12th May 2013
Pedestrian injured in mishapTEAM HERALD
PORVORIM: A 45-year-old pedestrian from Shantinagar-Porvorim was seriously injured after he was knocked down by a motorcycle near the Hyundai showroom at Porvorim.
According to Porvorim Police, Kalpana Patre complained that the motorcycle (GA-03 D-1534), which was proceeding from Panjim to Mapusa, knocked down her brother.
Shiroda local ends lifePONDA: A 42-year-old resident of Shiroda allegedly committed suicide by hanging at his residence on Friday morning.
According to Ponda Police, the body of Shambu Naik was found hanging to the rafter and the incident was reported to police at about 11 am. PSI Rahul Dhamsekar is investigating the case.
Russian robbed at PalolemTEAM HERALD
CANACONA: Cash, laptop and other items worth about Rs 46,870, belonging to a Russian national, were stolen from a hotel room at Palolem.
According to Canacona Police, Starastin Alexey complained that on Thursday, between 2 am and 5 am, some persons entered his room through the window and decamped with one laptop, watch, silver ring, camera and cash of Rs 5,000, all worth about Rs 46,870. ASI Anil Gaonkar is investigating the case.
BJP national executive from June 7TEAM HERALD
PANJIM: The second meeting of the national executive of BJP under the leadership of Rajnath Singh will be held in Goa from June 7 to June 9, as disclosed by BJP general secretary Narendra Sawaikar at a press conference Saturday.
The decision was taken during the last national executive meeting, held in March, he said but the venue of the meeting is yet to be decided. Around 250-delegates would be attending the three day meeting.
When asked, BJP spokesman Dr Wilfred Mesquita said that the top national leaders such as BJP president Rajnath Singh, Lal Krishna Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Narendra Modi, Nitin Gadkari and others would be attending the meeting. Chief Ministers and opposition leader from other parts of the country would be also be present.
Mesquita, however, refused to disclose the agenda of the meeting. “The agenda has to be decided by the national leaders. We have no idea about it,” he confessed.
Air valve stolenTEAM HERALD
PERNEM: An air valve worth about Rs 65,434 was stolen from Sukekulan-Dhargal, Pernem.
According to Pernem Police, Subhash Belgaonkar, assistant engineer at Pernem, complained that some persons had stolen the air valve from the main tank.
Head Constable Subhash Gaonkar is investigating.
Plaint of outraging modesty at QuepemTEAM HERALD
CURCHOREM: A woman from Quepem has accused her brother-in-law of abuse, assault and outraging the modesty of her daughter.
According to Quepem Police, the woman complained that the accused had abused her husband and had also assaulted her.
When her daughter came to her rescue, the accused assaulted and outraged the modesty of her daughter. ASI Chandrakant L Rane is investigating the case.
Five sports academies, grounds in each constituency: TawadkarTEAM HERALD
PORVORIM: Admitting that very few Goan youth opt for sports as a career, Sports Minister Ramesh Tadwadkar stated that the State government intends to open five sports academies in the State to create a sports culture and to encourage youth to take up sports as a career in sports.
Tawadkar was speaking after laying the foundation stone for a playground at Pilerne.
Speaking further, Tadwadkar said the development of the infrastructure for Lusofonia Games is in full swing and during the last 7-8 months, the government had released tenders worth Rs 240 crore. “The infrastructure required to conduct Lusofonia Games will be completed as per schedule,” assured Tadwadkar.
The sports minister further stated that the government intends to develop four playgrounds in each constituency. “The work of the playground at Pilerne will be completed within 2 years,” assured Tadwadkar.
Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar said he has initiated steps to develop a ground in each of the six panchayats in Saligao constituency.
Sanvordem MLA Ganesh Gaonkar also spoke on the occasion. Pilerne-Marra Sarpanch Sandeep Bandoker welcomed the gathering while Victor Fernandes compered the function. Rupesh Naik proposed the vote of thanks.
Congress, BJP lock horns over shortage of beefTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: In a bid to woo affected sections, the Congress accused the government of failing to act in time to provide beef to consumers after the High Court ban, while the BJP shot back alleging that Congress was communalising the issue.
At a press conference held on Saturday, Congress MP Francisco Sardinha, who estimating that 60 per cent Goans consume beef as part of their diet argued that the government was doing injustice to the minorities and some members of the majority community as well. On the other hand the ruling BJP alleged that the Congress party used High Court order on temporary ban on slaughter to create a ‘communal divide’ in Goa. They accused Congress of painting the BJP as ‘villain’ and claimed that beef is not just consumed by minority communities but that there are large section of the majority community who are consumers too.
“Sixty percent Goans are beef consumers and the absence of beef in the present festive season…I can imagine the plight of eaters, caterers and hoteliers…all of them must be suffering,” Sardinha said accusing the government of sleeping over the issue.
The Congressman also cautioned that beef shortage will affect Goa tourism and added that Goa is not a beef or milk producing state for it is dependent on neighbouring states.
Meanwhile, BJP spokesman Dr Wilfred Mesquita at a press conference on Saturday promised that party and his government will do everything at its command to ensure that the people affected by High Court order get relief from the suffering at the shortest means of time.
“We will either approach Court or through some other legal means, will ensure that beef is made available to the people at the earliest,” he said, adding, “We would request Congress and its alliance partners (NCP) not to bring politics or communalism between the court order.”
The spokesman said that Congress, who till date has not been able to come out of the humiliating defeat it faced in the State Assembly polls last year, is busy making false propaganda against BJP by trying to portray it as ‘villain’.
The BJP leader said that Congress president and spokesman’s remarks that the Court order is basically to harass the minority section is in contempt of high court order.
Following High Court order, which has put ban on import of cattle for slaughtering along with directing the GMC not to touch the 131 animals housed in its premises, the state is facing acute shortage of beef, for the last two weeks.
Both the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have blamed the BJP-led state government for the shortage and has accused BJP of "communal conspiracy" since they alleged that the petitioner was a member of the BJP
Castigating the former state Advocate General Subodh Kantak, who is currently appearing for the petitioner in High Court, BJP said that court has not been informed about several vital points of the Animal Protection act by the petitioner.
“He (kantak) was AG during Congress regime and he is well aware about the competent authority, who were appointed to perform the duties pertaining to the veterinary services in the Goa Meat complex. “He did not inform this to the Court,” he alleged.
Deputy Chief Minister Francis D’Souza said that the High Court order to ban slaughtering at Goa Meat Complex is similar to Supreme Court order on mining, wherein state government and people were not heard before passing such a stringent order,
He said ‘slaughtering of cattle for purpose of meat is age old tradition, which cannot be banned with such sudden orders’.
Tuyem farmers promised higher price for landTEAM HERALD
PERNEM: Farmers of Tuyem, affected by land acquisition for the proposed expansion of phase II of Tuyem Industrial Estate, have expressed happiness over the reported assurances by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar to enhance the compensation as per new Land Acquisition Policy of the State government.
Speaking to Herald, Tuyem Sarpanch Ulhas Naik said he had led a delegation of farmers to meet Parrikar at his chamber at the Secretariat in Porvorim on Thursday.
“The chief minister gave a patient hearing to the affected farmers. He informed them that though land acquisition process was already completed last year, he has already directed authorities to include the land acquisition in the new land acquisition policy, which is likely to be announced by June end,” said Naik.
“The official confirmation to this effect will be sent from his office to the panchayat shortly to enable us inform all the concerned families. The farmers were pleased over the outcome of the meeting with the chief minister and hope to get better compensation than the one awarded by the land acquisition office of the GIDC,” the sarpanch added.
Govt has got us into trouble: CongTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: The Congress has castigated the ruling coalition and termed it as being ‘useless’ for getting the State knotted in a number of problems. Member of Parliament Francisco Sardinha told a press conference Saturday that Goa government has failed in its responsibilities as the State is presently steeped in various problems like stoppage of mining operations, resulting in financial loss and unemployment, hike in diesel prices, beef shortage, et al.
“This government is useless. People never thought this government will be so useless…God give wisdom to Chief Minister (Manohar Parrikar) to function in the interest of Goans,” he said.
Commenting on the mining issue, the Congress leader said he had taken a representation of aggrieved mining dependent people to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram in New Delhi pressing for their demand for immediate resumption of legal mining in Goa.
“All were sympathetic…Lets hope for the best and see what crops up in near future. The ball is in Supreme Court’s court. Goa government has to file good and right affidavit, and engage a good counsel. The remaining will be done by the Centre,” he said hoping the matter would be settled by July when the next hearing on the PIL comes up before the Supreme Court.
Sardinha questioned the wisdom of the Goa government for hiking the diesel price. He said Goa is the only State in the country where diesel is costlier than petrol.
Meanwhile, with two months remaining for the election of the Goa Pradesh Youth Congress (GPYC), the party’s youth wing launched its membership drive Saturday with Goa Pradesh Congress Committee President Subhash Shirodkar releasing the membership forms in the presence of other national and state members including the present GPYC President Pratima Coutinho.
This is the second phase of the election to the committee which will have years term. Those enrolling by 5pm of June 5 will be eligible to participate in the ensuing election while those enrolling thereafter will not be able to vote, though they will become members.
Coutinho said they expect 10,000 new members, in addition to the existing 25,000 members.
Fierce battle on cards todayTEAM HERALD
PONDA/MAYEM: Municipal elections are not fought on party lines but a fierce battle between candidates backed by rival political parties is on cards, as the municipal councils of Ponda and Sanquelim go to polls on Sunday.
