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Chairperson Renuka da Silva presiding over the South Goa Planning and Development Authority meeting on Thursday

SGPDA finalises ODPs for Margao, Ponda




The South Goa Planning and Development Authority (SGPDA), during its meeting on Thursday, finalised outline development plans (ODPs) for Margao and Ponda.

According to the SGPDA, all the 396 suggestions received for Margao ODP and 99 suggestions received for Ponda ODP were taken into consideration before finalising the plans, which will now be sent to the TCP department for approval.

Apart from designating areas for preserving heritage and culture, the Margao ODP also makes way for commercial activities, including a community farming hub and a tech hub, two housing proposals for relocation of shanties and another proposal for building transport, education and recreational spaces near Sonsoddo.

As a first, the SGPDA has introduced a land loser incentive for Fatorda by which plot owners willingly giving permission for road expansion benefiting the public would be granted a commercial zone up to 50 metres adjoining the road.

The SGPDA also passed a resolution to prepare a comprehensive development plan (CDP) for Margao.

“While the ODP works on a macro level, the CDP works on micro details of the city. Haphazard planning and poor co-ordination among various departments have left our city in total chaos. The CDP will be the first-of-its-kind master planning exercise which will frame rules and regulations at the micro-level,” said SGPDA member Ankit Prabhudesai, and added that a resolution was taken to have the plan drafted by an international urban design firm through the Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation (GSIDC).

Speaking to the media after an hour-long meeting, the SGPDA chairperson Renuka da Silva said, “The ODP 2028 for Fatorda and Margao outlines the planning for building up a city which can sustain  population of more than two lakh people, and incorporates holistic planning, balancing of social, economic and environmental considerations of urban development for the next ten years.”

The SGPDA member secretary Ashok Kumar informed that all the suggestions received for both ODPs have been taken into consideration before finalising the plans.

Margao ODP includes heritage conservation area titled the Goa Tinto project, setting up an entrance gateway to Fatorda and Margao, earmarking Dambab Talli, St Joaquim chapel, Borda and Hospicio Hospital as heritage conservation area. 54,000 square metre of land located behind the wholesale fish market that was earmarked as a transport zone is now earmarked as community farming hub under the new plan.

There is a town hall proposal for Fatorda, and also recreational biodiversity park proposal. A land strip opposite Ravindra Bhavan has  been earmarked as a recreational zone.

In the Ponda ODP, a 5-metre buffer zone has been provided for the nullah from the Ponda bus stand to Panaji-Margao bypass, and the road width is reduced from 20 to 15 meters;  area around South District Hospital, Ponda has been earmarked as a commercial zone to enable enhancing of medical facilities; area at the bus stand has been changed to commercial zone to allow creation of employment opportunities.

The Ponda Municipality’s proposals for building a multi-level car parking, football ground, exhibition area as well as a biodiversity park have been included in the plan.

The particular CDP is expected to be done within six months of appointing a consultant, with the help of the GSIDC.

The hour-long meeting with the SGPDA members also saw a presence of what visitors called bouncers, at the entrance to the office, that numbered around 15.

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