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Vijai blinks, agrees to revisit Greater Panaji PDA decision

Story: The | Goan | 13th March 2018, 02:55 Hrs



THEN

(Vijai while speaking in the Assembly in February)
* The people who are protesting till date have not given me any representation
* Not even one. It was through a consensus that the PDA was made
* The Greater Panaji PDA was for the greater good of Panaji. It was not done all of a sudden
* Today you say after there is a debate that there is pressure on you and that I should rescind that
----

NOW

(As said by Arturo D’Souza, leader of the agitation)
* He (Vijai) has not given us a clear-cut answer that he will denotify the PDA
* But he has agreed to consider our demand
* The gestures he has made indicate that a positive answer could be on the cards
* He assured that he will revisit the decision on the TCP Board meeting on March 19
--------------------------------------------

PANAJI: Town and Country Planning Minister Vijai Sardesai assured villagers of Santa Cruz, Merces, Chimbel, Curca, Bambolim and Telaulim panchayats who met him in an effort to press forward with their demand to have the Greater Panaji PDA scrapped, that their demand would be considered.
Sardesai told them that he would take up the issue in the meeting of the Town and Country Planning Board scheduled for March 19.
“Finally those opposed to #GreaterPanajiPDA called on me for 1st time me at Secretariat. GPPDA was constituted by TCP Board after written requests from the concerned MLAs & some Sarpanchas, who have now changed their stance. Now Board will debate this in meeting on 19th (sic),” Vijai Sardesai tweeted after the meeting which took place outside the Ministerial Block on Monday morning.
The delegation was accompanied by their MLAs Antonio “Tony” Fernandes of Santa Cruz and Francisco Silveira, who on Monday submitted his resignation as a member of the Greater Panaji PDA.
Speaking to The Goan, Arturo D’Souza who has been the leader the agitation demanding that the villages of Santa Cruz and Merces and others be withdrawn from the Greater Panaji PDA immediately said that the minister has agreed to consider their demand.
“He has not given us a clear-cut answer that he will denotify the PDA. But he has agreed to consider our demand. The gestures he has made indicate that a positive answer could be on the cards. He heard everybody and assured that he will revisit the decision on the TCP Board meeting on March 19,” D’Souza told The Goan.
“We asked him that whatever decision he is taking, should be made known April 6, as on that day we are planning on moving to Azad Maidan which would be the beginning of our full-fledged agitation.
Sardesai however, reportedly told the delegation that he would not buckle on the demand to withdraw the Kadamba plateau area from the PDA as that was “already done”.
“He was adamant that the Kadamba plateau would not be denotified from the Greater Panaji PDA,” D’Souza told The Goan.
Besides the current MLAs former MLA Victoria Fernandes, her son Rodolfo and current Santa Cruz Sarpanch Mariano Araujo were part of the delegation.
Earlier Sardesai claimed that he hadn’t officially received any memorandum from the protesting villagers.
“The people who are protesting till date have not given me any representation. Not even one. It was through a consensus that the PDA was made. The Greater Panaji PDA was for the greater good of Panaji. It was not done all of a sudden. Today there is a debate. Today you say after there is a debate that there is pressure on you and that I should rescind that,” Sardesai said while speaking in the Goa Legislative Assembly in February.
The claim was rebutted by sarpanch Araujo who said: “The gram sabha village panchayat of Santa Cruz had passed a resolution against the inclusion of the village in the PDA and this was communicated to the office of the Town and Country Planning Minister as well as Department as early as January 17,” Araujo said brandishing the letters that were given with the entry stamp of both the department as well as the minister’s office.     

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