How did the state-level committee for Regional Plan (RP) 2021 insert a marine industrial park in the no-development-allowed eco-sensitive zone near Marcaim, when nobody recommended it?
While the rehabilitation of a former mining site at Sanquelim by mining major Sesa Goa is noteworthy, has the company made only one showpiece to fool the people and why does it not do it at other sites?
How has an industrial estate been proposed in an agricultural area of Latambarcem village in Bicholim taluka?
These were some of the questions lobbed by Goan youth at authorities during the day-long convention on environment and development on Tuesday.
Talking earlier on RP 2021, chief town planner S T Puttaraju had said “the most striking” feature of the plan was the “protection of Goa’s environment”. Elaborating, he had said that in answer to concerns, the plan had identified, and marked, eco-sensitive zones in the form of forests, private forests, agricultural fields, water bodies and slopes. The volley of concerned queries from the youth came during the question-answer session. Puttaraju answered only some of them.
Explaining the cropping up of the marine industrial park in an eco-sensitive zone, he said that both, the Mandovi and Zuari rivers are choking with unauthorized and unregulated shipbuilding yards and other such marine activities. The state-level committee thought of having a few marine industrial parks at specific locations in Goa in order to bring the activities under government control. But having encountered public opposition to the proposed marine industrial park in Marcaim, the town and country planning department had sent written instructions not to approve the marine industrial park there, Puttaraju said. He also admitted that land in Latambarcem was sought to be acquired on the request of the Goa Industrial Development Corporation for an industrial estate, and was accordingly marked in the draft regional plan.
But faced with public opposition, the industrial zone too has been deleted from the final regional plan, said Puttaraju. The chief town planner also allayed fears over the micro-industrial zones in the plan, saying adequate care has been taken to ensure that these zones are located in non-agricultural areas that are far away from settlement areas. But some questions went unanswered. Like the question on Sesa Goa. There were also no answers on why, despite the government’s own rules, the 10-member state disaster management authority has only government officers when five should have been private individuals. Or why five disaster management sites have been concentrated in one single village of Korgao in Pernem.