At least 15,526 voters from Ponda and 7,148 voters from Sanquelim will exercise their franchise to decide the fate of 60 candidates contesting the 14-ward Ponda Municipal Council (PMC) polls and 53 candidates vying for 11 wards in the Sanquelim Municipal Council (SMC) polls.
In Ponda, the BJP-MGP combined has supported 14 candidates of the Ponda Citizens Committee (PCC), while the Congress-backed Ponda Vikas Samiti has fielded 13 candidates. Both groups, however, have officially denied affiliation to any political party. The PMC had 13 seats during the previous term and this year, the State government decided to increase the number of wards to 14.
Among the 14 wards, all eyes are on the contest in Ward 4, where Roy Naik, son of former chief minister Ravi Naik, is contesting against Ravi’s rival, Venkatesh Naik. The tussle between the PCC and the PVS could well benefit some independent candidates.
Returning Officer Johnson Fernandes told Herald that there are 23 election booths all across the municipality.
“Voting will start at 7 am and will continue till 5 pm,” Fernandes said.
Elaborate security arrangements have been set up for the PMC, with the deputation of four police sub inspectors, seven assistant sub Inspectors, 18 head constables, 87 constables, 29 lady police constables and 14 home guards at all 23 booths to ensure that voting is free and fair.
In Sanquelim, 7148 voters (3587 male and 3561 female) will exercise their franchise in 11 polling stations to decide the fate of 53 candidates contesting the SMC polls.
“We have made an elaborate arrangement by deploying about 55 officials to look after all 11 booths to carry out the election process in a free, fair and peaceful manner,” said Presiding Officer and Bicholim Deputy Collector Narayan Gad, while talking to local reporters.
Sanquelim will also witness candidates fielded by panels backed by rival political parties. Though SMC was ruled by candidates affiliated to the Congress since the past five years, the BJP is keen to take control of the SMC, especially since it is governing the state.
This time, only four councillors from the outgoing SMC will contest the elections and they are former chairperson Riyaz Khan, Laxmanrao Desai, Pooja Dangi and Aarti Naik.
Meanwhile, the Returning Officer for the SMC polls has informed that commercial establishments within 100 metres of Polling Station 7 at Progress High School, Polling Station 4 at Multipurpose Hall and Polling Station 6 at Laxmibai G. Sanzgiri Memorial New Wada, are required to be closed during the polling time to ensure free and fair poll.
Francis: Govt drafting new Municipalities ActTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: Deputy Chief Minister Francis D’Souza on Saturday said the government is in process of drafting a new Municipality Act, which would be tabled during the forthcoming session of the State legislative Assembly. Except for the Corporation of the City of Panjim (CCP), all the municipalities will come under the ambit of this Act.
D’Souza also confirmed that the process for amending the CCP Act 2002 has also been initiated. He said that as per the Act, the elections of mayor and deputy mayor shall be held in the first meeting of the corporation, every year, an issue on which the elections to the Mayor had been adjourned by the government in March. D’Souza, who is also Minister for Municipal Administration was speaking to reporters at the sidelines of BJP press conference in Panjim.
D’Souza said that the current Municipality Act, 1968 is based on Maharashtra Municipalities Act, which was applied to Goa without going through the ground realities. “The Act is not applicable to Goa as there is lot of differences between the two States,” he said.
The minister said that a three-member panel of advocates has been constituted to scrutinise the draft of the Act, prepared by the erstwhile Congress government. “The same would be kept open for public scrutiny and suggestion,” he said adding “A new Municipalities Act would be tabled in the next assembly session.”
While refusing to disclose the details of the draft, D’Souza said “the draft will speak about the reservation of wards, de-limitations, funding and other functioning. I personally feel that every third ward should be reserved,” he said.
Says municipal, p’yat elections should be fought on party lines
Deputy Chief Minister Francis D’Souza Saturday asserted that the municipal and panchayat elections in the State should be fought on party lines. He however did not elaborate on the issue but said “I feel that party symbols should be used by the respective candidates for municipality and panchayat elections. If needed anti-defection law should be implemented,” the minister said.
Currently the panchayat and municipal elections are fought at individual level and by forming candidates’ panel. Though they are not fought on party lines, the candidates are backed by political parties, right from national to State parties.
Sardinha keen on contesting LS pollsTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: Member of Parliament Francisco Sardinha has expressed his willingness to contest the 2014 Lok Sabha polls from Goa, however, he has left the decision with the party high command.
“I would like to contest…I am confident of getting a ticket but these are decisions (to be taken) by the High Command as we are a national party,” he said responding to a media question.
Upon repeated questioning whether he is short listed by the Congress, he promptly replied, “How can I tell I am 100 percent a candidate?”
Sardinha was elected to the 12th Lok Sabha in 1998 and to the 14th Lok Sabha in a by-election in November 2007, on both occasions from South Goa Lok Sabha Constituency. He was re-elected to the 15th Lok Sabha in 2009.
Sardinha, meanwhile, questioned the wisdom of the Goa government for hiking the diesel price.
He said Goa is the only State in the country where diesel is costlier than petrol.
Entry tax: Blockade planned at 8 pointsTEAM HERALD
BELGAUM: Various transport organisations from Belgaum, Kolhapur and Sindhudurg regions are all set to stop their operations and to block other transport vehicles at eight points of entry to Goa from Sunday midnight, to protest against Goa’s entry tax on outstation vehicles.
While transporters from Belgaum district will camp at Jamboti, Ramnagar, Peeranwadi Cross, Turmuri and Chorla Road, transporters from Kolhapur district will block vehicles at Radhanagari and Ajara. Transport organisations from Sindhudurg district will block transport vehicles and private buses to Goa at Banda.
Supporting the decision of the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) regarding a complete blockade to Goa from the midnight of May 12, transporters and taxi owners in Belgaum arrived at a unanimous decision to stop transportation of goods, vegetables and milk to Goa.
Meetings are being held at different places to ascertain the modus operandi of the proposed ‘Chakka Jam’ agitation by transporters. Various organisations like Wholesale Vegetable Suppliers Association, Fruit Owners Association, Milk Producers Association and Onion Merchants Association have expressed their solidarity to the agitation by the transporters.
Stating that the proposed ‘Chakka Jam’ is against the Goa government’s decision to impose the entry tax, transport organisations have stated that people of Goa would also indirectly suffer from the entry tax.
Herald’s education expo opens in cityTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: Education Expo 2013, the largest education fair in the region, organised by the Herald Group, Goa’s most trusted media house, opened in Panjim, today.
The two-day fair being held at Kala Academy, Campal was inaugurated by St Andre MLA and Chairman of Kala Academy, Vishnu Surya Naik Wagh in the presence of D S Sridhar, Deputy General Manager, Canara Bank, Goa.
The Education Expo 2013, which is hosting institutions from Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra, will remain open from 10 am to 9 pm, until May 12, 2013. The Herald Group has decided not to have any entry or registration fees for visitors.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Wagh pointed out that the Herald Group couldn’t have timed the education expo better. “The academic year has just come to a close and this is the time when students are looking for guidance and options for further studies. This platform, coming from a reputed organization like the Herald, is a welcome initiative,” said Wagh.
The participants at the expo include Gesto Culinary and Hospitality Academy; Canara Bank (Educational loans); Garden City College (Bangalore); Sai Institute (Sanquelim); ICFAI Group; Acharya Institutes (Bangalore); Amity University; Brindawan College (Bangalore); INIFD; R R Institute (Bangalore); IAM Institute of Hotel Management and Shreeya College of Nursing (Dharwad).
According to some of the participants the demand for quality education is very high among Goans and the Education Expo provides an excellent opportunity to them to tap into this market.
One of the participants, Sonali Barathe, a Nursing Tutor from Shreeya College of Nursing said, “This expo gives us an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of our college amongst students from Goa. We have a very good facility and faculty and ours is a leading institution in Karnataka. Also the scope for students of nursing is extremely good overseas, hence a very bright option for students here.”
Pearl Rodrigues, a faculty member at IAM-Goa said that this is a crucial time for students as well as institutes as the new batches are scheduled to start in the next month.
According to Rashmi Kamat, Center Manager at INIFD, their stall will have a qualified person for career counselling apart from direct admission for Std X and Std XII students.
Two booked for assaulting co-workerTEAM HERALD
MARGAO: Colva police has registered an offence against two labourers for assaulting their co-worker at a farm house at Seraulim.
Colva Police station in-charge, PI Uttam Raut Dessai said the Police have registered an offence against Rajesh and Irfan for causing grievous injury to one Sunil.
He said that Sunil was found lying in a pool of blood after he was assaulted by the duo in the wee hours before making good their escape.
Sunil, who was rushed to the Hospicio hospital, is now convalescing at the GMC, Bambolim.
NGT overrules GCZMA order on Sesa jettyTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: The National Green Tribunal (NGT)set aside the order of the GCZMA which had asked Sesa Goa to stop and remove extended portion of a jetty deemed illegal within fifteen days, set aside the order dated 4th March, 2011.
It also asked GCZMA to re start proceedings from show cause notice stage and proceed according to directions given by the tribunal.
