Goa Town and Country Planning Minister Vijai Sardesai on Wednesday dismissed claims that opening up new avenues for land conversion would essentially destroy ecologically-sensitive areas in the coastal state.
Sardesai said the eco-sensitive areas will not get affected during the process.
The opposition Congress had expressed apprehensions over the Town and Country Planning ministry's willingness to consider applications for change of plots under orchard zone to settlement zone.
The minister had earlier said the individuals who had purchased plots in orchard zone and constructed structure on land, can apply for conversion till January 1, 2019.
"The government is committed to protect all eco-sensitive areas and hence no change of zone shall be permitted of such-ecologically sensitive areas," the minister said Wednesday.
"Even the areas released under the settlement zone of Regional Plan (RP) 2021 have been most cautiously permitted for development by putting them under meticulous scrutiny of committee of experts consisting of renowned professionals.
"The government shall obtain views of competent authorities like Agriculture and Forest departments during the process of the change of zone. All such cases shall be under public scrutiny through a notification and any genuine objection shall surely be honoured," he said.
Sardesai said that just because people have applied for change of zone, his ministry is not bound to convert all such lands.
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