PANAJI: The residents of Old Goa on Tuesday strongly opposed the inclusion of Old Goa heritage area into the Greater Panaji Planning and Development Authority (GPPDA).

The opponents debunked the claim of Deputy Chief Minister Babu Kavalekar that the gram sabha of Se-Old Goa Village Panchayat to include Old Goa into the Greater Panaji PDA.

They said this would lead to total destruction of the heritage of Old Goa. The Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of Old Goa will go up to 300 and buildings of 30 metres will come up and destroy the beauty of the churches.

Two Se-Old Goa panchayat members Nilkant Bhomkar and his wife Namrata Bhomkar who represent wards 6 and 8, have also opposed the inclusion of Old Goa into the Greater Panjim PDA, saying it will destroy the heritage value and the character of the village.

Glean Cabral pointed out that the villagers in the past had opposed inclusion of Old Goa into PDAs and claimed that the gram sabha has not passed any such resolution.

Historian Prajal Sakhardande feared that if the government goes ahead with the approval then the UNESCO listed seven churches of Old Goa will be denotified by the UNESCO Committee. He claimed that there cannot be any development within one-kilometre of monuments listed by World Heritage and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Panchayat member Nilkant Bhomkar said that he is strongly opposed to the move to include Old Goa areas into Greater Panaji PDA. He also clarified that the gram sabha had not passed any resolution in this regard.