Livid Rane lashes out at land conversion culprits

THE GOAN NETWORK | JUNE 17, 2022, 11:59 PM IST


'Conversions' is the top political flavour in Goa with Chief Minister Pramod Sawant training his guns at religious conversions and the number two in his cabinet, Vishwajit Rane gunning for the other kind of conversions: land.

On Friday Rane, who has launched himself on an ostensible 'clean-up' drive in his Town and Country Planning Department, lashed out in the harshest of words at 'those' who indulged in illegal conversion of green tracts of land to lucrative settlement and commercial use.

Rane refrained from taking names but said those responsible for the "shameful" acts of converting the land should drown themselves in a bucket of water.

He, however, dropped enough hints that Opposition Leader Michael Lobo was in the firing line when he said over 16 lakh square meters of land was converted in the Northern beach belt.

"The illegalities will be rectified and those involved will be booked," Rane said, even as he disclosed that the committee reviewing the ODPs of Calangute-Candolim, Arpora-Nagoa-Parra and Vasco-da-Gama has submitted its report.

Rane said, the requisite corrections are being made over the next couple of weeks and the whole exercise will be completed before the monsoon session of the Goa legislative assembly in July when it will be sent for government approval.

The minister was addressing the media after chairing yet another TCP board meeting on Friday.

“If anyone is trying to defend this (land conversions) they should dip their nose in a bucket and drown themselves,” Rane said, adding that the issue was not about any individual but rampant illegalities.

"Investor sentiment is important but not at the cost of such type of illegalities,” Rane added.

Meanwhile, the TCP minister said the process of preparing the new ODPs for other planning areas where the drafts were done but recalled, will be opened up now.

“We are opening up the process for finalising new ODPs for the other draft ODPs that have already been dissolved. For all other ODPs that are in the draft phase, the process will begin again under the Town and Country Planning (TCP) department,” Rane said. 

The Minister also said that he will bring in requisite amendments to the TCP Act to make industry representatives as permanent members of the board so that they are part of the planning process.   

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