Panel to probe Goa politicians for illegal land conversion move

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Panaji, April 30 (IANS) A special five-member committee will probe allegations that more than a dozen politicians were queueing up to illegally convert vast tracts of green land, many of them in no-development zones, for commercial purposes.

Town and Country Planning Minister Vijai Sardesai told reporters at the State Secretariat on Monday: “A five-member committee will probe these allegations.

“I request ‘Goencho Avaz’ (the NGO which levelled the allegations) to submit the list of names and details of the allegations which they had levelled last week to this committee. The probe will be completed in one month.”

Last Friday, at a public meeting backed by the Goa Church, activists named more than a dozen politicians, including Sardesai himself, accusing them of illegally trying to convert zoning of land for commercial gain.

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At the public meeting in Margao town, 35 km south of Panaji, the activists demanded the scrapping of ‘Regional Plan 2021’, a controversial land use plan and a series of proposed Planning and Development Authorities, both of which the activists claimed were vehicles for illegal conversion of land.

The politicians include MLAs from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-led government, as well as from the Congress party and promoters of some hospitality and real estate groups.

–IANS

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