Areal locals demand withdrawal of Section 16B of TCP Act

MARGAO: Sao Jose de Areal gram sabha on Sunday resolved to oppose Section 16B of the TCP Act. The gram sabha pointed out that Section 16B of the TCP Act is illegal and that the panchayat should write to the chief town planner and the chief  secretary to withdraw it as it violates the Constitutional mandate for spatial planning to be carried out by panchayats and also because it violates Articles 14, 19 and 21of the Constitution.

The gram sabha also adopted another two resolutions. The villagers discussed the duties and powers of the panchayat while considering applications for grant of construction licence.

They unanimously resolved that the panchayat should not grant any construction licence without considering its functions under Schedule I of the Goa Panchayati Raj Act, 1994 and project proposals that threaten the socio-economic sectors shall not be granted permission by the panchayat.

The villagers also raised the issue of water bodies in the village and urged the sarpanch Perris D’Costa to collect data regarding the water bodies as it would be useful in future.

The issue of traffic sentinel scheme also echoed at the gram sabha with the villagers seeking similar schemes to keep a check on dumping of garbage, illegal activities like matka, gambling, hill cutting.

They requested the sarpanch to write to the concerned departments that the way traffic sentinel scheme is implemented, the same way a law may also be implemented allowing citizens to take photographs of those who are involved in illegal activities.

The gram sabha also raised the issue of doubling of railway line through the village and pointed out that no railway plan has been submitted to the panchayat and, hence, they demanded that the panchayat should send a stop work notice to the railways and the concerned authorities.

The villagers also said that they are not ready for acquisition of their land by the government. They also demanded digitisation of all documents and files of the panchayat.