In an attempt to silence the opposition and his critics, chief minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday stated on the floor of the house that the draft regional plan (RP) 2021 will be "partially opened" in June-July this year. RP 2021 will be finalized before the end of the next assembly session.
Replying to a debate on demands for grants, Parrikar said panchayats can be given powers, but limited to their jurisdiction, and that the RP would be kept open in panchayats. Indicating that gram sabhas can't dictate terms to government departments, Parrikar said, "Panchayat bodies can be allowed to take referendum to decide on the projects within their jurisdiction. But gram sabhas cannot be allowed a say in the matter."
He made the statement in reference to observations by some MLAs earlier, on how panchayats are being left out while sanctioning mega projects. They alleged that TCP sanctions projects without considering infrastructural facilities in the area.
Parrikar also stated that he has been informed by the builders' association that panchayats do not move files without money and also challenged the members to prove him wrong. "They told me that it is difficult to get projects passed by panchayats without money," Parrikar said, even as he accepted that there could be some exemptions.
He also assured the house that a mechanism will be put in place shortly to curtail delays caused by TCP in processing files.
Talking about the department's haste in passing projects without checking the ground realities, he warned that officers permitting illegalities will be penalized.
Stating that he shares the views of the other MLAs that Goa has to be protected for posterity, he said the state is not a place to have second homes. Parrikar said that as per the 2011 census some 23% of the flats in the state are locked.
The chief minister also said he will consider the suggestion made by former chief minister Digambar Kamat to give some concession to the construction industry as it is passing through a rough phase.
To control illegalities by real estate, he said their registration with the government will be made mandatory, and for protecting rights of flat owners, he said the government plans to come out with a Bill soon. [TOI]