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GFDO urges TCP Minister to scrap Mopa PDA at today’s meeting

Margao: Goans For Dabolim Only (GFDO) has requested the TCP Minister Vijai Sardesai to scrap the Mopa PDA at the meeting of the board scheduled on May 16.

The TCP Board meeting is scheduled on May 16 to deliberate on de-notifying all the ten villages of Tiswadi taluka from the Greater Panjim Planning & Development Authority (GPPDA).

In an attempt to make the proposed Mopa Airport viable to the developer, 15 lakh square metres of land has been handed over to GMR for commercial development at 2.5 FAR so there is no need of the PDA to even convert the zone, GFDO stated in its letter.

“GMR has also been given complete autonomy over planning and development of the land according to the Concessionaire Agreement. It requires only technical clearance from the TCP Board. In these circumstances what will be the role of the PDA given that planning and FAR are already decided for this area? Hence what is the justification for diverting personnel, resources and squandering taxpayer’s money to form a totally superfluous PDA?”GFDO questioned.

The GFDO mentioned that based on the overall city side layout planned in the Amman & Whitney Master Plan, power and water requirements have already been calculated.

Raising some questions regarding the future of the Pernem villages, the GFDO asked, “Is there an agenda to expand the PDA area to engulf all surrounding villages and perhaps the whole of Pernem? Will the people of these villages lose their agriculture paddy fields, orchard land, springs etc. in the name of development? If so, then considering that water for Mopa will be supplied from the Tillari Dam, what the measures have been taken by the TCP to ensure that Pernem is equipped to handle the burden of the rapid urbanisation that is being planned?” GFDO asked.

“In fact, while requesting you to kindly scrap the PDA zone for Mopa, we hope that the whole issue of the necessity for the existence of PDAs in Goa be re-examined and re-evaluated.”

After all, it is abundantly clear that the track record of existing PDAs functioning in areas such as Margao, Mapusa, Panjim and Vasco, have been dismal to say the least. The function of planning, based on considerations of safety, security and sustainability has been obviously non-existent and can be assessed from the fact that in Vasco, a seven-storey building has been permitted to set up in the funnel zone of Dabolim Airport.

This is not planning, but plain and simple exploitation. It is shocking that the reach of this kind of PDA is being expanded and foisted on other parts of Goa” GFDO alleged.

“In fact, rather than planning, the PDAs have been operating as purely zone conversion authorities. Land use and planning must be laid down and stated clearly as part of the Regional Plan based on scientific research and data analysis and of course, the carrying capacity of tiny Goa. Adhocism of the kind practiced by the PDA and the TCP Board without a Regional Plan in place is unacceptable” GFDO said in the letter.

“We sincerely hope that the Mopa PDA and in fact, all the other new PDAs being contemplated, be scrapped forthwith, or ironically, your party, which came to power based on the promise and commitment to protect and safeguard Goem, Goemkar and Goemkarponn will be responsible for its accelerated destruction and disappearance,” GFDO warned. [H]

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