PANAJI: The State government on Tuesday withdrew its controversial order notifying 56 villages in the State as urban areas, which had triggered a huge public outcry.
The Chief Minister's Office (CMO) stated that the order which had notified 56 villages as urban areas under the Goa Land Revenue Code, 1968, stands "withdrawn" in view of "public concerns".
On January 31, 2020, the revenue department notified 56 villages as urban areas under section 2 (38) of the Goa Land Revenue Code 1968.
"Under the Land Revenue Code, notification of any village as 'urban village' only affects the process of assessment of land revenue and this classification does not change any building or infrastructure guidelines as far as the revenue department is concerned," the statement said.
The revenue department had already clarified that these 56 villages were Census towns as per Census 2011. The notification simply adopted revenue villages, which were the census towns as 'urban areas' without any additional criteria, it said.
As per the Census guidelines, a Census Town (CT) is defined as an area having a population of more than 5000, at last 70 per cent male main working population engaged in non-agriculture activities and a population density of at least 400 per square kilometres.
"However, the notification caused anxiety amongst the public. The public is also worried because the issue of notification of as `urban areas' may have certain implications under other laws. Considering the public concerns, the government has decided to withdraw the order with the immediate effect," the CMO stated.
It may be recalled that the opposition Congress party, several village panchayats and NGOs had expressed their apprehensions over the notification dated January 31, 2020, notifying 56 village as urban areas.