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At SGPDA helm, will Goa Forward press for scrapping disputed Margao ODP?

16th June 2017, 07:09 Hrs

Builders are keeping their fingers crossed while citizens await the planning body to take a call on the contentious Outline Development Plan (ODP) for Margao. But Madgavkars have one question to ask the reconstituted SGPDA headed by Goa Forward party president, Dr Renuka Da Silva – whether the controversial ODP will be scrapped at the Authority’s very first meeting scheduled on June 19.

Regional outfit had promised to do away with plan if voted to power 

the goan I network
Dr Renuka Da Silva has taken charge of the SGPDA as the chairperson of the planning body on Wednesday, ahead of the SGPDA’s first meeting next Monday. The moot question that remains unanswered is – will the newly-constituted SGPDA, with majority members affiliated to the Goa Forward Party, scrap the ODP and start afresh the planning process?   
The controversial ODP figures prominently on agenda no 2 of the June 19 meeting, indicating that the new body is keen to take a call on the contentious issue. A glance at the meeting agenda shows that PDA members will be briefed on the status of the controversial ODP.   
Goa Forward Party supremo and TCP Minister, Vijai Sardesai as well as the newly-appointed PDA chairperson Dr Renuka have been guarded in their reaction to the demands to scrap the ODP, only saying the PDA will take the right call taking into cognizance the sentiments of the people.   
On the other hand, PDA member, Margao MLA, Digambar Kamat, who along with Sardesai had vehemently opposed the controversial ODP, has come out clear saying the PDA will have no option than to scrap the controversial plan and start the process anew.   
Indeed, the fate of the controversial ODP and the 500-odd objections and suggestions received from the citizens hangs in balance as the SGPDA, stuffed with seven members owing allegiance to the Goa Forward party, are expected to deliberate on the ODP. In fact, the very fate of the 500-odd suggestions and objections received by the PDA from builders, real estate developers, besides the citizens, during the regime of then PDA Chairman Mauvin Godinho, remains unknown.   
When The Goan called up Godinho for his take on the June 19 meeting of the re-constituted SGPDA, which is expected to take a call on the controversial ODP, he said that one needs to take a balanced and considered stand taking into account the interest of the city and its people. He said there cannot be a drastic decision that can impact the entire process. “Any decision taken by the PDA needs to be justified. Those demanding scrapping of the ODP had contended that the stakeholders, including the local civic bodies were not taken into account. As governance is a continuous, certain decisions taken by a planning body ought to be seen in that light,” 
Godinho said.   
What’s interesting to note is that while the former PDA chairman had vowed to get the ODP passed after the Assembly election if the BJP returns back to power, Goa Forward party supremo Vijai Sardesai and his party leaders had vowed to scrap the controversial plan if the regional outfit comes to power.   
In the meantime, the builders and real estate lobby are keeping its fingers crossed over the fate of the ODP. Sources said that some of the builders and real estate development have been making discreet inquiries with the powers that be on the fate of their applications for change in zones across the city. 
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