PANAJI: Stating that in a coalition government one necessarily needs to make certain compromises, Mapusa MLA of the Bharatiya Janata Party Francis D’Souza, who was allocated the urban development portfolio on Monday, said that his topmost priority would be to see the redrafting of the Goa Municipalities Act, 1968, in tune with requirements of the state civic bodies.
D’Souza, who was the deputy chief minister in the previous BJP-led Laxmikant Parsekar government, had handled the urban development portfolio, besides health and revenue portfolios.
The senior BJP legislator told ‘The Navhind Times’ that the old state municipalities act has become outdated and hence redundant.
“In fact, the work of redrafting this act had already begun during the tenure of the last government,” he added, stating that the same has to be brought to the logical end, as soon as possible.
Major amendments proposed in the existing state act are in terms of reservation of wards and also number of wards each municipality will have. D’Souza also observed that the Maharashtra government has already redrafted its old municipalities act.
Among many changes brought in the Maharashtra Municipal Council Act, the voters in that state are now allowed to directly elect their chairman, instead of the councillors carrying out the task.
The fund allocation to the municipalities has also undergone change in the legislation.
The new Minister for Urban Development said that his department also needs to speed up the implementation of the Smart City Mission for the capital city of Panaji.
“It all depends on the funds received for this scheme, from the central government,” he added, pointing that the state also has to share a percentage of these funds for the projects under the mission, and he would ensure speedy provision of the state share.
When asked if he is happy with the allotted portfolio minus the post of the deputy chief minister, D’Souza said that sacrifices, adjustments, compromises are all necessary, when one is a part of the coalition government.