The Goa government has decided to compile data of structures that have come up in the state between 2005 to 2017 without permission from the authorities. The move is likely to spell trouble for residents who have carried out illegal constructions during the last 12 years. The last Regional Plan drawn by the Town and Country Planning Department was valid upto 2001. Thereafter the Regional Plans of 2011 and 2021 faced opposition and were dropped. The department is now in process of preparing the plan upto 2030. “In the absence of Regional Plan, there are several constructions which have come up illegally in the state between 2005-17 without converting the lands or seeking permissions. We are compiling data of such structures,” Town and Country Planning Minister Vijai Sardesai told PTI today.
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“We are compiling the data of how much area could have been illegally converted between 2005-2017. Unplanned development and illegal sub division of plots is rampant everywhere in Goa specially in the orchard lands. We will have to rein this in,” the minister said. “Since there was no regional plan people have developed their structure illegally. Now I am saying you come to us and we will consider it accordingly,” Sardesai said. Blanket permissions will not be granted to these structures. The state government can work out certain means like the “amnesty scheme” for them, said the minister. The town and country planning department will be using Google Mapping or comparing the records available with sub-registrar offices to compile the data of such structures.
Talking about the Regional Plan 2030 which will be a land use guide for the state, Sardesai said the backbone of this plan would be Transfer of Development Right (TDR) policy which will assign development rights to every property.
“Those developmental rights which can be transferred to designated area,” he said, adding, that assigning developmental rights to all properties is not an overnight job. “It will take time. In the meantime, if you have urgency for development, we can consider on case to case basis,” he said.
The minister said that the work that has been done on the regional plan in the past would not be discarded fully. “Whatever that has been done by the department in the past…Like in last five years they have reached conclusion for regional plan (RP) on Pernem, Canacona and Sattari, now all that work will not go waste. “We will certainly consider all the work that has been put in. But the new RP 2030 will have to be based on a new policy,” he said.
Tightening the noose around the illegal conversions in absence of RP, Sardesai said “there is a section in town planning act which makes it mandatory for plots before being registered with the sub registrar to have NOC from the town and country planning department.” “This practice was stopped by the then government because they thought this was being misused by Planning and Development Authorities (PDA) and town and country planning department. I think we will have to restart this process,” he said. “When you come to register the plot you should have no objection certificate from PDA or Town and Country Planning department. Otherwise illegal development will continue,” Sardesai added.