Pulling up the GCZMA, the tribunal asked it to follow its directions stating “in all cases and with immediate effect,” it directed that show cause, containing all the acts of omissions, commissions which the affected party has committed, rendering it liable for any action in terms of the Notification should be given to parties; the affected party should submit its reply with documents within the time prescribed in the show cause notice; the authority must furnish to the applicants, complaints, documents and/or any other material that it proposes to rely upon for the purposes of determining the controversy in issue; the affected party should be provided a fair opportunity to put forward its case before the authority and after hearing the parties, “the authority should pass a reasoned order. The order should deal, preferably with the grounds which have been raised by the affected party, as precisely as possible.”
Meanwhile, the National Green Tribunal headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar, despite rejecting all the contentions raised by mining companies, directed the union Ministry of Environment and Forests to complete its detailed inquiry and pass appropriate orders within three months on the holding in abeyance of the Environmental clearances of three mining companies. However, it refused to go into the order holding the ECs in abeyance pending inquiry.
Stating that the order holding 139 EC clearance was passed on 14th September, 2012 and “even till date, the proceedings have not been concluded. In other words, the order dated 14th September, 2012, has not culminated into passing of a final order by the competent authority.”
The EC were granted by the MoEF on May 4, 2007.
“There can be no justification in the eye of law, that MoEF should keep this aspect pending for an indefinite period. The applicant has right to carry on a business that in law they are entitled to. Closure of their business certainly invades their rights. Thus, it would be expected of the MoEF to pass the final order upon detailed inquiry expeditiously and without undue delay…. In light of the reasons aforestated and while declining to interfere with the impugned order date 14th September, 2012, we hereby direct the MoEF to complete its detailed inquiry and pass appropriate orders/directions as expeditiously as possible and in any case, not later than three months from today,” the tribunal said.
The decision was taken in the matter of M/s Lithoferro, M/s Sociedade Timblo Irmaos Ltd, represented by Sociedade de Fomento Ind Pvt Ltd and M/s Hardesh Ores Pvt. Ltd versus Union ministry of environment and forests.
Storm brewing over Colva coastal planTEAM HERALD
MARGAO: Tourism Department’s ambitious Colva coastal circuit development plan has stirred a hornet’s next in the coastal village, with the plan coming under the scanner of local villagers.
Agitated locals have upped the ante against the project, saying the government has neither explained the facilities proposed in the village nor the plan takes care of pressing issues plaguing the village, including garbage disposal. If the mood at the recent gram sabha is an indication, villagers want the tourism department to either discuss the plan with the local populace or scrap the plan.
Says activist Judith Almeida: “The circuit development plan is not acceptable as it is. It is a flawed plan. They have wrongly shown the High Tide Line by misrepresenting the facts. We were surprised to know that the plan has shown booking counters, restaurants etc”.
Almeida feared that the volleyball court shown in the plan might result in chopping of the coconut trees, seeking to know whether the plan will benefit the local stakeholders in any way.
Locals have raised apprehensions over the circuit plan, terming the plan as vague since it does not even carry survey numbers. “In the absence of survey numbers, it cannot be ascertained where exactly the development is proposed in the village”, questioned a local.
What has agitated the villagers the most is the tourism department’s criminal negligence over the years to spruce up bare minimum facilities at Colva.
“None of the high mast lamps are in working condition. The tourism department is trying to push the circuit plan, but has not taken cognizance of the lack of illumination on the beach since the last several months. The tourism department has been turning a blind eye to the dire need for mobile toilets and changing rooms close to the beach”, remarked local activist Alexander D’Souza.
Colva Sarpanch Snowkon Gonsalves said the tourism circuit plan in its present form is totally unacceptable to the villagers. “They want the plan be kept open for public scrutiny before going ahead with its implementation. The Panchayat would convey sentiments of the local villagers to the Tourism department and come out with a concrete plan before the people”.
He added: “The Circuit plan should not turn up a big mess. Government is not doing anything to make available bare minimum facilities at the beach. The proposed commercial centre comprising of 15 stalls have provision for a coffee shop, information centre, book store etc. But, we want to know from the Tourism department whether these stalls would be allotted to the local villagers.”
Margao toilet water seeps into nullahTEAM HERALD
MARGAO: Sulabh International’s toilet block at the Margao KTC Bus stand has once again come under the scanner of local citizens and bus operators alike.
There’s seems no stop to the discharge of waste water from the toilet block in an adjoining water nullah, with local citizens complaining of health hazard and a nuisance in the locality.
Users, including bus operators and students, have complained of overcharging, which, however, has been denied by the toilet in-charge.
Locals pointed out that discharge of the waste water in the adjoining storm water nullah is not a new phenomenon. They also pointed out that the treatment plant has not been operating for some time now, aggravating the situation.
The toilet caretaker agreed that the waste water finds its way in the open storm water drain, further admitting that the treatment is not operating for quite some time now.
What’s significant to note is neither the Margao Municipal Council nor the health authorities have taken cognisance of the pathetic state of affairs when an underground sewerage line is passing close by.
Kerala investments: Kavalekar told to disclose source of incomeTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: Congress’ Quepem MLA Chandrakant Babu Kavalekar, who is entangled in a disproportionate assets case, has been asked to disclose, to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), the source of the income that he invested in the properties in Kerala.
The investigating agency is probing as to how the politician organized more than Rs 5 crores to purchase properties in Kerala.
“The MLA has to prove from where he organized Rs 5 crores for the properties in Kerala. If he has invested this huge amount in the same period, his income should have been at least Rs 10 crores,” ACB Superintendent of Police Bosco George told Herald.
George said that the Income Certificate of the Quepem MLA and his statement to the ACB, on May 14 will throw more light on the case. “While he has taken loans for cars, a huge amount is invested in properties…” he commented adding, “We have sought for income certificate and other documents. The probe will also include if he has made investments in other properties.”
What aroused more suspicion is that Kavalekar has not declared the Kerala properties in the disclosure of assets before the Election Commission of India ahead of the 2012 Goa Assembly elections.
Bosco, to a question said that the properties in Kerala are not illegal; however, the income spent on its purchase needs to be verified.
“The purchases are not illegal. The question is from where the income was organized to purchase the properties and if it is registered in his name, why was it not declared before the EC?” he stated.
Asked whether he would be arrested, the ACB officer was circumspect. “We will take a call on all these things. Arrests are made when a person is likely to abscond or fabricate evidence or cover up, which we don’t expect him to do this being an MLA,” he said.
A disproportionate assets case will nonetheless be registered if proven the MLA is involved in the scam. “It depends of the situation…right now, there is no offence expect a preliminary inquiry is underway. It is for him (Kavalekar) to explain and then we will take action,” he added.
The ACB team is likely to head to Kerala at Pathanamthitta district, Perunad sub-district and taluka Ranni, to probe the properties supposedly purchased by Kavalekar.
MMC to decide on fair stallsTEAM HERALD
MARGAO: The Margao Municipal Council will take a call on permitting the traditional fair along the roadsides in the Old Market area on the occasion of the Holy Spirit Church feast on May 19, even as the Holy Spirit Parish Priest Fr Avinash Rebello maintained there’s no link between the church services and the feast fair.
At a meeting convened by district Collector, N D Agrawal with the stake holders on Saturday meeting to deliberate on the fair following objections by activists and local citizens over the fair disrupting traffic in and around the old market area, MMC Chairperson Arthur D’Silva told the meeting that the Civic body would meet on Tuesday to take a decision on permitting the fair.
“I alone cannot take a decision whether the Civic body would stop allowing the vendors for the fair or not. That’s why a meeting has been convened on Tuesday to deliberate and take a final call on the issue,” he said.
Arthur sought to disagree with the activists over the high court order on the feast fair, saying the order has allowed the fair on conditions the vendors do business without blocking the footpath. The issue of barricading the footpaths to prevent the vendors from coming close to the footpath was also discussed, but it did not find any favour.
The activists comprising of Jose Marie Miranda, Succoro D’Souza, Laurel Abrances and Raison Almeida insisted on the shifting of the feast fair to the adjoining SGPDA complex to ease traffic congestion during the fair.
When the district collector sought to know from the Holy Spirit Parish Priest Fr Avinash Rebello when shifting of the fair would hurt any religious sentiments, Fr Rebello said that there is absolutely no link between the fair and the religious activity.
Industrial slag to be analysed for road worksTEAM HERALD
MARGAO: Thousands of tons of industrial slag abandoned at the Cuncolim Industrial Estate over the years could well be used for road construction in the State if Goa State Pollution Control Board’s pilot project turns out a success.
While the GSPCB has roped in Bangalore-based Indian Institute of Science to carry out chemical analysis of the slag generated by the steel and alloy units, the Pollution Board has called for a meeting with Public Works Development (PWD) Chief Engineer to explore the possibility of using the industrial slag for road construction.
In fact, the GSPCB has mooted construction of a two-km “Demo road” consisting of the industrial slag mixed with tar to test the efficacy of the Industrial slag in road construction.
Says GSPCB Chairman Jose Manuel Noronha: “We have proposed a “demo road” with the industrial slag and tar. A letter has been written to the PWD Chief Engineer for a meeting to discuss the proposal threadbare next week. If the experiment turns out successful, we could hopefully use the tons of industrial slag lying at the Cuncolim Industrial estate”.
Noronha, however, was treading a cautious path over the proposal, saying the GSPCB has roped in Bangalore-based Indian Institute of Science to check the chemical properties of the industrial slag.
“We want to be doubly sure that the slag is not polluting before we give the go-ahead for using the slag for road construction”, he said.
The open dumping of industrial slag generated by the steel and alloy units at the Cuncolim Industrial estate had been a matter of concern for the local residents.
