Panaji: The cash-starved State Government and its agencies are all set to sell off multiple plots on the prime location of Porvorim Highway, which was kept as an open space by then Chief Minister, Late Shri. Manohar Parrikar.
In what seems to be an outright sale of land at Porvorim, the Goa Housing Board has invited e-applications from the public for disposal of three commercial plots by the side of the service road at Porvorim.
These plots are alongside the service road, which is constructed to decongest the highway. Apprehensions are that the deal for these plots may have already been struck and mega projects are likely to come up here adding to the traffic woes.
HISTORY AND SIGNIFICANCE OF THESE PLOTS
In the year 2013-14, the then Chief Minister Late Shri. Manohar Parrikar had planned a market complex at this location considering the worsening situation of the existing market at Porvorim. The locals objected to it after which Parrikar demarcated another place for the new market and also reserved land for the playground. The rider for this deal was that these plots at the roadside should be kept as an open space.
CONCEPT OF TOWN SQUARE
Local MLA, Shri. Rohan Khaunte during his tenure as Minister for Information & Technology had put up a proposal for a Town Square at this place, which would be an open place for the public take part in some recreational activities and relax themselves. The Housing Board was supposed to give away this land for the project and in exchange, another piece of land procured by Inspector General Prison at Curca was scheduled to be handed over to the Board. This was the time when Jayesh Salgaonkar was the Housing Board Minister.
The apprehensions are that if these plots are sold out then some big structure will come at this place due to which the traffic on the highway would be congested further. The place is already facing traffic problems due to the existence of the Mall.
Although the Mall comes under the Pilerne Panchayat of Saligao Constituency, however, due to its closeness to Porvorim, the issue of traffic congestion, parking problems and overcrowding is felt by the residents of Porvorim. Now, these commercial plots are just about 100 mts from the Mall and they are having a C2 zoning, which raises apprehensions that if a commercial structure comes in this place, then the entire service road will be used as a parking garage instead of an internal road. If this is allowed to happen, then there would be utter chaos in Porvorim and the residents would have to face a new set of traffic problems.
ROHAN KHAUNTE PLEDGES TO BE WITH THE PEOPLE
Khaunte said that he will go all out with the people to save this land from being sold to any builder. He said that the promises made to the people should be kept as it is the asset of people, which should not be exploited for commercial gain. If any commercialization is done in this place, it will be the biggest question mark on the legacy of our Late Chief Minister, Shri. Manohar Parrikar who had promised Porvorkars that no more development will take place in this place.