Policy on illegal roadside shrines delayed yet again

 

The release of a policy on unauthorized religious structures is likely to be delayed further as the government is yet to finalize the draft which was released about six months back. 
 
The draft policy was kept open for public comments and both district collectors have submitted their reports to the government. 
 
Chief minister Manohar Parrikar had announced that the policy would be released shortly after receiving comments and suggestions from the public. 
 
Sources said though a meeting chaired by the revenue secretary and attended by both district collectors was held on Wednesday, the matter did not progress beyond a discussion. It will take a while before a final policy on the matter is out. 
 
Though no final decision was taken the committee considered whether to conduct hearings on the structures through committees at the taluka, district and state level. 
 
The previous government, led by the Congress, had identified a total of 979 illegal structures in the state, of which 80 had been slated for demolition and 336 for regularization and the balance for relocation. 
 
The government was compelled to act following a Supreme Court directive. The apex court had directed the Goa government to initiate action against illegal structures in public places. 
 
The apex court had also asked the state to prepare a policy to demolish or relocate unauthorized structures that have been built along roads. [TOI]