Panaji: Stating that the going unrest against the government on the issue of Regional Plan 2021 is basically due to lack of people’s participation in the planning process, the Goa Bachao Abhiyan (GBA) has demanded that the Minister for Town and Country Planning (TCP) Vijay Sardessai should immediately initiate process to amend the Goa TCP Act 1974.
In a press statement issued today evening, GBA has said that people’s unrest is a response to the symptoms that erupt – such as change of ‘Zones’ in different colours and new PDAs; all stem from an outdated Goa TCP Act, 1974, the critical disease that needs to be treated.
“The problem today is a continuation of the outdated TCP Act of 1974 without acknowledging the 73rd & 74th Amendments to our Constitution for the last twenty six years and it is compounded by a body of people who still do not understand how their rights to planning have been withheld from them,” GBA convenor Sabina Martins said.
GBA demands that the Minister for TCP initiate immediate action to amend the Goa TCP Act, 1974 to bring them in tune with the Article 243 of the Constitution of India and the Eleventh & Twelfth Schedules thereto as per the 73rd and 74th Amendments of 1992.
“The planning process must allow peoples participation by legal mandate instead as a one-off exercise of the RP2021. The amendment of the Acts must be taken up on priority, instead sidetracking the issue with suggestions of probes into allegations with respect to the RP2021,” Matins said.
“Common to all issues, whether unconstitutional PDAs; a Regional Plan 2021 still waiting for rectification and removal of last minute “insertions”; additional coal berths in Vasco despite pollution; and unwanted river nationalization, is that people of Goa have not been involved in the planning process as mandated by the Constitution,” Martins said.
The Constitution of India clearly defines the method of bottom up planning with the Town and Country Planning department’s role as a guiding technical body to the people, as a tailor provides professional services on wishes of customers who want clothes as per their requirements, she added.
The GBA has reiterated its demand to scrap all PDAs and to set proper planning guidelines for the entire State.