The issue came to the centre stage after mounds of slag greeted Environment Minister, Alina Saldanha during her visit to the Cuncolim Industrial Estate last month.
Taking serious cognizance of the slag, the Minister had called for chemical analysis of the waste before initiating further action.
Govt transfers NH17-B 4-lane project to GSIDCTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: In a major development, the Goa government has transferred the long pending incomplete NH17-B four-lane project to the Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation (GSIDC). The project was transferred to the GSIDC and approved by the Board at its meeting held Friday.
The work of the NH17-B four -lane highway connecting Verna to Mormugao Port had commenced in 1997. However only 13 kilometers of the stretch from Verna Junction to Varunapuri-Mangor Hill junction has been completed by the National Highway Authority of India.
The balance 5.3 kilometers stretch connecting Varunapuri to the Port Town is left incomplete for more than three years even as the State government has been pushing with the Central government for its approval to take over this work along with the other two projects of widening National Highway 17 (Pattradevi to Pollem) and NH 4-A (Panjim to Karnataka Border).
The decision to transfer the construction of the incomplete four-lane project of NH 17-B to the GSIDC has raised eyebrows as the projects were supposedly to be handled by the Public Works Department (PWD).
This is the second major work being entrusted to the GSIDC from the PWD, the first being the mega work of construction grade separators at Dabolim airport in a bid to decongest the airport junction and create easy access and exits near the new airport terminus.
The GSIDC was however unable to divulge any details on the latest transfer of the project for completing NH 17-B.
“We will have to appoint a consultant and ascertain the scope of work and alignment aspects,” said a top official in the Corporation. Likewise the funding modalities are also not yet known. Speculations are that the government is likely to transfer several more works to the GSIDC in the days to come. Questions have also come to the fore on whether the six lane new bridge over River Zuari may also be handed over to the Corporation.
In the meantime, the GSIDC Board has approved tenders for connecting Chorao to Salvador do Mundo and tenders were floated Saturday. This is one of the six bridges proposed by the government . The bridge connecting Calvin to Aldona is expected to be completed by July this year.
The GSIDC Board also reviewed on-going works of school repairs, upgradation of works at Goa Medical College and the cleaning of waste along the National Highways.
It was also decided to extend this drive to Major District Roads and the modalities would be worked out shortly.
Reginaldo alleges Rs 10 cr scam
Dares govt to give expenditure breakupsTEAM HERALD
MARGAO: Alleging a scam of Rs 10 crore in the IFFI 2012, Curtorim MLA Reginaldo Lourenco demanded a vigilance probe into all IFFI works and dared the government to declare within the next 24 hours the expenditure incurred on the festival with breakups on cultural programs, venue contracts, lighting, sound, travel and hospitality, volunteers’ payments etc.
He demanded that the chief minister recover an amount of Rs 75 lakh paid to non Goan artists like Vaishali Samant, Hrishikehs Ranade, Sukwinder Singh, Suvarnyug Media and Manoj Joshi Entertainment, while demanding immediate release of all payments to the local artists who had performed in IFFI 2012.
At a media briefing, the Curtorm MLA said the recent directions given to the officials of Entertainment Society of Goa by the Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar to negotiate with the local artists before releasing their payments is nothing but another attempt of harassment to the Goenkars, when the non-Goan artists and contractors have been paid full amount even though their bills are exorbitantly high.
Saying that it is a shame that the ESG has accepted the fact that no advertisements were issued inviting tenders for various works carried out during IFFI 2002, Reginaldo said the government is trying to hide the facts and now trying to cover up the wrong doings by creating false evidence through backdated papers.
He asked the Chief Minister to clarify as to why the government did not properly answer his starred LAQ No 4B which was tabled on January 30, 2013.
“The one line reply to my five questions “the accounts and other matters relating to IFFI 2012 are under finalisation” speaks volumes. This reply itself reveals that the government was finalising even the names of the artists and their groups selected for performances almost after two months since the IFFI concluded.
… Wants answers for not initiating action against Meat Complex chief
MARGAO: Accusing the BJP of adopting different yardsticks in Delhi and Goa, the Congress has demanded to know why the government did not initiate action against the Goa Meat Complex Chairman while filing FIRs against the two doctors for the alleged irregularities.
“In Delhi, the BJP was quick to demand resignations of the two Union Ministers, but in Goa, the BJP government has no plan to initiate action against the Goa Meat Complex Chairman, but made the two doctors scapegoat,” Curtorim MLA Reginaldo Lourenco told newsmen.
He rejected the BJP spokesman allegations that the Congress was out to do politics on the beef shortage in the state, adding “We are not making any politics. We only raised a genuine issue the beef scarcity affected many functions, including village Cross feasts”.
He demanded to know why the Goa Meat Complex Chairman Lyndon Monteiro has now thought it fit to import beef from outside while maintaining silence when beef shortage had indeed hit the common man.
11th May 2013
Xaxtikars see red over beefWhen beef became scarce in Xaxtidom and across the state, beef lovers and meat traders alike might have remembered the Catholic faces in the Manoharbhai regime for relief. They must have hoped and prayed the Catholic MLAs would intervene and help ease restrictions on animal slaughter at the Goa Meat Complex. But, some of the younger lot led by Fisheries Minister, Avertanbab happened to be out of station. They are believed to have taken some time off after a grueling Assembly session to fly to Hong Kong for relaxation. Accompanying Avertanbab is his close pal Benjamin, besides Glen Ticlo, Carlos and Calangute’s Michael. It’s an open secret that these MLAs often travel outside the state together, sometimes with their families. This time round, however, their absence was felt by the beef lovers in Xaxtidom. They wanted them to impress upon Manoharbhai to ease the restrictions on import of animals for slaughter. Their plea to some of the Catholic MLAs has so far failed to have a desired result. Beef lovers in Navelim, Velim, Vasco, Aldona, Calangute and other minority populated constituencies might be eagerly awaiting the return of these MLAs back home to take up their cause with Manoharbhai. Perhaps for the first time, the minorities have begun to see red on government’s stoic silence on red meat. And, the general impression is that the issue did not evoke urgent attention from the powers that be.
Will Joaquim make it for May 16 bash?His joy knew no bounds when Churchill Brothers were finally crowned the I-League champions earlier this week. Churchillbab was the cynosure of all eyes at the Tilak stadium after he descended on the playing arena when the referee blew the final whistle. His supporters might have expected wild celebrations following the victory, but the big bash will come only on May 16, coinciding with Churchillbab’s birthday. In fact, a meeting of his workers and supporters was held at Blasco Executive to finalise plans for the birthday bash on May 16. It was sports and football that earned name and fame for the Varca-based Alemao’s. And, sports had helped them too to play long innings in politics. The Varca strongman had been literally lying in the dumps since the rout of the Alemaos in the 2012 polls. And, his close supporters believe that the I-league crown presents a big time opportunity for the Varca strongman to bid a comeback and resurrect himself politically. Sources say his phones have not stopped ringing since Tuesday and he is expected to give indications of his political future on his birthday. At the same time, however, younger brother Joaquimbab’s resignation from the club has raised many an eyebrow amongst the Alemao’s cronies. Joaquimbab said he has quit the post simply because he was presiding over the affairs for nearly two decades now. But, he was conspicuous by his absence at the victory celebrations at the Tilak maidan. And, wait and watch whether he would make his presence at the big bash at Blasco Executive, Navelim on May 16.
Cries for development in Navelim, VelimIt’s not uncommon to hear Avertanbab often asking his constituents to exercise patience and wait for the development to flow in to Navelim. His Velim counterpart Benjaminbab seems to have followed suit, with major development activities conspicuous by their absence in the constituency over the last one year. One can understand the predicament of the two MLAs who rode to power on the strong anti-Congress wave. They are aware that their detractors in the Congress camp are working overtime to spread reports over the absence of development in their constituencies. But, the duo is also equally aware that developmental projects have not flowed with ease since their election a year ago. Both Avertanbbab and Benjaminbab enjoy close rapport with each other. They often invite each other as guests in their respective constituencies. Coincidentally, the duo also enjoy excellent ties with Manoharbhai, who does not miss out to call or have lunch with them when he is Xaxtidom. And, they would certainly hope that Manoharbhai would bail them out of the situation by sanctioning a slew of projects to keep the constituents in good humour. For, patience has its own limit. Avertanbab, Benjaminbab and even Manoharbhai know this better than anyone else.
No political space for this dentistDentist-turned-politician Dr Hubert Gomes will celebrate his birthday next month. It was on his birthday a year ago that Manoharbhai made a surprise call to wish him a happy birthday.
So impressed was dotorbab by Manoharbhai’s kind gesture, he took no time to embrace the saffron brigade with much fanfare. So much so, dotorbab vowed to work at the grass-roots to take the Lotus door-to-door across Benaulim. Nearly a year has elapsed since dotorbab made the vow. But, nothing has been heard of dotorbab in the political scheme of things either in Benaulim or in Xaxtidom.
Sources in the know say that dotorbab is treading a cautious political path. No doubt, he had great plans to take the government schemes to each and every Benaulikar, but he is cautious of the fact that he should not be seen as an alternate power centre in Benaulim and competing with Caitubab.
The local MLA, sources say, enjoys close rapport with the saffron top brass and in return the saffron brigade is in no mood to antagonize the GVP legislator in the numbers game. Dotorbab, it is learnt, has no qualms in embracing the saffron brigade, but he is apparently disturbed over Manoharbhai’s Mission Mopa. He has conveyed his stand to the saffron brigade against Mopa. It’s not known whether dotorbab has any options to assert himself on Mopa.
