Vijai’s Skepticism On RP 2021 and TCP’s Functioning

Goa’s coalition cabinet led by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar have started showing of how this team will likely function in the state for the next five years. Town and Country Planning (TCP) Minister, Vijai Sardesai conveyed his doubt on the capability of fulfilling the promise made by the CM in the budget speech of delivering the Regional Plan 2021 (RP) by December 2017.

Announcing that a special meeting with Parrikar would be held on April 19 to decide the fate of Regional Plan 2021, Sardesai also proposed the possibility of instead working towards making a Regional Plan 2031.

“My question to the TCP is straight. Do they have the capacity to plan and implement the regional plan? What they have not been able to do in the last few years, can they complete in nine months? It does not appear realistic,” Sardesai said.

Questioning the practicality of having a regional plan that would be relevant of only four years, he suggested that formulating a regional plan that would cater a decade would serve the state better.

The minister, claiming to be thinking out loud, expressed his displeasure over the department’s functioning. Also he questioned the TCP officials in a meeting, on their ability to implement the Goa (Right of Citizens to Time-bound Delivery of Public Services) Act, 2013. Officials have been urged by Sardesai to give clearances and approvals within 45 days of the application.

“It appears that TCP is focused on real estate projects and builders. Single-family dwelling has no focus. My goal is to simplify the process for the average Goan. The public grievance system has to be revamped. When concerns and grievances are raised by several quarters, the reply has to be given in 10 days. This is my first direction to them. Second is to focus on single-family dwelling. Within 45 days, any applicant must get his approvals come what may,” the minister said.

In order to bring accountability, Sardesai has suggested that the TCP implement a biometric attendance system. Furthermore, in a move to promote Goan architecture and heritage he has proposed that projects of such nature either housing or commercial be incentivized.

“I have asked TCP to give me a detailed note, what kind of incentive can be given to builders to make Goa look different. Homes that follow Goa’s architecture or certain colours could get additional FAR or some incentives. This can promote Goan architecture,” Sardessai said.