Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate to head the Greater Panaji PDA

The Goa government has choosen former Santa Cruz MLA Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate to be the chairman of the Greater Panaji Planning and Development Authority (PDA). It has also finalised the constitution of the PDA and will notify the appointments in the coming days.

Sources have informed that the constitution was decided by the Town and Country Planning (TCP) Minister Vijai Sardesai. MLAs of the respective constituencies will be members of the PDA.

The move indicates Monserrate being rewarded for supporting CM Manohar Parrikar in winning the Panaji bypoll. Babush was initially expected to contet against Parrikar on a Congress ticket but joined the GFP just ahead of the bypoll, instead.

Besides Monserrate, Greater Panaji PDA members are Parrikar, Taleigao MLA Jennifer Monserrate, St Cruz MLA Tony Fernandes, St Andre MLA Francisco Silveira and Cumbarjua MLA Pandurang Madkaikar.

Since the villages of Taleigao, Chimbel, St Cruz, Old Goa and Curca-Bambolim-Talaulim have been incorporated into the Greater Panaji PDA, their respective sarpanches will join the body as its members.

Former senior town planner Pedro Coutinho, along with Mario Fernandes, Vivek Angle, Atrey Sawant and Raj Malik are also members on the board.

The Town and Country Planning Board, headed by GFP leader Vijai Sardesai, decided to bifurcate the North Goa Planning and Development Authority (NGPDA) to form the Greater Panaji PDA.

However, residents of Santa Cruz have opposed the inclusion of their area into the Greater Panaji PDA.