Pharmacists remain divided over demandTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: The strike call given by All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) on Friday evoked mixed response in the State.
While nearly all pharmacies in Ponda were open on Friday, the situation was quite the opposite in Vasco. The response was mixed in Mapusa and Porvorim.
PONDA: Almost all pharmacies in Ponda city remained open and defied the nationwide one-day token strike in protest against government policies. Out of the about 40 pharmacies, only two remained closed.
“AIOCD demands that those completing five years at the pharmacy should be considered as a pharmacist and allowed to dispense medicines. We are against this demand,” said Ratnadeep Kurtarkar, former president of Chemists and Druggists Association of Goa.
“By law it is illegal as medicines have to be dispensed only under the supervision of a registered pharmacist. A pharmacist is one who has a degree or diploma in pharmacy and merely spending five years on the counter is not enough,” added Kurtarkar.
“All pharmacy owners from Ponda share the same view and decided not to participate in the strike. Even pharmacies outside the city in Ponda taluka remained open,” informed Kurtarkar.
PORVORIM: Barring a handful, many pharmacies in Mapusa and Porvorim downed their shutters on Friday.
Speaking to Herald, the owner of a pharmacy close to the Mapusa taxi stand, said: “I don’t believe in strikes as it doesn’t solve problems. I am the member of the association and yet I have kept the pharmacy open to serve the people. Drugs are essential commodities and hence pharmacies should not resort to strikes,” he added.
VASCO: Supporting the strike call, almost all chemists remained closed in Vasco.
Speaking to Herald, some patients said they buy their monthly quota of medicines and as such the strike did not affect them. Some patients criticised the chemists for going on strike and putting the poor and needy to hardship.
“Instead of fighting their battle in court, these people who earn their profits have taken sick patients as hostages to get their demands settled,” stated Elvito Rodrigues.
Another elderly patient, Maria Silva, said the government should declare pharmaceutical products as essential commodities and whenever the chemists go on strike by putting the common man to hardship their licenses should be cancelled.
Srikant Naik supported the government’s decision to reduce prices of medicines as there are certain medicines which are beyond the reach of the common man.
Margao reporter adds: Pharmacies and medical stores in the commercial capital remained closed on Friday as part of the call given by the All India Association of Chemists and Druggists and the Chemists and Druggists Association of Goa.
The Old market area which houses a host of medical stories were found closed in response to the strike call. The pharmacies in the city too were shut today as part of the strike.
Similarly, most of the pharmacies in Salcete taluka remained closed in response to the bandh call.
[Inputs from Amresh Parab, Anil Shankwalker and Elvino Araujo]
Saligao market opensTEAM HERALD
CALANGUTE: Panchayat Minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Thursday inaugurated the newly reconstructed Saligao market.
Parsekar inaugurated the market in the presence of local MLA and Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar
The project has been constructed through Rural Development Agency at a cost of Rs 42 lakh with a provision for first and second floor construction. The foundation stone was laid by former PWD minister Churchill Alemao.
The inauguration of the project will bring a much relief to vegetable vendors, fisherfolk besides others as they were carrying out trade in a make-shift market.
10th May 2013
Hubby booked for suicideTEAM HERALD
PONDA: Ponda Police have registered an offence against the husband and in-laws for allegedly abetting in the suicide of a 34-year-old woman from Banastarim.
It may be recalled that the woman had committed suicide by hanging herself at her residence in April.
The case was initially registered as unnatural death, but the police claimed that a case of abetment to suicide and dowry harassment had been registered after investigations.
According to Ponda Police, the deceased committed suicide allegedly due to harassment meted to her by her husband and her in-laws, who are the accused in this case and so a case of abetment has been filed.
Police Sub Inspector Sadashiv Hanashikutti is investigating the case, informed police.
Don’t enroll new members, HC to Serula ComunidadeTEAM HERALD
PORVORIM: The High Court has directed the temporary managing committee of Serula Comunidade, appointed by the State government, not to enroll any new members and not to take decisions which are not of routine nature.
It may be recalled that elections to the managing committee of Serula Comunidade were initially fixed on January 20, but they were postponed and the North Goa Collector later submitted a proposal to the State government to appoint a temporary managing committee of Serula Comundidade under Article 49 of the Code of Comunidades.
Accordingly, the State government appointed a temporary managing committee on April 8. Aggrieved over this, Joseph Cosme Pinto and others filed a writ petition in the High Court challenging the decision of the State government.
Advocate General A N S Nadkari on behalf of the State government filed an affidavit in reply seeking time to file a reply. The High Court while permitting the State government to file reply within three weeks directed the committee not to enroll any new members and not to take decisions which are not of routine.
Thefts at Merces, BagaTEAM HERALD
CALANGUTE: A native of Bijapur-Karnataka has been accused of stealing cash of Rs 1 lakh from his employer at Porba Vaddo, Calangute.
According to Calangute Police, a jet ski owner, Naik, had employed the accused to look after his water sports business.
On Wednesday, Naik found cash of Rs 1 lakh missing from the cupboard and the accused was also missing. Naik later filed a complaint. Meanwhile, Old Goa correspondent reported that cash of about Rs 5,000 was stolen from the fund box at Shri Vithoba Rakhumai Temple, Merces.
Ponda civic poll time extendedTEAM HERALD
PONDA: The State Election Commission has increased the poll timings by one hour for the Ponda Municipal Council (PMC) elections on May 12.
The poll timings, which were earlier scheduled from 8 am to 5 pm, have now been extended from 7 am to 5 pm.
“The State Election Commission on Thursday issued a notification that the polling of votes will begin at 7 am and end at 5 pm,” informed Returning Officer Johnson Fernandes.
In all, 60 candidates are in the fray and the election campaigning will end on May 10 at 5 pm.
Fernandes said severe action would be taken against those found involved in double voting.
CM garners support for PCC candidatesTEAM HERALD
PONDA: Assuring his cooperation to the Ponda Municipal Council, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has expressed his support to candidates backed by the Ponda Citizens Committee (PCC) in the forthcoming PMC polls.
Addressing the election campaign meeting organised by PCC at Ponda, Parrikar said, “The State government is doing well and we require similar administration here.”
PWD Minister Sudin Dhavlikar said people of Ponda must elect a good council to achieve all-round development. “I appeal to the people of Ponda to elect the candidates fielded by PCC,” he added.
Industries Minister Mahadev Naik said, “Like at the State government, PMC also needs parivartan and I am confident that people of Ponda will vote for PCC candidates.”
Ponda MLA Lavoo Mamledar said, “The last council was defunct and this time we need a good council. I am confident that people will elect all 14 PCC candidates.”
Goa BJP President Vinay Tendulkar, State Law Commission Chairman and Goa BJP GS Adv Narendra Savoikar and former minter and also the first president of PMC Joildo Aguiar were present for the meeting along with 14 PCC candidates.
...But PVS says PCC’s fate to go K’taka wayTEAM HERALD
PONDA: Ponda Vikas Samiti (PVS) on Thursday stated that the fate of the Ponda Citizen Committee (PCC) at the Ponda Municipal Council (PMC) polls would be like BJP’s performance in the just-concluded Karnataka assembly polls.
Addressing media at Ponda, PVS Secretary Milind Mhadgut said that the BJP had lost miserably in Karnataka and they expect a similar situation at the PMC polls.
“Just as BJP lost in Karnataka, PCC candidates fielded by the BJP-MGP are sure to lose. The results will be clear on May 13 when votes are counted,” said Mhadgut.
Meanwhile on Thursday, some pamphlets were circulated to highlight various positions in government corporations that were awarded to a BJP member and his kin. Incidentally, the BJP member is among the candidates contesting the PMC polls.
“It has been brought to our notice that some pamphlets are being circulated through newspapers, which show that the government has awarded some important jobs to the kin of a contestant. We condemn the decision of the government to award chairmanships to the candidate and his kin. This is actually a family Raj,” stated PVS President Ram Kunkolienkar, and called for a probe in the matter.
Hotel coffers swell with monsoon weddingsTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: Hotels in Goa will be reverberating to the sounds of Shehnai and drums this monsoons as they throw off the off-season tag and gear up to big time wedding celebrations, a segment that has grown by over 40 per cent this year alone in comparison to the previous two or three years.
While hotels in South Goa have their registers full in terms of bookings for weddings, room occupancies are cent per cent from April through May this year. Starred hotels across the State including central Goa (Panjim and surrounding areas) have reported bookings for weddings till October this year.
Goa Marriott for instance has clocked 40 weddings this year. “This is almost double the number of weddings we catered to last year,” Ranju Alex, General Manager of this river kissing resort at Miramar said.
Till April 2013, she said, Marriott had already crossed the total number of weddings it had hosted in 2012, adding that Goa is getting popular as a wedding destination especially for Indians from Delhi and Mumbai with bookings done at least each wedding lasting four days or more.
Debarchan Bose, Director of Events, Grand Hyatt, Bambolim said, “Since the launch of our hotel in August 2011, we have hosted numerous weddings and this year too most of the auspicious dates have already been booked. This year we have an increase in the wedding business by one-fourth percent.
Most of our wedding clients are from Mumbai, its suburbs, Delhi, parts of North India and international clients from Gulf countries as well.”
Likewise Roydon Fernandes, Assistant Sales Manager of Holiday Inn Resorts, Cavelossim said, “There is a gradual increase in the number of weddings hosted by our hotel and we have catered to all Indian community weddings for Sindhis, Punjabi, Gujarati and others.”
