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Church Wants Govt To Rectify RP 2021
December 22, 2011
Church Wants Govt To Rectify RP 2021 


22 December 2011

The Church on Wednesday asked for appropriate corrections in the Regional Plan 2021 for sustainable development at a presentation of the state-level committee to Archbishop Patriarch Rev Felipe Neri Ferrao and the Council for Social Justice and Peace, officials said. However, repres-entatives were not too sure about how the corrections were to be made as they were not convinced about the state’s argument on section 17C of the TCP Act being appropriate as per government rules themselves.
The meeting was attended by SLC members, the CSJP executive secretary, Fr Maverick Fernandes and others.   The meeting saw presentation of the government’s views to the CSJP as part of the process that included presentations to the media and various village groups.

On Tuesday, the CSJP had met with the Chief Minister, Mr Digambar Kamat on the RP 2021.

“Our stand has not changed,” Fr Fernandes told media, confirming that the meeting had indeed taken place and adding that “the interaction was healthy”.

The SLC expressed its views on various issues that are  being brought up at various fora by the people. Though both sides were circumspect and not willing to talk on record, sources informed that the meeting was cordial and the government side was quite confident of sorting out genuine problems in the plan though “nothing was put up”.

The sources informed that one of the topics that came up was how the corrections were to be made with questions being raised on whether Section 17C of TCP Act can be invoked to make changes.

The CSJP had recently written to Mr  Kamat, who is also the TCP Minister, alleging that the RP-2021 appeared to reflect “the conflict of interest of some of the members of the erstwhile taskforce as also of the state level committee”.

Alleging that those involved in the final preparation of the notified RP-2021 have ignored the aspirations and genuine recommendations of the village panchayats and municipalities, which  had put in immense time and resources in preparing their correct maps and plans, the Church body had said that while corrections were being made the government must stop granting any permissions, with the exception of single dwelling units in settlement areas in consonance with the Goa Land Development and Building Construction Regulations 2010.

A point that was raised was that plans of three major talukas -- Bardez, Tiswadi and Salcete --  show forest and wildlife as ‘nil’  and the question raised that if this picture were a fact then has  Goa  “…slipped into such environmental degradation since RP 2001? Or is it an indicator of gross negligence?, or an intentional provision for the future?”

The letter had clearly said that instead of marking some forests (public/private), scrub vegetation, grazing lands as natural cover they had to be clearly classified and shown in the maps as private forests, public forests, scrub vegetation, and grazing lands separately.
Also the CSJP had pointed out that in many villages cultivable fields have been depicted as settlement zones, which the villagers have vehemently rejected e.g. Assagao in Bardez, Vanxim in Tiswadi, Dramapur-Sirlim in Salcete respectively.