The NGOs stated that only by scrapping the RP could the government truly incorporate all suggestions forwarded by the village level committees. They claim the notified plan not only ignored these suggestions but were guilty of massive errors they allege would destroy Goa.
“We hereby request you to immediately implement the most pressing of all your pre-poll assurances which is the scrapping of the RP 2021,” read the petition drafted by Goenche Xettkarancho Ekvott (GXE) president Dilip Hegde.
Representatives of various NGO’s endorsed the stand taking by GXE and added that not only did they reject the stand taken by Goa Bachao Abhiyan which is in favour of retaining RP 2021, they also found the continued insistence of GBA to defend the RP to be incomprehensible.
State level committee (SLC) members who helped draw up RP 2021 as well as GBA had cautioned about the disastrous consequences for the state’s eco-sensitive landmass should the plan be withdrawn.
On the other hand, social activist Franky Monteiro alleged that retaining RP 2021 would accommodate the corrupt practices behind the large-scale changes in zones that he claims were exposed recently by the recovery of 26 crore from a former government official.
Another activist Zarinha Da Cunha asserted that they had examined the suggestions of 60 village level committees and appealed to the government to immediately commence a review of all permissions given under RP 2021 since it was first notified on November 24, 2011.
“The impression that the Regional Plan 2001 is more dangerous than RP 2021 is a myth created by those who have vested interest in RP 2021,” Da Cunha said, while claiming no further scope for abuse of RP 2001 was possible given the slowing down of conversions in the last four years.