What is interesting is that hotels booked exclusively for weddings have made it difficult for other regular holiday makers to get bookings.
In fact two well known names from industry and sports ~Manguirish Pai Raikar, President of Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Savio Messias of the Goa Football Association told Herald that they too were unable to get rooms for their guests while hosting corporate and sports events.
The hotel industry is upbeat due to the growing popularity of Goa as a wedding destination.
Spokesperson for the Travel and Tourism Industry of Goa Ralph D’Souza said, “It is a fact that Goa has taken off as a wedding destination with much of the promotion done by hotels themselves during the last three to four years.”
The government, he said, had stepped in last year, which is adding further impetus to the marketing of the State as a preferred wedding destination.
According to D’Souza it is not only the five star hotels but also other starred categories and boutique hotels which are hosting weddings. “I think a large chunk of the business to hotels from weddings comes from domestic clientele,” he said adding that the trend is towards hosting weddings and celebrations over three to four days and at different hotels (beach areas, heritage hotels etc) as well.
A tourism ministry official responding to this trend said, “Our tourism promotion campaigns for the next two to three months would centre around Goa as a wedding and honeymoon destination.”
He said that people would now prefer to host a wedding in Goa instead of Thailand.
Broadcasters-hoteliers war intensifies, complaints filedTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: Angered by the continued raids on hotels by agents of cable TV broadcaster, hoteliers have hit back by filing police complaints against agents for alleged acts of extortion, criminal intimidation and trespass.
The hoteliers have reacted sharply to charges of infringement of copyrights and disconnection of cable TV signals by local cable operators to their hotel.
The Travel and Tourism Association of Goa has directed all its members to file police complaints against the agents of broadcasters after one of its members in South Goa has taken the lead in doing so.
“In case the police do not register cases against the agents for extortion, the hoteliers will approach the Courts for necessary directions in the matter,” President of TTAG Francis Braganza disclosed to Herald.
The tussle between the TV broadcast agents and hoteliers began earlier this year with the former insisting that hotels in Goa should pay their dues under copyright laws for the feeds received by them.
The hoteliers on the other hand argue that they are paying monthly charges to the local cable operators from whom they receive the signals and as such no issue of copyright was involved.
“The broadcasting channel agents are now demanding huge amounts from hoteliers,” said Braganza adding that if they do not comply, agents raid hotels and connections are cut off.
While the matter was reported in the North district, earlier this month, agents have started raids in South Goa hotels as well.
The TTAG has also approached the SP South informing him that the agents were using the local police to act against hoteliers and registering offences against them without any authority and have urged the police officials to direct their personnel not to collude with the agents.
Braganza said that the TTAG has petitioned the government and the DGP on this issue and are awaiting a response so as to resolve the on-going dispute in the interest of tourism.
PGTA backs strikeTEAM HERALD
PONDA: The Ponda Goods Transport Association (PGTA) has extended its support to the strike by All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) from the midnight of May 12 to protest against the entry tax by the State government on outstation vehicles.
“Though we have no role to play in the strike call, we support the decision of the All India Motor Transport Congress. We had already demanded a roll back on the entry tax,” said PGTA Secretary Sayyad Passha.
Incidentally, PGTA along with other transporters in April had withdrawn the strike following an assurance from Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar of issuing concessional passes to regular non-Goan vehicles plying in the State.
“There won’t be any business if the vehicles do not enter the State. There are about 250 transport offices at Ponda and on average, about 900 vehicles are involved in transportation of material through our offices,” informed Passha.
Support swells up for entry tax opponentsTEAM HERALD
BELGAUM: Supporting the decision of the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) to stop transport operations to Goa from the midnight of May 12, transporters and taxi owners in Belgaum have also unanimously decided to stop operations to Goa to protest against Goa’s entry tax on outstation vehicles.
The decision was arrived at a meeting of transporters in Khanapur and Belgaum on Thursday.
Presiding over the meetings in Belgaum and Khanapur, Federation of Karnataka State Lorry Owners & Agents Association President G R Shanmugappa appealed to members to support AIMTC in implementing its decision as majority of the vehicles to Goa either originate or pass through Belgaum and Khanapur.
“We had to defer our decision of blockade to Goa due to elections in Karnataka. But now we need to intensify our agitation till the Goa government, which is adamant in its decision, realizes its thoughtlessness in imposing the entry tax, which is illegal,” stated Shanmugappa. “The ‘Chakka Jam’ agitation to Goa will continue until the entry tax is fully rolled back and all the booths are removed,” he insisted.
Addressing the meetings at Khanapur and Belgaum, Maharashtra Lorry and Tempo Owners Association President Prakash Gavali, Kolhapur District Lorry Owners Association President Subhash Jadhav and Dharwad District Motor Transport Association President Ramappa expressed the need to work in tandem to impose the ‘Chakka Jam’ to Goa effectively.
Meanwhile, different associations from Belgaum supplying milk, vegetables and other items to Goa are also expected to hold a meeting to discuss and initiate measures against the entry tax imposed by Goa.
Monsoon likely to be normalTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: The southwest monsoon triggered rainfall, from June to September this year is likely to be normal for the entire country with the Indian Meteorological Department projecting 96 to 104 percent Long Period Average (LPA) rainfall.
However, the likely date of onset of SW monsoon in Goa would be known only after May 15.
“The experimental forecasts from various statistical and dynamic models indicate that the rainfall over the country as a whole is mostly likely to be within the normal range,” IMD website states.
Meanwhile, the Capital City on Wednesday witnessed moderate to heavy showers at mid-night accompanied by thunderstorms and lightening. The IMD state unit however clarified that these are not pre-monsoon showers.
Panjim received 11.8mm of rain with the showers bringing much needed respite to from the night temperatures. The minimum temperature saw a dip, with IMD recording 25 Degree Celsius temperature for the day. The first week of May, was reported to be the hottest week in last three years with temperature touching 28 degree Celsius.
IMD Goa in-charge K V Singh said that the showers were a result of local phenomena developed due to cloudy weather. He said that isolated showers are likely to occur in the state for couple of days.
The state is also likely to have thunder along with the showers, he said.
Singh said that though May precedes the monsoons, the showers will occur in Goa only after May 20. “The clear picture about the onset of monsoon would be known only after May 15,” he said.
Over 45,000 students apply for tablet pcsTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: More than 45,000 students from Classes V and VI have applied for tablet pcs which are likely to be distributed by the government in June.
Speaking to Herald, Deputy Director of Education Anil Powar said, “According to the announcement made by the chief minister in the assembly, the tablets will be distributed to the students around June,” Powar said.
After assuming the reigns of government last year chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, in his budget speech had promised to deliver tablet computers to students of Classes V and VI besides also formulating an e-learning module for the students.
The tablets are to be delivered at unbelievable prices of Rs 25 per student and Rs 10 per student from the reserved community.
Meanwhile, Powar also reiterated that the education department has imposed a ban on the transfer of students who have passed the Class IX from one school to another to complete Class X in a bid to counter some ‘elite schools’ who pass students at Class IX by taking an assurance that they will leave the school and complete their matriculation in another school.
“Yes it is true that transfer of a child has been disallowed. We received reports that some schools especially ‘elite ones’ are passing students in Class IX on the condition that they leave the school on passing. This is in order to stop that,” Powar told Herald.
The directorate of education has already sent out a circular to that effect making sure that no school can admit students in the Class X except on grounds when a child’s parents are transferred, in which case they will have to take special permission.
Some schools in order to maintain an impeccable passing percentage at Class X examinations are inclined to pass weak students of Class IX on condition that they would leave the school and seek admission elsewhere.
These students would often end up in government schools and in most cases do not take further interest in studies.
Pharmacists strike: Differences emergeTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: Even as the pharmacists and chemists in the state are gearing up for a token one day strike today, to protest against government policies, a schism has developed within the fraternity, with a section of pharmacists opposed to their third demand, which seeks to permit the partner/proprietor of a pharmacy as a qualified person to dispense medicines.
Currently medicines are allowed to be dispensed only under the supervision of a qualified and registered pharmacist who minimum qualification is Bachelor in Pharmacy degree.
The All India Association of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) which has given the strike call as well as the Chemists and Druggists Association of Goa (CDAG) has sought that in view of the severe shortage of qualified pharmacists they be allowed to employ those who do a condensed course in pharmacy and they should be allowed to dispense medicines since druggists today only dispense medicines as prescribed by the doctors and are no more formulating compounds.
“The AIOCD represents the interests of its 7.5 lakh members and there is a shortage. There has been a condensed course in the past and many pharmacists today are products of that course. We want that this course be restarted because of the shortage,” Lyndon D’Silva, secretary of CDAG told Herald.
He added that the course was only to sell medicines in the pharmacy and not to give persons the qualification to act as a chemist elsewhere.
However another section says that this is a dangerous demand. “Can a person, who because he has been at a hospital for four of five years, become a doctor? Ratnadeep Kurtarkar a pharmacist asked Herald. He said he was clearly opposing the strike because he and several other pharmacists did not agree with this demand of the AIOCD.
The main demand of the AIOCD is to maintain the trade margins of pharmacists on medicines and not to reduce it in the forthcoming Drugs (Price Control) Order 2013 considering the rising operational costs.
Their contentious demand is “to resolve the long pending issue of shortage of pharmacists and suitably amend Rule 65(15)(c) of Drugs and Cosmetics Rules to permit-the partner/proprietor as a qualified person to dispense the medicines.”
