Lobo firm on Parra development plan despite villagers' protest

HomeForumsVillage specific Panchayat RajPARRALobo firm on Parra development plan despite villagers' protest

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March 13, 2018 at 5:16 pm #8176

The villagers, opposing the inclusion of Parra in the Planning and Development Authority (PDA), were stunned as the local MLA Michael Lobo told the special gram sabha on Sunday that the PDA will go ahead with the drafting of the outline development plan (ODP) despite objection.

The meeting was called at the panchayat office to allay fears in the mind of the villagers, who turned up in large numbers, in view of the PDA issue.

The people can approach the government and seek exclusion of Parra from the PDA, said Lobo.

The local MLA became red faced when a panch member Chandu Harmalkar of Almeidawaddo questioned him about the ‘illegal’ construction coming up in fields in a 4,000 square metre area.

As the panch member sought assurance from the MLA on the demolition of the ‘illegal’ construction, some locals raised their voice, and stated that the illegal construction belongs to Lamanis.

This left Lobo red-faced who shot back, saying that the illegal constructions will be regularised and the ODP will be drafted and finalised even if “you people object to it. If you want to get it scrapped then go to the government and get it scrapped.”

The meet was then hurriedly concluded by the sarpanch Delilah Lobo.

NGPDA member secretary R K Pandita in the beginning addressed the special gram sabha to clear the apprehensions in the mind of the locals on PDA.

Explaining the difference between the Regional Plan and PDA, Pandita said that in regional plan, the officers do not take cognizance of individual person which is not the case under PDA.

“All existing houses will be marked on ODP. The PDA has powers to regularise illegal structures and demolish compound walls or structures found illegal or coming in the way of road widening,” said Pandita.

The villagers were left red faced when Pandita told the special gram sabha that if villagers are against high-rise buildings then they should not sell their land.

MLA Lobo tried to bring the situation under control by assuring villagers that 60 per cent FAR will be maintained and that all illegal houses will be marked on the ODP and all structures will be regularised as PDA has such powers. He also assured that MDR roads which are shown as 25-metre and 15-metre wide will be reduced to 15 and 9-metre width to save houses and business establishments along the roadside. He also said that all structures build in the fields by locals to carry out businesses will be regularised, no construction will be done on hills, but constructions will be allowed in fields for community purpose if the communidade of Parra gives them land, he said.

Lobo said that it will take six to eight years for the plan to be finalised as it involves three stages – first the plan use map, then the draft outline development plan and finally the final ODP adding a sub-committee should be formed by the villagers. He said that the plan will be in place for 15 years.

A villager Peter said that when the village panchayat can issue house numbers why is there a need of PDA as panchayat has powers under Section 13-A to regularise houses in the village. Another villager Benedict Dsouza said, “Our internal roads are narrow having houses on both sides. The width of MDR road cannot be reduced as it is a central government rule which cannot be changed. There is danger to our water bodies and eco-sensitive zones as Parra is a low-lying village and could be prone to flooding if water bodies are destroyed.”

Villagers asked MLA Lobo to give the assurances in writing and asked the NGPDA member secretary if there are separate set of rules for different PDAs and voiced apprehensions.

Source/Reference: Navhind Times, “Lobo firm on Parra development plan despite villagers’ protest

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