Need to regularize illegal constructions on community lands: Parsekar

MARGAO: Minister for panchayats Laxmikant Parsekar on Tuesday called upon village panchayats to check the rise in illegal constructions in the rural areas, even as he advocated the need for regularization of illegal constructions on community lands.

Parsekar made these comments while addressing the gathering of members of the panchayati raj institution organized by the directorate of panchayats at Margao. The meeting was organized to elicit the views of the panchayati raj institutions members on the proposed amendments to be made in the Panchayati Raj Act by the state government in the next assembly session.

The proposed amendments include the conduct of gram sabhas, simplification of rules for construction of houses in panchayat areas, et al.

Stating that real progress of the state depends on the planned development of the villages, Parsekar said funds for infrastructure development will be allotted to all the panchayats in phases. In the first phase, Parsekar said 35 crore will be released to several panchayats shortly.

He also made a strong pitch for the reversal of changes made in the Town and Country Planning (TCP) Act by the previous government so that panchayats are adequately empowered to decide over issuing construction licenses to construction projects coming up in their villages.

He also advocated the need for creating a common cadre for panchayat functionaries as the pool of experiences will aid in the development of all villages.

Nuvem MLA Francisco 'Mickky' Pacheco, while addressing the gathering, said that mega construction projects and garbage problems have turned out to be a bane for most of the panchayats and stressed on the need for amendments in the statutes to redress the issues.

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