They have also demanded that Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) should not be permitted in distribution and retailing of medicines as there are families of 25 Lakh (over one crore people) employees are subsisting on this livelihood through employment in this sector and relief under Section 19 of the Drugs & Cosmetics Act 1940, to the innocent dealer who may have acted with bona fide intentions, if he submits valid documents of transactions. Administration should not prosecute him till his guilt can be proved.
“We have no problem and are supporting the other three demands but we do not agree to this demand,” Kurtarkar said.
A large number of pharmacies are expected to remain closed Friday.
Deadline set in Vasco rape caseTEAM HERALD
VASCO: Demanding justice to the Vasco student rape victim, speakers at a People Against Atrocities and Injustice (PAAI) meet on Thursday evening set a deadline of eight days for the arrest of the accused and also demanded that the case be handed over to the CBI.
Addressing the meeting, Auda Viegas of Bailancho Saad said the PAAI movement had been formed to fight against atrocities and sexual assaults on women and minors.
Setting the deadline of eight days, she demanded that the culprit in the Vasco rape case be arrested at the earliest and stringent punishment be awarded to him, so that others would refrain from committing such heinous crimes.
Fr Micheal Fernandes slammed a church group for not addressing the issue, while Adv Guru Shirodkar demanded that the Vasco rape case be handed over to CBI as the Crime Branch had failed to solve the case.
Former All Goa Youth Congress president Sankalp Amonkar said almost four months had passed but the government had failed to solve the case and arrest the culprit.
“Despite the court order, the investigating authority has failed to conduct custodial interrogation of the school staff who was involved in destroying the evidence,” stated Amonkar.
Former Vasco MLA Jose Philip D’Souza condemned Vascokars for not attending the meeting in large numbers.
Curtorim MLA Reginaldo Lourenco urged the people to support PAAI movement to give justice to the victim girl and to arrest the culprit before he targets their children.
“Poor people have to fight their own battle to get justice and police have failed miserably in solving the case,” said the MLA.
Surprisingly, PAAI Convenor Cryil Fernandes had earlier stated at a press conference that no politicians would be allowed to share the dais.
However, the front row on the dais at the Thursday meeting was occupied by politicians affiliated to the Congress government.
Govt revives sewerage subsidy scheme in FatordaTEAM HERALD
MARGAO: Subsidized sewerage connections have returned back in Fatorda constituency ~ more than seven years after the former government had abruptly discontinued the subsidy scheme.
In a bid to make households across Fatorda avail the underground sewerage scheme, the government has revived the subsidy scheme, wherein the government will bear 25 per cent of the cost of connecting the household chambers to the underground line.
PWD Assistant Engineer, Ganesh Velip informed that the government has come out with a subsidy package for various categories of households. For instance, he said that individual houses and bungalows will be charged at 75 per cent of the estimated cost, while each flat will be charged Rs 3,000 for the individual sewerage connection.
If Velip is to be believed, around 2,000 households will be eligible to avail benefit of the subsidy scheme.
“There’s all-round construction activity across Fatorda today. The subsidy scheme will help the households to avail the subsidy facility”, he said, adding that the last date of availing the scheme is September 30.”
Low-lying areas of Fatorda, including the Madel area opposite the KTC bus stand is already connected to Margao’s ambitious sewerage project, but many a housing society and individual bungalows are yet to connect their soak pit chambers to the underground facility on account of high cost of linking the underground line to the chamber.
PWD officials said the department will hold an awareness campaign to spread the subsidy scheme amongst households. An official pointed out that discharging sewage waters in storm water drains can attract punishment by way of disconnection of water supply.
Raia bungalow burgledTEAM HERALD
MARGAO: A bungalow was burgled at Colleadongor-Raia near Sonsodo last night. The miscreants decamped with cash and gold ornaments, besides a two-wheeler, all valued Rs 1.60 lakh.
Nilesh Laad and his family woke up on Thursday only to find their bungalow burgled. Savita informed that ornaments including four gold rings and a mangalsutra, besides cash were stolen. The miscreants effected entry through the ventilator of the main door.
Maina Curtorim ASI Deu is conducting further investigations.
Cuncolim civic body engages CA to manage its accountsTEAM HERALD
MARGAO: The Cuncolim Municipal Council has engaged a chartered accountant to put the civic accounts in place, with the government issuing directions to the civic body to comply with the audit findings before May 15.
While CMC Chairperson Devendra Dessai said the chartered account’s services were requisitioned to ensure that the accounts are fool-proof, local activist Ronny Dias has alleged that the CA has been roped in to manipulate the accounts and check irregularities. Dias has demanded to know who will pay for the CA’s services and whether the fees will be recovered from the erring officials.
The chairperson said that the CA was appointed to find out the unspent funds lying with the civic body over the years. The audit had in the past slammed the civic body for not returning back the unspent funds amounting to crores of rupees.
But, the chairperson has said that preliminary inquiries by the CA have now revealed that the unspent funds are in the range of only around Rs 80 lakh.
“We will communicate this finding to the government before May 15”, the chairperson said.
Meanwhile, activist Ronny Dias in a memorandum to the Urban Development Minister, Francis D’Souza has highlighted the plight of the common man on account of an insensitive Cuncolim municipal administration.
He pointed out that the CMC administration is in total mess, with successive chief officers failing to instill discipline in the municipal staff. He has demanded an inquiry into the funds spent on covering drains as well as street lighting undertaken before the Assembly polls.
Absence of authorized MMC staff disrupts issuance of birth certificatesTEAM HERALD
MARGAO: Issuance of birth certificates by the Margao Municipal Council was disrupted on Thursday for want of authorized staff to sign the documents.
A large number of applicants who had applied for the birth certificates to apply for admissions in educational institutions had to return home disappointed in the absence of the concerned staff.
Parents who had applied for birth certificates at the Margao Municipal Council informed that they were asked to come on Friday to collect the certificates.
Lydia Vaz said she wanted the birth certificate for admission of her ward in an educational institution on Friday, but in vain. Other applicants echoed similar sentiments, wondering why the civic body did not put in place the necessary arrangements to issue the certificates.
Inquires revealed that the UDC authorized to sign on the birth certificates, has proceeded on a month’s leave.
Sources stated that the municipal administration had delegated the work of signing the certificates to another UDC (presently indisposed), but is believed to be signing the certificates only in the evening.
Coincidentally, the office superintendent has also proceeded on leave, throwing the work on the issuance of birth certificates out of gear at a time when there’s a beeline for birth certificates for admissions to educational institutions.
Agrawal caps inquiry into GSL activitiesTEAM HERALD
MARGAO: District Collector N D Agrawal on Thursday capped his inquiry into the construction activities carried out by Ms Goa Shipyard Ltd in Vasco after hearing shipyard officials and representatives of the local residents.
Agrawal informed after the meeting that he would submit his findings to the government at the earliest after having heard both the parties in his chamber on Thursday.
He pointed out that his office has received the necessary documents, besides the status report from the surveyor appointed to go into the ground reality at the construction site.
The district Collector was instructed to hold a meting with the agitating residents of Vollant Bounter and officials of Ms Goa Shipyard Ltd and report back to the government at the earliest.
The agitating residents had been demanded action in the matter, claiming that Ms Goa Shipyard Limited was undertaking construction activities such dredging, piling, besides blocking the traditional access of the local fishermen.
They had further alleged that the local residents were warned of action for “trespassing” into the area and accused the officials of denying them the right to anchor fishing boats.
MMC slammed for ‘ineffective’ tax recoveryTEAM HERALD
MARGAO: The Indian Audit Bureau has slammed the Margao Municipal Council for “ineffective” recovery of tax, resulting in accumulation of arrears to a whopping Rs 5.8 crore during the financial year 2011-12.
The Audit observed that the system of tax recovery by the civic body was not satisfactory, leading to accumulation of tax arrears year after year.
While pointing out that the main sources of revenue of a civic body are collection of different taxes on houses, trades, advertisements, vehicles etc, the Audit revealed a dismal picture of the tax recovery.
Take the case of house tax. The Audit pointed out that the house tax recovery effected by the civic body was only around Rs 308.44 lakh though the total demand was pegged at a whopping Rs 668.14 lakh. This implies that the civic body could recover only 46.16 per cent of the arrears, leaving a balance of Rs 359.70 lakh as arrears.
Recovery on the trade and occupation, besides signboards was no better. The audit remarked that the recovery of taxes on trade & occupation and signboards was unsatisfactory. During 2011-12, the Council was able to recover only Rs 25.52 lakh taxes. The audit observed that stringent action on tax defaulters was not taken to improve recovery as evident by the fact that the interest on arrears on trade and occupation tax was more than the demand for 2011-12.
The Audit has now recommended suitable recovery drives with the approval of the council members to improve the recovery of taxes along with interest.
Recovery of rent from municipal properties was also found below par. Arrears on rent accumulated to a whopping Rs 49.79 lakh during the last financial year. The Audit has compiled a list of habitual defaulters for intensifying rent recovery with a request to the civic body to intimate the Audit on the action taken report.
The Audit also expressed concern over development grants amounting to Rs 19.64 crore lying idle in respect of complete and unexecuted works. The report pointed out lapses regarding delay in utilization, refund of unspent grants and delay in submission of utilization certificates for action.
