Fri, 19 Apr, 2019

Taleigao locals to challenge ODP

flames of fury over Non-consideration of objections to the plan prepared by Greater Panjim Planning & Development Authority

12th February 2019, 03:12 Hrs

the goan I network

PANAJI

A group of Taleigao residents are preparing to launch a legal challenge to the Outline Development Plan prepared for their village by the Babush Monserrate-led Greater Panjim Planning and Development Authority, after authorities rode roughshod over their objections and didn’t even give them a proper hearing.   

At least a score of residents are up-in-arms against what they called the “high-handedness” and “chicanery” of GPPDA officials who they claimed bluntly told them to ‘go to court’ at the hearing on January 30 afternoon, specifically meant to consider their objections and hear them out.   

In several other cases, those who had filed their objections to the ‘draft ODP’ received notices both for the hearing as well as for site inspections related to their objections, well after the respective deadlines.The Taleigao ODP got its all-important final approval from the Town and Country Planning Board headed by TCP Minister Vijai Sardesai at its meeting held on February 1, and is now in the process of being notified by the State government.   

GPPDA member-secretary RK Pandita, when contacted, declined to make any comments and suggested that any clarifications may be obtained from Monserrate who is the authority’s chairman. Monserrate however did not take calls.   

Bulk of the objections of the villagers pertain to proposals in the ODP for constructions in low-lying agricultural land, mostly cultivated paddy fields. An indoor stadium, a new panchayat ghar and multiple roads all criss-crossing vast tracts of verdant low-lying paddy fields figure in the finalised ODP.   

Agriculturists Xavier Almeida and Adv Pundalik Raikar tied up with green Architects Vishal Rawlley and Talullah D’Silva to file a document containing objections to multiple proposals in the ODP, none of which have been either considered or find place in the finally approved ODP.   

Worse, they were denied a hearing either because they did not receive the notice of the hearing or got it at the same day hours after its schedule.   

“We got the notices after the hearing was over,” Almeida told The Goan, adding that they will shortly challenge the ODP and the rogue procedure adopted by the GPPDA officials of denying them the right to natural justice before the Bombay High Court at Goa.   

Another resident, Vito Gomes had similar complaints. Gomes, who has been operating a successful Aviation Services company based in the middle-east, told the Goan that he had filed written objections to three proposals for roads criss-crossing vast tracts of paddy fields.   


OBJECTIONS GALORE

Bulk of the objections of the villagers pertain to proposals in the ODP for constructions in low-lying agricultural land, mostly cultivated paddy fields  

An indoor stadium, a new panchayat ghar and multiple roads all criss-crossing vast tracts of verdant low-lying paddy fields figure in the finalised ODP   


PLATFORM FOR INJUSTICE   

Many denied a hearing either because they did not receive the notice of the hearing or got it at the same day hours after its schedule  

Also, those who stood up to talk and raise their objections were either not allowed or bluntly told by the officials to go to court