Tuesday 26 Sep 2023

Modified ODPs of three planning areas notified



The modified Outline Development Plans (ODPs) of the three planning areas which were abruptly suspended and reviewed citing large-scale irregularities have been notified by the Town and Country Planning (TCP) Department.

The notification makes the Regional Plan-2021 sacrosanct for any changes in land use and land development in the two planning areas of the Bardez coast -- Calangute-Candolim and Arpora-Nagoa-Parra.

In the case of the Vasco planning area, it has to conform to the Vasco-da-Gama ODP 2030, the notification states.

This arrangement of all development adhering to the Regional Plan-2021 and the Vasco-da-Gama ODP-2030 is an interim regime and will remain in force until the new ODPs are finalised and notified for these three planning areas.

Meanwhile, objections from the public are invited to the modified ODPs within 60 days and have to be filed before the office of the Chief Town Planner (Planning) at the TCP department's headquarters, Dempo Towers, EDC Patto Plaza.

"The Government of Goa hereby invites all persons who entertain any objections to the said proposals to submit the same in writing with reasons therefore to the Chief Town Planner (Planning), Town and Country Planning Department, Dempo Tower, 2nd Floor, Patto Plaza, Panaji, Goa, within a period of sixty days from the date of publication of this Notification in the Official Gazette," stated the notification issued by Rajesh Naik, the Chief Town Planner (Planning) who also doubles up as ex-officio joint secretary to the government.

TCP Minister Vishwajit Rane had got the three ODPs suspended back in April alleging widespread irregularities in them related to the conversion of eco-sensitive zones and no-development zones.

Accordingly, the TCP department had appointed committees to review the three ODPs.

The review committees had completed their work and filed reports, part of which were tabled by Vishwajit in the Assembly during the recently concluded monsoon session.

The move to suspend the ODPs was seen as targeting Opposition Leader Michael Lobo, known to have business interests in the real estate sector. Vishwajit had also accused Lobo of committing glaring irregularities during his time as chairman of the North Goa Planning and Development Authority (NGPDA).

The irregularities involved the ODPs showing as development zones areas with slopes, marshy lands, khazan lands and such other areas which are "No Development Zones" under existing TCP and building and development laws.

A couple of FIRs were also filed against Lobo but the Opposition Leader has denied any illegalities and also claimed that the process of formulating the ODPs did not take place when he was the NGPDA chairman.

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