Eco-sensitive zones to be respected in ODPs: Rane

Says TCP Dept will carry out exercise as per legal procedure



Town and Country Planning Minister, Vishwajit Rane on Saturday said Eco-sensitive zones have to be respected and every effort will be made to prepare merit-based Outline Development Plans (ODPs) for the State's planning and development areas.

"Eco-sensitive zones are ecologically vulnerable lands that must be protected. ODPs must adhere to this fundamental legal principle. TCP Dept will carry out exercise in accordance with legally mandated procedures, and we will make every effort to prepare merit-based ODPs," Rane tweeted on Saturday morning.

Later in the day he also tweeted that an entourage of officials from the Forest Department which he also heads had trekked the Vagheri Hills to asses the ground realities related to alleged clearing of private forest areas that was taking place reportedly for an unknown eco-tourism project.

"Officials from Forest Dept, PCCF, APCCF, DCF & the RFOs visited Vagheri Hills to assess the situation, where road development work is being done without permission and sanad. Trees are being cut down without permission, in violation of Section 8 of Goa Preservation of Trees Act, 1984," Rane tweeted.

He said, the department has recorded co-ordinates to determine whether the area falls within ecological sensitive zone.

"Any development work that does not have the necessary permissions will be prohibited and will result in severe repercussions," he said in a follow-up tweet.

Earlier this week, Rane had kept in suspension three already notified ODPs of Calangute-Candolim, Arpora-Nagoa-Parra and Vasco, while ordering a review by a committee headed by Chief Town Planner within two months.

All other ODPs which were in various stages of the process of their formulation were also scrapped and the exercise ordered to be started afresh.

Meanwhile, Rane said he would consult Edgar Ribeiro, India's former Chief Town Planner who was instrumental in creation of Goa's TCP Act and seek his guidance on the way forward with regard to his vision for TCP department.

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