Village Groups of Goa demand revocation of Regional Plan 2021
Citing large-scale irregularities, the Village Groups of Goa (VGG), an umbrella body of various village activist organizations from across the state, has called for the immediate revocation of the recently notified Regional Plan 2021 within 30 days.
They have voiced their collective opposition to the excessive roads inserted in the RP 2021 and questioned the motive behind the same.
Claude Alvares of Goa Foundation said, “The 15, 20, 25m roads in the plan are to permit large scale development. People’s compound walls, houses, coconut trees are going to be affected.”
Speaking on the buffer zone around wildlife sanctuaries, Alvares said the RP 2021 shows mines within the one km Netravali buffer zone.
“There are 63 leases shown as part of the 336 valid leases in the regional plan. Forest land has been shown as orchard land,” he added.
VGG member Zarina da Cunha said, “The regional plan is not a people’s participatory regional plan, but a sinister plan against the Goans arbitrarily done by the government.”
She said that the suggestions of the village level committees have not been implemented in RP 2021 and classification of zones has been changed against the wishes of the people.
“What happened to the draft plans we (village committees) sent?” she questioned.
“The large roads are not needed,” Cunha said, adding that the roads are for future real estate development.
Bismarque Dias, environmental activist, said that destruction of forests has been taking place at Narva-Bicholim. He urged Goans to wake up and protest against the sinister designs of the government and planning officials, before it was too late.