PANAJI: The entrance to Panaji city is rather chaotic and the ambience not eye-catching, but this may soon change with a scheme to develop an ‘entrance zone’ to the capital city with requisite infrastructure.
The directorate of municipal administration (DMA) has sanctioned a grant of Rs 50,000 through a pattern of financial assistance notified by it in a scheme recently.
“The main purpose is to provide infrastructure at the entrance, as the scene is far from perfect for tourists and locals due to traffic chaos and other problems,” an economic development corporation (EDC) official said.
The allocation for developmental activities in the area defined as capital city entrance zone (CCEZ) envisages preliminary studies, survey works and execution of major and minor projects.
EDC is the nodal agency for the project while a task force has been constituted with a corporation official, Ajit Ghantkar as the member secretary to co-ordinate all developmental activities pertaining to the areas in EDC, Patto Plaza, capital city and surrounding areas.
EDC had already commenced a few key projects in the Patto Plaza area.
“There were no proper footpaths here earlier. We have also introduced pay parking, but though the idea of fees is often opposed, it ensures discipline,” the EDC official added.
The scheme aims at releasing the funds for the project to draw up a master plan and execute it. “The grant has to be utilized within six months and the development of the entrance zone will get a major boost,” a DMA official stated.
PANAJI: Calling the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government’s budget announcement of rehabilitating slum dwellers a political gimmick, Goa Parivartan Manch members on Saturday said that the government in Goa had failed to keep most of its own deadlines for developmental work.
“On one hand, chief minister Manohar Parrikar speaks of protecting land resources of Goa with special status. And on the other he speaks of rehabilitation for slum dwellers. It is all a political gimmick. The issue of rehabilitation has to be discussed threadbare before it is implemented. If not, then Goans will not keep quiet,” Yatish Naik of Goa Parivartan Manch said.
“The BJP said it was opposed to casinos before it came to power but has announced casino licence transfer fees in its budget speech. It had said it will construct a 6-lane Zuari bridge in 11 months, a sewage solution for the entire state in 6 months and a garbage solution will be evolved in 11 months. It had said that the Lokayukta will be set up in 100 days. We want to know from t why all these promises remain unfulfilled,” Naik said.
PANAJI: The Goa (Abolition of proprietorships, titles and grants of lands) bill, 2014, was introduced in the Goa legislative assembly on Wednesday for abolishing the rights of the landlords over the evacuee properties that were acquired from the Portuguese government.
The long-pending demand of residents of evacuee properties including at Mayem to abolish the proprietary rights of the landlords may finally see the light of the day with the government tabling the bill to fullfill its promise.
The bill seeks to allow compensation to the person whose property rights will be abolished but are not re-granted to them. But, exact compensation payable therefore cannot be qualified at this stage, the bill mentioned. Importantly, the bill states that all such lands which are presently vested in the custodian of evacuee property, as a ‘evacuee property’ under the Goa, Daman and Diu administration of evacuee property act, 1964, including properties and lands in Mayem, Bicholim, Cuncolim, Siolim or in any part of Goa shall stand transferred to and vest in the government of Goa, free from all encumbrances, mortgage, debt, or charge of any kind.
The bill has been initiated because the government ‘considers it expedient’ that proprietorship rights held by few proprietors from the former Portuguese government/regime should be abolished and lands which are under the personal cultivation of these proprietors or on which they have built houses, should be re-granted to them on occupancy basis. Similarly, lands which are cultivated by tenants should be re-granted to them on occupancy basis. Uncultivated lands, pasture lands or grasslands will vest in the government so that the government will be in a position to put such uncultivated land to more fruitful use, etc. The bill seeks to bring about this land reform’.
“Once the lands vest with the government of Goa, the following lands shall be deemed to have been re-granted to the proprietor ; homesteads, buildings and structure together with lands appurtenant thereto in the occupation of the proprietor or title-holder but excluding those which are in the possession of a cultivating tenant or mundkar, as the case may be. Also, land under the personal cultivation of the proprietor or title-holder not being pasture or grass lands,” the bill elaborates.
PANAJI: The national green tribunal has directed the state government to complete a survey on scientific lines to ascertain whether a property under dispute in Ponda taluka is a private forest within eight weeks.
The bench comprising Justice V R Kingaonkar and expert member, Ajay A Deshpande in an application filed by Nisarga, a NGO, directed that a committee appointed by the government to identify private forests in north Goa consider the parameters laid down by the supreme court in demarcating the area of private forests vis-a-vis the survey.
