The Regional plans designed by the Town and Country Planning Department are “concerned about balancing economic progress with environmental conservation and importantly protecting agricultural land from conversion to other uses.” (DA SILVA, 2018) Social, Environmental and Economic issues are also addressed during these plannings. This is visible in the case of a mining ban to protect the environment. “Concerns about unemployment in the state and regional imbalances are also themes that have been repeated in at least two separate regional plans. In the most recent regional plan, concerns have been raised about speculative real estate and the lack of transparency in land-use decisions, including the regional planning process itself.”
From Figure 2, we can see that the Comunidade system is completely disregarded from the system of land administration in Goa. This meant around 222 self-governing, self-sustaining Communidade systems were disregarded.
It is important to recall that traditionally, the Comunidade would make decisions regarding the rights of using Comunidade land and the lands themselves were not tradable. As long as there was no perceived scarcity of land, the Comunidades functioned well in this way. However, these large collective parcels of land in the villages have been under a lot of constant pressure during the last few decades. This pressure is expressed most by questioning the principles of collective ownership itself. Today, there is a constant tension between the Comunidade and the panchayats and sometimes the government also takes away the Comunidade land for infrastructure projects. For example, parts of the special economic zones were built on Comunidade lands.
However, the changes in the operations of the Comunidade have been going on for a long time. The Agricultural Tenancy Act (1964) replaced the endogenous Communidade institutions, with the Tenancy Association being funded by the state to carry out activities historically done by the Comunidade - for example taking care of the embankments. This act did not violate the principle of collective ownership of the land by the tenants – it gave more power to the tenants to manage the collectively owned land.
But eventually, the changing socio-economic contexts saw tenants selling their lands for mining and tourism or ended up treating it like privately owned land.
As noted earlier, the panchayats needed to be funded by the government. Land Conversion from agricultural to other activities benefited the panchayat in terms of finance. Issuing licenses for construction and construction fees constituted the majority of their finances. A recent study by Karl Fitzgerald and Cameron Murray titled “Staged Releases
Peering Behind the Land Supply Curtain” has found that the development industry is responsible for the lack of supply of housing. In the context of Goa, the privatisation of lands has caused soaring real estate value, making housing unaffordable. “ The privatisation of property data has created a significant barrier to analysis, undermining the ability of housing researchers to calculate the public policy return of decades of rezoning.”(Fitzgerald 2022) Privatisation of Comunidade lands was introduced to increase economic gains and bring about a sense of homogeneity. But with the Comunidade lands becoming tradable it reduced the “mutual social interdependence that creates cooperation.” “A self-governing local community with commons might have a more efficient production locus than if a private property was established.” (Mukhopadhyay, 2006) In the case of Comunidade lands, privatisation leads to a decrease in contributors which also leads to a decrease in the profit gained by the community.
The Comunidade system should be recognised as a local regulatory body that regulates activities and the land use of the Comunidade land “by taking into consideration the existing economic, environmental and social conditions and the tendencies of” (DA SILVA, 2018) the Comunidade land located in a particular zone. It could follow The Planner’s Triangle to deduce the land use of the Comunidade land (DA SILVA, 2018). That is, “when referring to the substantive goals of planning one usually finds that planners seek to reconcile three, often conflicting, interests: ‘to ‘grow’ the economy, distribute the growth fairly and in the process not degrade the ecosystem’” (Campbell 2016).