024

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Historic RP 21 implementation begins, Canacona & Pernem taluka plans notified

 

Goa government has finally started notifying the new Regional Plan 2021, in stages. The first such plans for Canacona and Pernem talukas were notified today.

"We are trying to finish the process by April, by notifying two talukas every month", said chief minister Digambar Kamat.

The plan, earlir drafted by a Task Force and then finalised by the State Level Committee (SLC), was prepared after recieving objections and suggestions from village panchayats by discussing the draft in the Gram Sabhas.

The major highlight of RP21 is that it has earmarked 54 per cent - over half - of Goa as eco-sensitive zone I, with no development of any kind proposed in these areas. It comprises private and government forests, non-developable slopes of 25% gradient, water bodies, paddy fields, sand dunes, etc.

The ESZ II, comprising 26 per cent of area, is being earmarked for limited development. It would be allowed with stringent restrictions, includes CRZ areas, cultivable land, archaeological and heritage areas, saltpans, etc.

Both the zones comprise almost 80 per cent of Goa.

The SLC has also rationalised two FARs for Goa, as VP 1 and VP 2.

Hinterland areas have been allotted VP1 status with FAR of 80 whereas most coastal areas have been allotted VP2 status with FAR of 60.

In case the area exceeds 4000 sq mts, the FAR of 80 would be reduced to 60 while 60 would reduce to 50, said Sanjit Rodrigues, member of the SLC and the industries director.

Besides the chief minister, member and renowned architect Charles Correira and architect Brian Soares were present at the press conference.

Likewise, the policy has also restricted the height of structures. While VP1 areas will continue with existing guidelines, in VP2 areas the building height will be restricted to 9 metres including stilts. This is to prevent high-rise buildings in villages.

Confirming that the notification will immediately bestow protection from development to eco-sensitive zones in the two talukas, Kamat said this is because, for the first time, the composite and digitized plans for both will be uploaded on a website.

Illegalities to be curbed Illegalities are expected to be curbed drastically as no one can make false representations in construction projects. The new composite plans show slopes, fields, CRZ areas, forests and other categories for every survey number at a mere glance.

The SLC has arrived at this after scrutinizing about 9,000 suggestions to the draft RP 2021 from various stakeholders.

Kamat said it is first time in the country that a draft regional plan was sent to village panchayats and gram sabhas for their participation and feedback.

Interestingly,some villages in these two talukas had proposed large change of land use from agriculture to settlement. But the SLC released much less land for settlement than requested.

In Canacona, Loliem village, having 30.67 lakh sq m of existing settlement land, had sought another 1.26 crore sq m. But the SLC released only 14.25 lakh sq m.

Similarly, Agonda, which has 25.44 lakh sq m of settlement land had sought 20.26 lakh sq m more. It got 4.35 lakh sq m.

Also in Pernem, Mandrem and Morjim villages have got far less settlement land than they had sought, informed Rodrigues.

"This shows that corruption need not come only from the top. It can also be bottoms up," quipped Corriea, while reacting to such demands of the gram sabhas.

The plan also provides a roadmap for Goa's development, employment-generation and overall prosperity.

The SLC has proposed the doubling of existing railway tracks to boost the movement of men and materials from north to south to aid economic growth.

The SLC has also proposed a corridor of growth - a four-lane state highway, from Usgao-Dharbandora to Tivim in the North and Balli to the South, while proposing growht models in these belts.  

Proposing the phasing out of mining in these areas, the SLC has suggested the regeneration of these mining-devastated areas by putting in infrastructure for growth.

Hoping to harness water transport, the SLC has proposed hydrofoils to connect all ports in the state for movement of men and materials and to boost economic activity up-down. The internal waterways could also be used to boost commerce on rivers.

A sports city in Pernem, a film city at Durbhat in Ponda and one golf course each in Pernem and Canacona have also been proposed.

In order to curb purchase of second home in Goa, the SLC has proposed imposition of non-occupancy tax, stringent fees for land conversion and new measures for boosting eco and agro tourism.

In order to implement this whole plan in a planned manner, Rodrigues said the SLC has proposed formation of a Special Cell, comprising the concerned government departments.


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It all remains to be seen. The Devil is in the detail. 30 days time for notification inspection is not given.

 
Ludovico , Old-Goa

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