The dispute arose after the Thomas committee visted Ponda taluka and inspected survey numbers 193,194,156 and 157 as well as s no127 in Bethora on February 26, 2013.
The panel also visited Borim nearby. But the members only conducted an occular inspection, but no scientific study to substantiate what they saw.
Based on their inspection, they considered that the canopy density was more than 0.4, as per the norm laid down by the apex, and the area could be earmarked as a private forest.
But the NGT noted that the actual extent of area can be identified only after the survey is conducted.
The bench noted that as Bombay high court at Goa had in an order dated April 28, 2009, directed the parties concerned to maintain status quo in relation to other survey numbers.
Hence, the bench observed that it was important to complete the work of survey as early as possible to avoid hardship and complications for property holders, whose lands do not fall within the area of private forests.
NGT directed that the Thomas committee be extended all assistance, including the services of surveyors and equipments needed for the work.
QUEPEM: Excavation for construction of a building in an existing housing complex near Selaulim canal raised apprehensions among occupants about danger to their building, as no setback was kept and the excavated pit was flooded by groundwater springs during digging.
The promoters of Royal Arcade building had engaged machinery for excavation of mud at a plot adjacent to the existing building. Six flat owners in the building complained that the builders dug a big, three-metre deep pit near the dead wall. After the excavation, numerous water springs erupted from the ground and filled the pit. Two water pumps operated at the site, but could not help pump out the water, resulting in the pit’s walls caving in.
This raised a fear among residents that the excavated portion may also lead to weakening of the foundation of their residential building that would ultimately lead to its collapse.
On receiving a complaint, Quepem mamlatdar Manoj Khorgaonkar rushed to the site with his circle inspector and verbally ordered the builder to stop work. Quepem municipal council also issued a stop work order, asking the builders to report to its office on Thursday. Despite this, the builders resumed work at 2.30pm. Residents lodged a police complaint and deputy collector Ajit Panchwadker rushed to the site with his technical staff and instructed the builder to stop the work.
MARGAO: The anti-corruption bureau has begun a probe over the Quepem municipal council (QMC) allegedly issuing a occupancy certificate to a ground plus four commercial building being built at Amona on December 12, 2013, although the construction was incomplete.
The issue was highlighted by TOI in its edition last week.
Superintendent of police (SP) Bosco George said that they had received a complaint and had begun conducting an inquiry into the matter. R Pinto, president of GOAMAR, a NGO, had lodged a complaint dated January 27, 2014, with Quepem municipal council.
QMC chief officer Shivaji Dessai stated that the occupancy certificate had already been revoked. He added that the civic body had issued a show cause notice to the builder on February 5, 2014 asking why the construction license should not be revoked and that the builder had till February 20 to file his reply.
Deputy town planner R N Volvoikar had clarified that he had no direct role in issuing completion certificate to the said building. He said that the completion certificate was issued on 6 September 2013 by the then deputy town planner Prakash Bandodkar. He stated that based on complaints about the irregularities he will issue a show cause notice to the builder.
Dessai had earlier admitted that although the town and country planning (TCP) department had given the completion certificate in September 2013, the QMC has given the occupancy certificate in December 2013.
Answering to the question as to why the occupancy certificate was issued when the construction work was in progress, he said that taking into consideration that minor work will be completed within a day or two the completion certificate was issued.
PANAJI: The Goa Parivartan Manch has called for the government to enact a ‘Land Ceiling Act’ to prevent ‘land sharks’ from purchasing large tracts of land in the state.
Speaking to mediapersons on Saturday, advocate Atish Naik, advisor to the NGO, said, “Goa is a small state with limited land resources. We have been observing that individuals and private companies have started to recklessly acquire large tracts of land in certain areas, to create ‘land banks’. This is cause for concern as it can alter and tamper with the demography of the state.”
Pointing out that the comunidade lands and estates belonging to churches across the state are huge stretches of undeveloped land lucrative to real estate developers, the activists called for chief minister Manohar Parrikar to enact amendments to the Goa Land Revenue Code, 1968, to restrict the purchasing capacity of ‘land sharks’.
“Several other Indian states already have such legislations in place, most notably in Maharashtra, which has separate acts for rural and urban areas. Goa is in urgent need of such a law, if its unique identity is to be preserved for posterity,” Naik added.
While the NGO does not have a cut-off figure (for the land ceiling) in mind, it has submitted a memorandum to the chief minister, urging him to put the concept of the act out in the public domain by notifying a bill, and to take people’s suggestions before framing the policy.