PANAJI: After much criticism, the State government on Wednesday withdrew the controversial circular which was bypassing village panchayats on issuing of construction licences and occupancy certificates in the State.
Panchayat Minister Mauvin Godinho announced the withdrawal of circular and warned the panchayats to put their act together in dealing with the garbage issue for which, he said, this circular was brought.
The Directorate of Panchayats had issued a circular asking all the village panchayat secretaries to route the applications seeking construction licences or occupancy certificates for the projects having more than four dwelling units - multi-dwelling residential projects or commercial projects having 200 square metre and more built-up area to the government through the block development officer (BDO).
The opposition parties and most of the panchayat members had opposed the circular stating that it was an attempt at encroaching on powers of local self-bodies bestowed after the 73rd Constitutional amendment.
Mauvin said, ''The directorate of panchayat had issued a circular that projects having more than four dwellings will have to come to block development officer (BDO). Thereafter, we issued another circular with more details that the projects having more than four dwelling units will have to come to the respective directorate and to the government. Now we have reassessed the entire thing, we had rethink on the procedure because government too is in the process of solving the garbage problem in toto.''
He said the government's priority was to have two garbage treatment plants in place and once these garbage plants were in place and it thought that it was putting extra pressure on panchayats.
The panchayat minister said the procedure would have delayed work of personal dwellings, housing complexes and the real estate.
''If you look at the slowdown in the economy real estate has been hit the most. Real estate sector is the most affected sector. The procedure is required but the government is not hundred per cent ready and I thought we are putting extra pressure on panchayats. ...We thought it prudent that we will withdraw the circular for the time being and have our system in place. Our system means technical cell, having at least two garbage tratment plants ready and material recovery facilities in place in at least 90 per cent of the panchayats,'' Mauvin said.
He said it was a second chance to all the village panchayats to take the garbage issue seriously and manage garbage after segregation in a scientific manner.
Mauvin said the circular did not do anything negative but on the contrary it helped to bring about consciousness among panchayats and it would be done at right time.
''We want to give them (panchayats) a second chance. Please manage your garbage well and there are no issues at all,'' Mauvin said.