The Bombay High Court at Goa has issued notices based on a petition that challenges the inclusion of Parra village in the Outline Development Plan (ODP) of Calangute Candolim contending that the inclusion of the village took away the rights of the villagers to plan for their own village.
The petition filed by a resident of Parra and member of the gram sabha has sought the quashing of the Town and Country Planning Department notification dating back to 2018 in which Parra village has been declared as a Planning Area and has been brought under the jurisdiction of the North Goa Planning and Development Authority (NGPDA).
“This action is contrary to the 73rd constitutional amendment and to the provisions of the Goa Panchayat Raj Act, 1994, destructive of village level planning and compromises Petitioners’ Constitutional rights to plan their own development. Neither the Panchayat nor the Gram Sabha of the village has been consulted about this takeover of the planning powers of the Panchayat assigned to it under the Constitution of India,” the petition states.
“Our main contention is that the Gram Panchayat is required to prepare the Development Plan and submit to the District Planning Committee, which will prepare the plan for the District and submit to the Government. It cannot be a top to down approach. Reliance is placed on Article 243ZD of the Constitution and Section 239 of the Goa Panchayat Raj Act, 1994,” Adv Carlos Alvares Ferreira who argued the petition, said.
The Petition also seeks the finalisation of the Village Development Plan prepared by the Panchayat in furtherance of its Constitutional mandate and under the provisions of the Goa Panchayat Raj Act, 1994. Hence this writ petition for enforcement of the Petitioners’ constitutional rights.
Parra had prepared its own plan after the TCP Department sent the plans to the villages during the finalization of the Regional Plan 2021.