Amidst allegations that the Outline Development Plan (ODP) for Panjim has ignored heritage zones, the Indian Institute of Architects (IIA) Goa Chapter has suggested that the heritage identity of the capital city should not be dissolved in the name of urbanisation and has called for strengthening of the dilapidated structures. The heritage protection activists, on the other hand, demand that Panjim should be declared as a Heritage Site to prevent haphazard development. 

“Identity of Panjim city is that of a heritage area. EDC Plaza does not give identity to the city. The stretch from the Church Square to Azad Maidan or up to Campal has given us identity. People don’t want to see Navi Mumbai or Hyderabad, they want the heritage side of a particular place which the capital city is already awarded with,” said IIA Goa Chapter Chief Mangesh Prabhugaonkar.

The IIA clarified that while it is not against the development provided the conservation zones are protected and maintained. Prabhugaonkar stated that “instead of completely denying development in the name of urbanisation, the conservation policy should be relooked at to suggest any required changes. ... The IIA, however, is not in favour of vertical growth in the conservation area. “Holistic approach is important… On one side you have conservation policy that prohibits change of unchanged areas, and on the other side you are ignoring the crucial conservation part by carrying the development in the name of urbanization,” he said.