Thursday, February 18, 2016

Trespass, encroach, and the govt will legalize it

TNN | Feb 18, 2016, 11.27 AM IST

Panaji: The government's move to announce introduction of a bill to regularize illegal constructions is not a step in the right direction, as it is within the last year of impending assembly elections and will disappoint law-abiding citizens, sources said.

The government announced that it would introduce a bill to regularize illegal structures in the state, including on government, comunidade and private land.

"This is not a right step, as it comes within the last one year of governance and assembly elections and will only make mockery of all the honest law-abiding Goans who pride themselves on following the prevailing rules and regulations for constructions," Tulio de Souza, president-elect of Guirim comunidade said.

A sizeable number of encroachments on comunidade land are also sought to be given a legal status through the bill.

Citizens have also raised questions about the status of the existing laws and the objectives or the proposed law. "One wonders whether all laws like the Town and Country Planning Act, Village Panchayat Act, Municipalities Act, Land Revenue Code and the Code of Comunidades, would all be set aside in order to see that such a regularization of illegal constructions act supercedes all these acts," de Souza said.

Andre Pereira, secretary of association of components of comunidades said that it is not known at this stage under which enactment, the government proposes to legalize unauthorized structures.

"As far as illegal structures on comunidades are concerned, the government does not have competence to do it and the bill is only to keep the intended beneficiaries guessing for some time," Pereira said.

He pointed out that as in the Mayem case, where there are doubts on implementation of the law made for houses in evacuee property, it may be the same story here.