PANAJI: Former Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) Mayor Surendra Furtado has written to the Fifteenth Finance Commission seeking funds to the tune of Rs 890 crore for the development of the capital city of Panaji.
In his submission to the Commission, Furtado has demanded Rs 90 crore as additional funds for salaries and benefits, development grant to the tune of Rs 250 crore, heritage protection grant of Rs 300 crore, and Rs 250 crore for the city resilience building and cyclone and flood early warning system.
Speaking to media persons, Furtado said that he had sought funds of Rs 1,290 crore from the 14th Finance Commission when he was the mayor, but had received merely Rs 4 crore.
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“In 2014, as the mayor of of Panaji, I had submitted to the then Finance Commission. I had covered all the parameters in the interest of Panaji. I feel that all corporators should have been called before the Finance Commission could come to Goa. The commissioner and the mayor should have taken feedback from all the corporators as well the stakeholders of Panaji. Nothing happened. So then I decided that I should step in and give my ideas to the Commission,” said Furtado.
In his submission, Furtado has pointed out that Panaji does not have slums, but slum-like areas that need infrastructure upgradation.
“These areas are typically not covered under slum re-development programmes as their conditions are higher than the generally accepted conditions for a slum and these lose out on the ability for development and infrastructure upgradation. It is only fair that considering the special case of Panaji, these housing predominantly lower income population, an additional provision for development grant of Rs 250 crore needs to be made,” he said.
Pointing out that there are several buildings in Panaji that have historic, cultural and architectural value, Furtado has stated, “There is high potential for the historic core of Panaji being listed under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage Cities since the core city exhibits and important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design. The process of application requires intensive preparation, documentation and concrete measures for protection of heritage. The funds requested will be utilised for that.”
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