Town and Country Planning Minister Vijai Sardesai Wednesday said that the department has identified 1.5 crore square metres of land in different talukas of the state wherein sub-division of land has been illegally carried out in the properties, which otherwise are zoned as orchard, natural cover, forest etc.
Taking cognisance of the unauthorised sub-division of the huge area of orchard and other no development zone land into plots, the minister said that the town and country planning board has decided to issue notices to the concerned people wherein 300 cases have been identified.
The board has also granted provisional approval to 23 applications for the changing of zone.
Sardesai said that the TCP board has decided to extend the period for receiving applications for change in zone from January 1, 2019 to January 26, 2019 under Section 16B of the TCP Act.
“The members of the board were at a consensus on extending the period till January 26, 2019, for receiving applications under Section 16B of TCP Act, 1974. Now, we again appeal to the people including these 300 cases related to unauthorised sub-division
of plots to come forward to make applications to regularise their plots,” he said, clarifying that the government will not grant approval blindly to all the applications, as there are many areas that come under the eco sensitive zones or no development zone. He said that the government will consider the applications on merit basis.
Following direction of the TCP Minister, the taluka-level officials of the department had carried out a two-month exercise of identifying such sub-divided plots in the state and 300 cases were found with 1.5 crore square metres of land.
Out of the 300 cases, the maximum are in Bicholim taluka, while the minimum number is in Mormugao. The department has identified one parcel of land admeasuring 2.180 lakh square metres in Poiguinim, Canacona wherein plots have been developed without permissions. Such cases have been found across the state.
Stating that illegal division and sub-division of plots could be dangerous for the state and result in the mushrooming of slum areas, Sardesai said that the government wants planned development in the state. “Our endeavour is to regularise plot of a common man who must have purchased a piece of 500 square metres to build a house. But even if someone has purchased plots without knowing the fact of the zone, they can also apply. The only thing is that upto 500 square metres, there is no need to pay fee for conversion of land, but above that there is conversion fee along with processing fee,” he said.
If anybody fails to apply for change of zone by January 26, 2019, the TCP department will initiate action, which could be fine up to Rs 10 lakh or one-year imprisonment or both, he added.