Goa Bhumiputra Adhikarini Bill: Received 150 suggestions so far, says Goa CM Pramod Sawant

The Goa Bhumiputra Adhikarini Bill, that gives a person living in Goa for at least 30 years, the right to stake claim to his/her residential property of not more than 250 sq m, had stoked a controversy across the state since it was passed amid a walk-out by opposition MLAs.

Goa Chief minister Pramod Sawant Thursday said that the government has so far received about 150 suggestions pertaining to the Bhumiputra Adhikarini Bill, 2021, that was passed by the Goa legislative assembly on July 30. Sawant said that the government will take stock of all the suggestions from people, hold deliberations and then take a decision.

The Bill, that gives a person living in Goa for at least 30 years, the right to stake claim to his/her residential property of not more than 250 sq m, had stoked a controversy across the state since it was passed amid a walk-out by opposition MLAs. BJP’s ST Morcha had objected to the use of of the word ‘Bhumiputra’ as it had “hurt the sentiments” of the state’s tribal population. Four days after it was passed, Sawant had said that the Bill would be renamed Bhumi Adhikarini Bill.

Announcing various decisions taken by his Cabinet on Thursday, Sawant said that consent had been given for the procurement of land by the South Western Railway between Kulem and Margao. He said that the land would be procured by the railways in two batches.

A day ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi, Sawant also said that the Cabinet had decided to grant a 50 per cent waiver on license fees for beach shack owners, whose business had suffered a major setback amid the Covid-19 pandemic. He said his cabinet had also decided to provide free meters and one year’s mobile data to taxi owners, who had earlier resisted installing meters until the government restricted the operation of cab aggregator Goa Miles.

While SOPs issued by the state government for Ganesh festival in the state were withdrawn after the Chief Minister himself differed with some of the guidelines restricting priests visiting homes to perform pujas, the district administration on Thursday evening issued ‘do’s and don’ts’ for the festivities starting Friday.

While withdrawing the SOPs, the chief minister had said that there was no need for fresh SOPs if people followed Covid-safety norms. The district administration advised people to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi with ‘care and precautions’. Apart from the use of face masks and sanitisers, people were also advised to hold small pujas and discourage large gatherings at Ganeshotsav Mandals.

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