The Goa Golden Jubilee Development Council has in its final report to the government said that the state should determine the carrying capacities of the cities to plan for their growth.
PANAJI: The Goa Golden Jubilee Development Council has in its final report to the government said that the state should determine the carrying capacities of the cities to plan for their growth. "In fact, the carrying capacity for an area in the Regional Plan Goa 2021 should be assessed based on FAR (floor to area ratio) allotted in Plan," the council has said.
The infrastructure required for the area should then be estimated based on this assessment, the Council has said in its final report presented to the Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday. "Do not increase the FAR or developable zones until infrastructure needs for existing carrying-capacity are met," the Council has said further.
Stating that the Regional Plan 2021 for Goa has been a path-breaking exercise, the Council has, however, said that it should be taken forward with a genuine commitment to the citizens of Goa on the part of the government.
Citing an example, it has pointed out a deviation from draft RPG-21 in the final RPG-21 that has provided for a massive 20,000 m of built-up space in plots of a minimum of 20 hectares for ‘eco-tourism’ outside the settlement areas. Two projects in Pernem taluka and three in Canacona taluka have resurfaced and many more could emerge as RPG-21 unfolds through plot amalgamation or otherwise.
These will become guzzlers of basic services like water and electricity, largely purchased from the neighbouring states or the grid or subject to uneven ground water withdrawal. Such changes did not find favour with the framers of the draft RPG-21, which opted for development within Goa’s eco-sensitive context.
It is important to refer back to the Gram Sabhas for reconsideration of all such changes in the recommendations contemplated by the government, the Council said.
The Council has called for development of comprehensive integrated solid waste management site in each district on an urgent basis. These sites should have scientifically designed landfills, composting yards, as well as recyclable waste segregation stations. The sites would have to be linked to all municipal areas as well as panchayats through a transfer station system.
Stating that management of solid waste was a major problem in Goa, the Council has suggested that the state should impose complete ban on manufacture of plastic bags below the thickness of 50μ within the state and that import of plastic bags below 50μ thickness including packings, from other states also should be banned.
It has also suggested that plastic recycling units should be set up in various parts of the state and should be subsidised by the state and that the general public should be sensitised about the ill-effects of plastics. Local bodies should be made responsible for collection, baling and disposal of plastic at designated disposal sites. It has also suggested measures for promotion of tourism, mining, education, cultural activities etc.
Addressing media after presentation of the report to the Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar, Dr Raghunath Mashelkar, the chairman of the Council, said the vision and roadmap to 2035 has been prepared by looking into future after elaborate consultations with various stakeholders. Dr Mashelkar said that the report has been prepared keeping "Goa first" in mind. The report would be kept in public domain for the next two months for discussion/debate before it was put to use.
He said that he was happy to note that there was continuity over the future of Goa as the present government has accepted the report of the Council that was set up by the previous government. He said that he saw commitment in the present government on carrying forward the findings of the Council and implementing them.
Dr Mashelkar also stated that the work on implementing the findings of the Council should begin over the next ten years if one has to see the real effects of the vision by 2035. He said that perhaps he won’t be there by 2035 to see how Goa shapes up in 2035 but Mr Parrikar would be there to see perhaps a "better" Goa.
He said that given the passion of the Chief Minister to work for the state, he won’t be surprised if many of the projects were started and completed before schedule. He said that the findings of the Council should be debated at the village levels, even as he said that Konkani and Marathi versions of the report would be made available soon.
The Chief Minister said that some of the projects have already been set in motion. He said that while being in opposition when the Council was set up, he had told its members to work on the roadmap properly and that he would be ruling the state when the final report was submitted to the government.
He also stated that government has not formulated mining policy as yet and called upon critics of his government to wait till the government comes up with the policy later during the assembly session. He said that mining could not be totally stopped and that around 7-8 per cent could still exist in years ahead.
Asked to comment on the report of the Union agency about Goa being ranked among top states as far as unemployment was concerned, he said that one should not go by statistics, which he said might not be factual. He said that in Goa, employment registration was quite high and around 40-50 per cent of those who have registered with the employment exchange were already employed. Besides, during the last five years employment was not created in the state, he added.