PANAJI: The state cabinet on Friday approved an amendment that would enable persons living in panchayat areas to construct new houses by demolishing their old house with the permission of just the panchayat and no other authority.

The state has also decided to collect house tax from illegal houses constructed in the state, and for this purpose only, the government will allot house numbers. “It will not be a regularised structure,” chief minister Pramod Sawant said.

The amendment to the Goa Panchayat Raj Act also seeks to introduce a provision wherein a person can replace a tile roof with slab. This will be allowed for single-dwelling units that existed prior to the enactment of the 1994 Act, subject to production of certificate of stability by a registered structural engineer.

Panchayats minister Mauvin Godinho said that most houses in Goa have tiled roofs.

He also said that when people want to reconstruct their dwellings into larger one, they face harassment. Godinho said people had to approach different departments for permission, and because of this harassment, people used to construct illegally.

“As we don’t want more illegal houses in the state, we have introduced an amendment to the Panchayat Act, so that people can construct their new house with one plus one or one plus two by demolishing the old house, with automatic permission from panchayats,” Godinho said, adding that this is a demand from the people.

Sawant said that the permission will be given as per the rules that exist in the state.



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