Now, Cong to protest for speedy Regional Plan

PTI, PANAJI | 10 January 2015 18:10 IST

Opposition Congress in Goa on Saturday threatened to take to the streets to protest delay by the BJP -led government in finalising the land use plan which has been dogged by controversies in the coastal state.

The project, commonly known as Regional Plan 2021, decides the use of land in Goa, where several activists have alleged it favours the real estate industry.

"We are thinking of launching a mass agitation to press for finalisation of the Regional Plan. The agitation would be held in association with civic society bodies which had struggled to get the plan in place," Sunil Kawthankar, Goa Congress spokesman, told a press conference.

The plan was first envisaged by then Congress-led government and it had faced public protests. Another version of it, drafted and notified by the Congress-led administration headed by Digambar Kamat, too, evoked strong response.

"BJP, after assuming power in 2012, had assured the Assembly it will denotify the existing plan and draft a new one by taking people into confidence," Yatish Naik, another Congress spokesman, said.

"On March 20, 2012 the then Goa Governor had promised in his speech in the Assembly that Government will denotify the RP 2021," Naik said.

The BJP-led Government has been consistently promising to come out with a new land use pattern but nothing has happened till now, he said.

Naik recalled that in June 2013, then Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had mooted a referendum-based model wherein villagers will decide how to use land in their area.

"All these assurances have not been fulfilled yet," Naik said and noted Congress wants the Laxmikant Parsekar Government to consult people before moving ahead on the issue.

Naik recalled the Kamat Government had formed a state-level steering committee (SLSC) to draft the plan. "The current Government should go back to the plan recommended by SLSC and approve it."

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