Panaji: Goa has stepped up efforts to develop its 170 villages down to the remotest hamlet over the next few years to bring them at par with urban hubs of the state, an official said Monday.
Datta Kholkar, deputy chairman of the state planning board told a news agency that villages in Goa would be the corner-stone of the state`s development and planning process.
To begin with, some villages would be developed as model areas and their infrastructure would be improved. They would be converted into self-sufficient units where people could have a higher standard of life as compared to the other urban hubs of Goa.
"Development should begin from the remotest rural villages of the state, since these villages have the potentials, which if properly channelised could contribute significantly to the economic development of the state," said Kholkar, a senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) functionary.
Kholkar Monday attended the first meeting of the Goa Planning Board, after its reconstitution earlier this month.
"The need for development of remotest rural villages with full participation of local people can only be the best tool for ensuring that each and every marginal and small farmers, poor and disadvantaged in the villages live a happy life," Kholkar said.
The move comes in the backdrop of Goa`s rural population up in the arms against increasing mining activities, mega real estate projects as well as overdose of tourism.