In a major step towards retaining state's greenery and heritage, the Goa government is toying with the idea of incentivising the efforts to retain old homes or green patches in the State. "We are trying to create a concept in which if you have an old house and if you retain it there will be incentives for it. "If you have greenery (referring to agriculture fields and green patches) and if you retain it you will get incentives," State Town and Country Planning Minister Vijai Sardesai told reporters after participating in the meeting to discuss the Regional Plan (land use plan). "That incentives you can sell to the builder. And the builder will be able to use these incentives in designated areas where vertical growth would be allowed. The areas which are going to be designated for development are not yet decided. "The quantum of credit is also yet to be decided," Sardesai said. He said that the Chief TownPlanner has been asked to prepare a concept paper on these lines which would be ready by mid-May only after which there will be more clarity on the idea. "This is a progressive idea which is not there in the entire country.
We want to set a standard in terms of preservation and environment," the minister said. "There are concerns of the State government and the people to preserve Goa for eternity. The concerns are basically because there is a fear in the mind of activists that the regional plan will take away greenery and heritage. There is a fear that maximum area is converted into settlement purpose," Sardesai said. "I have to protect agriculture and at the same time we have to plan our towns and villages in such a way that Goa looks different. "Goa has planned development for which the idea has been mooted today," he said talking about the concept. He said the concept is on a par with "transfer of developmental rights which is prevalent in our neighbouring state." The minister said many a times people try to convert their agriculture land because they feel that they will not get anything. "We are incentivising him to retain its status and not to convert land therefore preserve Goa. We want to preserve it for posterity," he said.
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