‘Goa project by 2G scam accused dubiously cleared’

October 27th, 2011 - 7:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Oct 27 (IANS) A Rs.200 crore real estate housing project being developed by Satish Chandra, a 2G scam accused, was favoured by a state-level committee for land use headed by Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, civil society activists in Goa alleged Thursday.

A senior town and country planning (TCP) department official has called the allegations baseless and said that a formal statement would be issued by it soon.

Paul Fernandes, convenor of the Pilerne Citizens Forum (PCF), told a press conference here that the committee appointed to vet Goa’s futuristic land use plan, Regional Plan 2021, cleared it in a dubious fashion.

“The government had appointed village level committees to prepare a draft regional plan. The village level committee had not included this project in the plan. But this project which is being promoted by Satish Chandra, a 2G accused, was slipped in by the Kamat headed-SLC,” Fernandes said.

Kamat is already on the hot seat after the opposition accused him of overseeing a Rs.25,000 crore illegal mining scam.

“Chandra is in prison in the 2G scam case,” Fernandes said.

Fernandes also said that nearly 20 lakh sq metres of green land in Pilerne, a picturesque riverside village 10 km from here, had been converted into a settlement zone by the government.

“A plot of nearly 17 lakh sq metres is missing from the village plan. Officials of the town and country planning department are claiming they do not know what happened and why the land is not reflected in the plan,” Fernandes said.

A senior TCP official has called the allegations baseless.

“The draft plan was made on the basis of inputs from the village committees and experts on the SLC. No one can insert anything just like that in the draft plan,” official said.

He added that a formal statement would be issued Friday by the TCP, headed by Chief Minister Kamat.

Goa’s civic society activists are protesting rampant concretisation of the state. Kamat’s Congress-led coalition government has been the subject of many controversies, especially relating to mega land intensive projects.

Goa’s civil society, especially the Church, over the last few years has actively resisted the concretisation of the state, especially in coastal areas.

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