The Goa government has finally given the green signal for a sports complex at Pilerne. The foundation stone for the project was laid on May 9, 2013, by Sports Minister Ramesh Tawadkar in the presence of Tourism Minster Dilip Parulekar. During the event, Tawadkar assured that the work would be completed within two years. However, the Town and Country Planning Department (TCP) did not clear the project due to the eco-sensitive nature of the proposed site.
The Mapusa TCP issued a no-objection certificate to the Pilerne-Marra panchayat for acquiring land of 23,700 square meters in Survey 104/1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8 (part), 9 (part) and 10 (part) on April 1, 2009 with two conditions: permission for filling low-lying land should be obtained and storm-water drains should be constructed to avoid water logging.
The land acquisition process began in 2012, and the land was handed to the Mapusa Block Development Office (BDO) by the Deputy Collector (Revenue/Land Acquisition Officer) on October 11, 2013.
The Pilerne-Marra panchayat sought permission from the Deputy Collector (DC) for filling of land at the proposed project site on January 9, 2014. The DC forwarded this application to the Senior Town Planner on January 27, 2014, who in turn forwarded it along with a note to the Chief Town Planner.
The Chief Town Planner, on going through the note, put down five remarks: The area is low-lying and marked as Eco-1 fields as per the Regional Plan 2021; an area of 23,700 sq mts requires a huge amount of mud for filling; the area is surrounded by fields on all sides except one part, where the panchayat office is situated; Survey 104/8, 9 appear to be having tenants; it was not advisable to allow such huge filling in an eco-sensitive area.
In view of this, the work of the sports complex could not start.
When contacted, Pilerne-Marra Sarpanch Amarnath Govekar confirmed that the TCP committee has finally granted permission for the project and the tenders have been floated by the Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC). He added, “On account of keen interest taken by the Saligao MLA, the project got this approval.”
Meanwhile, Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar stated that there is no good sports complex for Pilerne and surrounding areas. He also claimed that Pilerne residents has supplied wrong information to the senior TCP officials, which is why TCP was not inclined to grant approval for the sports project. He therefore impressed upon Chief Minster Laxmikant Parsekar the importance of this project for the locals.
“The Chief Minister took up the matter with the TCP, and after discussions, the TCP committee under Section 16 (A) of TCP Act cleared the project. The permission for land filling has also been given. The sports complex will be constructed by GTDC and the first phase of developing the ground and making seating arrangements will start soon. The work is expected to be completed by May 2016. The estimated cost of this first phase is Rs 4.50 crore and the funds will be provided by the Directorate of Panchayats. The second phase will include construction of shops, gymnasium, the panchayat office, hall etc. The total cost of the project is around Rs 10 crore,” said Parulekar.