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On expected lines, Babush appointed founder boss of Greater Panaji PDA

With this development, govt may have saved itself from GF embarrassment at Budget session

Story: The | Goan | 13th February 2018, 06:52 Hrs

TEAM-BABUSH >>
CHAIRMAN
Babush Monserrate
PROMINENT MEMBERS
* Chief Minister and Panaji MLA Manohar Parrikar
* Power Minister and Cumbharjua MLA Pandurang Madkaikar
* Taleigao MLA Jennifer Monserrate
* St Cruz MLA Tony Fernandes
* St Andre MLA Francis Silveira
OTHER MEMBERS
* Sarpanchas of Taleigao, Chimbel, St Cruz, Old Goa and Curca-Bambolim-Talualim
* Former town planner Pedro Coutinho also gets a post in PDA followed by members Mario Fernandes, Raj Malik, Vivek Angle and Atrey Sawant
* The Town Planning officer will be member secretary of the Greater Panaji PDA
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DETACHING TALEIGAO, PANAJI
* The government had separated Panaji and Taleigao constituencies from the planning area some days ago after the Greater Panaji PDA's planning area was outlined
* As a result, areas like that of Santa Cruz and part of the Curca, Bambolim and Talaulim village panchayats have been added to the Greater Panaji PDA
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PANAJI: Former Santa Cruz MLA Atanasio “Babush” Monserrate has been finally appointed as chairman of the newly formed Greater Panaji Planning and Development Authority with the appointment coming barely a week before the commencement of the budget session of the assembly.
The move is seen as one to placate the sometimes restless coalition partner the Goa Forward ahead of a decisive budget session, where the Goa Forward could significantly embarrass the government.
Besides Monserrate, All MLAs of Tiswadi, Chief Minister and Panaji MLA Manohar Parrikar, Power Minister and Cumbharjua MLA Pandurang Madkaikar, Taleigao MLA Jennifer Monserrate, St Cruz MLA Tony Fernandes and St Andre MLA Francis Silveira have been appointed as members.
The Greater Panaji PDA received approval from the government and an official order is expected on Tuesday.
According to sources, Monserrate will head this 17-member PDA, comprising five MLAs and five sarpanchas. Former town planner Pedro Coutinho has also got a post in PDA followed by members Mario Fernandes, Raj Malik, Vivek Angle and Atrey Sawant. The Town Planning officer will be member secretary of the Greater Panaji PDA.
The sarpanchas of Taleigao, Chimbel, St Cruz, Old Goa and Curca-Bambolim-Talualim have been elected as members, as this five villages are included in the Greater Panaji PDA jurisdiction.
The government had separated Panaji and Taleigao constituencies from the planning area some days ago after the Greater Panaji PDA's planning area was outlined. As a result, the jurisdiction of Panaji constituency has been removed from the Greater Panaji PDA but areas like that of Santa Cruz and part of the Curca, Bambolim and Talaulim village panchayats have been added to the Greater Panaji PDA.
It was long believed that the Greater Panaji PDA was created only to accommodate Babush Monserrate with talk that the promise of a chairmanship of a PDA was the ‘pound of flesh’ the BJP forsook to dissuade Monserrate from contesting against Manohar Parrikar in the Panaji by-polls that were held last year.
Late last week, Goa Forward Party supremo Vijai Sardesai had spoken of the need to allow Goa to grow vertical to keep pace with “inevitable growth”.
“We have to accept few things which are inevitable. Inevitable is Goa is growing. Certain settlement areas have to..u have to go vertical in certain areas. If you are going to protect all eco-sensitive khazan land, low lying paddy fields, hill slopes, u may incentivise conservation of these zones, but u can only do if u allow certain areas to have vertical growth much above the permitted limits now,” Sardesai said.
“This is why I want to make an appeal to those who are opposing greater Panaji PDA. There is an apprehension Babush Monserrate will become chairman and everything will get converted. There is no need for everyone to fear,” Sardesai said.
Santa Cruz locals targeted Goa Forward leaders Vijay Sardessai and Babush Monserrate, blaming them for including parts of Santa Cruz in the PDA.
The locals demanded that the local MLA Fernandes should raise the issue in the Assembly and demand for exclusion of Santa Cruz from PDA while urging other legislators to support the demand so that the village is saved from destruction.
Around 50 locals took out a rally from the Santa Cruz church to the office of Goa Forward on Friday shouting slogans that they won’t rest till they taste victory.