GoaChronicle.com in its expose leaks out a shocking letter written by the Government of India former Chief Town Planner and former State Level Committee member on the Regional Plan drafting team Edgar Ribeiro to the Chief Secretary Sanjay Srivastava on the Regional Plan 2021…
In a letter addressed to the Chief Secretary Sanjay Srivastava on December 3, 2011, former Chief Town Planner of the Government of India (GoI) and now resigned member of the State Level Committee (SLC) of the Regional Plan 2021 of the Government of Goa subject titled “The State Level Committee have overshot their brief. RP 2021 needs urgent revisit through de-notification”, the former has clearly highlighted his reasons from resigning from the SLC and why he feels the RP 2021 started with a vision and got convoluted on account of political pressure and some serious real estate lobbying.
GoaChronicle.com spent a few hours understanding the RP 2021 on a broad parameter with Edgar Ribeiro, he described the RP 2021 is just one sentence, “It is the URBANISATION of Goa”.
While the Letter has extremely shocking details, the four most important points for the former GoI Chief Town Planner leaving the SLC was;
1.Keeping five major municipalities and one fast growing Panchayat – housing between them a third of Goa’s population out of the RPG suggestion process.
2.Hurriedly amending the Town and Country Planning (TCP) Act 1974 via Section 16/16 A to keep all government projects (on the anvil and proposed) outside the purview of the TCP Act.
3.Amending the State Act pertaining to Health for ensuring a sectorally promoted access to land and its usage outside the TCP Act.
4.Incredible as it may seem, ensuring that RPG 2001 would continue as the anchor for building permits until RPG 2021 is in place.
To explain it as best as we have understood from Ribeiro, one of Goa most prestigious and highly controversial estimated Rs 1400 crore Dona Paula – Vasco sea-link project or any other project such as this which the government seems appropriate does not find its place in the RPG 2021, not even a mention. The question is how many such projects can be brought in, which does not form a part of the RP 2021 and the government can go about acquiring land.
Even the issue of the amending of the State Act on Health and its land usage which is outside the TCP Act is highly questionable.
Let’s even take the serious issue of the Vanxim Island, where a major portion of the land has been brought by a Bangalore based real estate company Ozone Developers, the RP 2021 clearly marks it as a hotel site, when over 85 per cent of the land mass is in Eco-Sensitive Zone. The question is who decided on the hotel and eco-tourism sites; are these not sites already purchased by some real estate companies.
As GoaChronicle.com we believe and putting out facts to the people without any bias. Many of the agitation over the RP 2021 issue seems to be missing the bigger picture in play here, while fighting over smaller issues and creating confusion. The bigger issue according to Ribeiro is the ‘Urbanisation of Goa’.