PANAJI: The Bombay High Court at Goa has adjourned the final hearing of the PIL filed by Goa Foundation challenging 16B of Town and Country Planning(TCP) Act to October 4.
The TCP Act was amended in 2018 to add Section 16B, and it became a huge source of controversy and was subsequently challenged in the High Court.
NGO Goa Foundation and Goa Bachao Abhiyan had in November 2018 moved High Court with a Public Interest Litigation(PIL) for quashing and setting aside provisions of law (Sec 16B of the Goa Town and Country Planning Act and proviso to Regulation 6.1.1(d) of the Goa Land Development and Building Construction Regulations, 2010) that seek to allow ad-hoc and arbitrary conversions of privately owned plots in the Regional Plan based on individual applications from such parties.
“Such arbitrary conversions would lead to rampant and un-balanced development in the State of Goa and, therefore, are contrary to the interest of the citizens and are incompatible with the ecological requirements and resources of the State. They also violate Article 14,” the petition states.
The petitioners have also challenged the ambiguous, repugnant and incorrect definition given to the word ‘zone’ in the Building and Construction Regulations, 2010, which allows plot changes as “zone” changes without any basis in law or planning.
The state government had in January 2020 informed and assured Court that no final approvals have been granted under the provisions of Section 16B.