The government is coming up with an amphitheatre at Morombi O’Pequeno, Merces, on an area marked as Eco 1 Zone on the Regional Plan 2021, according to a tender notice issued here, even as there has been opposition to this, with activists stating that even though the Regional Plan and the guidelines for developments in ODP areas have not been finalized the government is still coming up with piecemeal projects.
They want that a committee should be formed with adequate representation of respectable members of civil society, and that they finalize guidelines based on the vision document 2021, which would be followed by all.
Goa Bachao Abhiyan had alleged that Government, which, despite issuing statements that Eco Zones would not be allowed for development works, is working in exactly the opposite direction. If Eco 1 Zones are so openly disregarded by the Government under the guise of development, what will be the fate of Eco 1 Zones in the ODP areas, remains to be seen.
The GBA has reiterated its demand for One Goa, One Plan and for the Eco Sensitive Zones [ESZ-1 and 2] to be made applicable in ODP areas.
“The incumbent Government of Goa and the administration must uphold the law and amend the rules where necessary to bring all its actions in consonance with the Constitution of India. It is imperative that the State Government recognizes the role and functions of the village and zilla panchayats and enables these local self-governing bodies to perform their constitutional roles,” GBA’s Reboni Shah said adding that this role cannot be hijacked by non-statutory bodies such as Indian Institute of Architects, engineers, building lobbies or town planners.
“The Chief Minister professes no time for the Regional Plan, yet has personally visited disputed sites in a piecemeal manner,” alleged the GBA, arguing that the Regional Plan cannot be completed in a piecemeal manner.
GBA has expressed ‘grave concern’ that till date the Government has made no move to set up a committee with adequate guidelines to oversee just how the ODPs are to be changed.
“The vision document of the draft Regional Plan 2021 had mandated the demarcation of high density Central Business Districts (CBD) in each ODP area, such as Patto Plaza, and recommended that a maximum FAR of 150 only, would be allowed exclusively to this zone. The wisdom of this was based on infrastructure and parking,” argued the NGO member, adding, “Yet on flimsy requests of narrow interest groups, drastic changes of 200FAR was allowed anywhere in the city. Worse still, C1 ( Commercial Zoning ) and S1 ( Settlement Zoning ) became blurred in definition ostensibly on request of the Indian Institute of Architects, Goa Chapter.” [H]