PANAJI: Former town and country planning minister Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate in all probability will be appointed as chairman of the proposed Greater Panaji Planning and Development Authority.
Sources said the imminent appointment of Monserrate, who is now a leader of the Goa Forward Party, as chairman of the proposed Greater Panaji PDA has almost been finalised. However, the appointment will go through legal procedures to be pursued by the town and country planning department in a month’s time.
The appointment will come as a reward for the former St Cruz MLA for withdrawing himself from contesting the Panaji bye-poll against Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. The bypoll was held in August 2017.
Political observers have said that it has been apparent that Monserrate has decided to concentrate on the St Cruz constituency and will focus on the GFP taking root in the assembly segment.
It is pertinent to note that following the decision of Town and Country Planning Board to create Greater Panaji PDA, work has begun to spruce up the St Cruz office of Monseratte, who was in the eye of the storm over the controversial Goa Regional Plan 2011.
There is opposition within the BJP to the move on rehabilitating Monserrate, who was a strong political rival of the party and had been instrumental in overthrowing the Parrikar government in 2004. But sources have maintained that political compulsions have emerged after the coalition partner – GFP – managed to woo the former Taleigao MLA into it.
The government has proposed formation of Greater Panaji PDA comprising of Taleigao, Bambolim and Kadamba plateau.
Besides, Mopa PDA has also been proposed. The political observers have opined that the move to reward Monserrate for having an understanding over the Panaji by-poll will lead to many political developments in near future.
The political observers have said that PDA chairmanship to Monserrate will pave the way for government’s plan for a convention centre to take shape at the piece of land at Dona Paula which had earlier been earmarked for IT Habitat Park.
The proposed IT Habitat Park was strongly opposed by the former Taleigao MLA and his supporters.
It must be noted here that there has been a possibility on inclusion of Taleigao, St Cruz and Bambolim in the jurisdiction of the Corporation of the City of Panaji so as to strengthen the idea of Greater Panaji.