PANAJI: The Opposition Congress Party on Thursday charged that the Building Plan Approval Management System (BPMS) started by the Town and Country Planning (TCP) department is an eyewash and an attempt to fool the people of Goa.

Speaking to reporters at the Congress office, Panaji, Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) spokesman Arch Tulio de Souza urged the government to withdraw the approved ODPs (Outline Development Plan) and Land Use Map plans and go as per the wishes of the people of Goa.

He alleged that current Deputy Chief Minister Babu Kavalekar had surpassed former TCP Minister Vijai Sardessai in giving permissions for land conversions in the State. The TCP department was out to sell Goa’s lands, hills, khazans and other grey area by misusing the Amendment 16B of TCP Act.

Reacting to Kavalekar claim that only 200 and 500 square metres of land was being converted, Tulio quoting from the minutes of the 166th TCP Board meeting said that land between 11,000 square metres to 63,000 square metres was converted in various villages across Goa.

Tulio appealed to the people not to file their applications for land conversions to the TCP since the matter regarding quashing of amendment 16 B of TCP Act was subjudice and the High Court of Bombay at Goa had already stated that whatever decision government takes it is subject to the outcome of the two petitions.

The Congress spokesman took strong objection to the TCP referring files for land conversions to the concerned Minister for approvals and demanded this illegal activity of referring the files to the Minister has to stop forthwith.

Tulio also demanded that Kavalekar who holds the TCP portfolio should make public how many were pending before him for approvals.

According to Tulio, the TCP in the past was not publishing any information on land conversions in newspapers. However, now since people are conscious, the TCP department has started publishing details of land conversions in the State.