In the developed countries of this world, planning takes place at a grass roots
level. There are residential areas and there are commercial areas and in some
cases mixed development areas. Areas are set aside in the development plans
for schools and places of worship. When a developer submits his project for
approval, the planning agency makes an impact study to determine whether there
is or will be sufficient water supply, linkage to sewer systems, electric
supply, access roads etc. If it is determined that the project is deficient in
the foresaid, an estimate is made of what it will cost to bring all these
systems up to par. The developer is then required to pay a sum equivalent to
the estimate, before his project is approved. It then becomes the Government;
responsibility to ensure that all the support systems are developed concurrent
with the building work.
In Goa I have noticed that projects are developed haphazardly, causing a great
deal of problems to neighborhoods, including lack of water supply, deficient
electric current etc. Residential homes have been built in areas identified
as "private forest".. In the absence of an approved Regional Plan apparently
there are no restrictions on where one is allowed to build. Consequently,
fields are filled in with what appears to be construction debris, probably late
at night; Hills in off the beaten path locations are excavated with impunity,
and new luxury homes are swiftly built and become a "fait accompli". In one
location which was clearly private forest land the owner first constructed a
"Gomti" or shrine. Then he constructed a temporary shelter with tarpaulins,
then within the temporary shelter, a permanent home was built. With a "Gomti"
or shrine Goans being either very spiritual or superstitious keep their hands
off a site which has a "Gomti". A few months later, the house built on this
site got an electric connection and a water connection.How ? I don't know. I
am told that anything can be done with something called "speed money".
Builders from Mumbai and Delhi with their coffers overflowing with "black
money" are pushing their way into Goa, to build in locations where they could
not previously build. Many of these developments remain half-empty but it
does not bother the builders as long as their money is laundered and black
money becomes white money. This is Goa .