Dad arrested for sexually assaulting two daughtersTEAM HERALD
VASCO: A 44-year-old man was arrested by Verna Police on Thursday on charges of sexually assaulting his two daughters.
According to Verna Police, the incident came to light about five days ago, when the accused sexually assaulted his younger daughter (13), who was staying with her grandmother. When neighbours came to know about the incident, they alerted an NGO ‘CRY’, police added.
During counselling, the younger sister informed the NGO that she had been sexually assaulted by her father. The elder daughter (19), who was also counselled by the NGO, revealed that she was also sexually assaulted by her father in 2008.
Verna Police arrested the man under Sections 354, 376 and 8 (2) of Goa Children’s Act and is investigating the case.
The shocking incident has added to list of heinous crimes against minors in Mormugao taluka.
Incidentally, the arrest comes on a day when the ‘People Against Atrocities and Injustice (PAAI)’, a group formed to fight against atrocities and sexual assaults on women and minors, had met in the port town and criticised the delay in arresting the accused who had sexually assaulted a Vasco schoolgirl in a school toilet.
Earlier on Wednesday, Vasco Police had arrested a 38-year-old resident of Vaddem on charges of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy in his car at Chicalim the previous night.
The accused, Chalton Barnetto, has been remanded to five days police custody, after he was produced before the Vasco JMFC on Thursday.
Mid-sea mishap probe almost complete: Coast Guard
Says report will be submitted to Mumbai headquartersTEAM HERALD
MARGAO: Exactly two weeks after the tragic mid-sea mishap left five fishermen dead and one missing, investigations into the incident by Coast Guard, Yellow Gate Police and the Mercantile Marine Department (MMD) continues till date.
There’s no concrete statement coming out from the three agencies as to when investigations will be finally capped, with the Coast Guard only saying that the ongoing inquiry is almost complete and the report would be submitted to the headquarters at Mumbai.
Coast Guard DIG Bhanot told Herald that the Coast Guard inquiry is nearing completion and a report will be submitted to the headquarters soon. He said the Yellow Gate Police, Mumbai have obtained details from the Coast Guard on various aspects of the incident.
On the distribution of compensation to the kith and kin of the deceased, DIG Bhanot said the Coast Guard is in touch with the Fisheries Department.
A Yellow Gate Police official told Herald over the phone that investigations into the incident sill continue. He said the Yellow Gate Police have sought assistance of the Coast Guard to trace the submerged fishing vessels with the help of divers as part of the investigations.
While declining to throw any light on what has emerged in the case during investigations, the police officials said that investigations will be finally complete once the chargesheet is filed in court.
Trawler owner Martin Fernandes was on Thursday holed up at the Mercantile Marine Department, Vasco with five crew members as they were called for recording of their statements by the MMD officials.
Martin told Herald that the relatives of the four deceased crew members have left the State with the ashes. “The Fisheries Department has told us to follow the procedure, including opening of bank accounts, for disbursing the compensation to the bereaved families”, he said.
Associations of boat owners from Goa have demanded compensation for the owner of the ill-fated fishing trawler, besides crew members who were left dead or missing.
Convene stakeholders’ meet: GSIDC to CollectorTEAM HERALD
MARGAO: Two years after the work on the ambitious handicraft mall and non-conventional energy park was abandoned midway owing to public protests, the Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation (GSIDC) has knocked the doors of the district Collector to call the stakeholders, including NGOs, to take a final call on the project.
GSIDC has already foreclosed the contract for the construction of the project and the agency does not want to burn its fingers again by tendering the project again without a consensus with the agitating residents.
Says GSIDC Managing Director, Sanjit Rodrigues: “We have written a letter to the district Collector, South to convene a meeting with the stakeholders before taking a final call on the project. Last time round, the project had hit the block after agitating residents took to the streets over land filling and on heritage aspects. This time, the GSIDC would like to be double sure whether the project is on or not before calling for fresh tenders. We want a nod from the stakeholders before going ahead with the project”.
The foundation stone for the handicraft mall-cum-non-conventional energy park was laid with much fanfare by ex-chief minister Digambar Kamat at the fag end of his five-year tenure. Work on the project came under stiff opposition from local activists and residents over host of issues, forcing the contractor to abandon the project midway.
The GSIDC Managing Director said the project has taken into account the local sensibilities vis-à-vis local heritage and ambience.
“Certainly, the project takes care of the local sensibilities as against the mega commercial projects dotting the area”, he said.
When his attention was drawn to the objection that the project is in a low lying area and would result in inundation during monsoons, Rodrigues said the Water Resources department is presently taking care of the Old Market nullah for smooth flow of monsoon water from the area.
City-based activist Laurel Abranches told Herald that the authorities should honour all promises made to the local residents, including developing all the water nullahs in the Old Market area and reserving 50 per cent of the jobs or stalls in the handicraft mall for locals of Fatorda.
9th May 2013
Development plan for MapusaTEAM HERALD
PORVORIM: Deputy Chief Minister Francis D’Souza stated that the State government has prepared a Comprehensive Development Plan for Mapusa city.
Speaking after inaugurating the renovated Chacha Nehru Park at Mapusa, D’Souza said projects like construction of footpaths, illumination of street lights and development of Joggers Park near Bodgeshwar Temple will commence within next six months.
“The work of sewage treatment plant and laying of underground electrical cable have begun,” he informed.
“With the renovation of the Chacha Nehru Park, the dream of the residents of Mapusa of good recreation facility for children has been fulfilled. If Mapusa Municipal Council (MMC) desires to install more playing items in the park, I am prepared to sanction additional Rs 5 lakh,” said D’Souza.
“The housing cooperative societies or Mapusa Comunidade should hand over open spaces in other wards to MMC so that similar infrastructure can be developed through Goa State Urban Development Agency,” said D’Souza.
MMC Chairperson Sudhir Kandolkar said the park has been renovated by spending Rs 40 lakh. “MMC has also spent Rs 30 lakh on renovation of the taxi stand. MMC is also in the process of acquiring 13 lakh sq mtrs of land near the fish market to construct community projects,” said Kandolkar.
Udai Mhadeshri compered the function, while MMC Chief Officer Hemant Toraskar proposed the vote of thanks.
More than 3,000 answer GCETTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: More than 3,000 students answered the Goa Common Entrance Test examination Wednesday at 10 centres across the state.
The performance of students at this exam will determine to a large extent their admissions into the state’s engineering and pharmacy colleges.
This year GCET will only make students eligible for admission to engineering and pharmacy courses as it was conducted in Physics, Chemistry and Maths, based on Class XII syllabus prescribed by Goa Board for March 2013 exam in these subjects.
Each paper had 75 questions, of one mark each, to be answered in two hours, with no negative marking.
Cross drains pose threat to motorists in CalanguteTEAM HERALD
CALANGUTE: The newly constructed cross drains cutting across the roads leading to Calangute-Candolim are posing a serious threat to life and property of the motorists, especially two-wheelers, due to uneven tarring at the borders of the drains.
According to sources, borders of the drains are horridly done. “The borders are roughly done and placed leaving behind humps which pose a threat to life of motorists. The uneven edges tend to disrupt the vehicular movement,” said a source.
Due to the uneven bounce, many two-wheeler riders have lost control resulting in accidents.
Meanwhile, a speed breaker in close vicinity of Reira Petrol Pump needs urgent attention from authorities concerned, as there is no sign or warning.
Calangute MLA Michael Lobo assured to look into the matter.
Police sensitised on AIDSVALPOI: In an attempt to educate and create awareness among the masses about AIDS/HIV and to erase misconceptions related to the deadly virus, the Goa State AIDS Control Society (GSACS) recently conducted a workshop at Police Training School, Valpoi.
The aim of the workshop was to sensitise police personnel about the dreadful disease.
Public Prosecutor Shashikumar Pancholi, Police Inspector Nelson Albuquerque, GSACS (STD) Deputy Director Dr Lalit Umarsekar, Blood Safety Deputy Director Dr James Jose, Sanquelim CHC Health officer Dr Gokuldas Sawant, IEC Deputy Director Umakant Sawant, Asha Vernekar and Jenease Fernandes were present at the workshop which was informative.
The resource person after inaugurating the workshop made a presentation on causes and preventative measure of HIV/AIDS.
No roll back, asserts SudinTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: Asserting that the state would not fall prey to blackmailing tactics of transport organizations from Maharashtra and Karnataka, the Goa government on Wednesday again refused to roll back the controversial entry tax on vehicles. Simultaneously, the government also announced it would issue concession passes to transporters entering Goa for delivering supplies from May 15, onwards.
It has also decided to ply additional Kadamba Transport Corporation Limited (KTCL) buses on inter-state routes, if the passenger traffic was paralyzed due to the stir.
Speaking to Herald, transport Minister Sudin Dhavalikar said that government will not bow to the demands of transporters.
“How can transporters dictate terms to Goa government? This is blackmailing, to which we are not going to fall prey,” he said, adding “those who want to come to Goa will come at any cost.”
Dhavalikar said that government had planned to implement the concession passes from May 10, but due to some administrative hurdles it could not be done. “Even the Chief Minister, officials and I, were out of station. But now the file has been processed by the public works department,” he said adding “once we get the financial approval, it would be implemented.”
BJP’s poll loss may have bearing on tax issueTEAM HERALD
BELGAUM: The All India Motor Transport Congress’s (AIMTC) decision to stop operations to Goa from May 12 midnight to demand the abolition of Goa’s entry tax has been welcomed in Belgaum and Kolhapur.
Transporters, traders and political leaders who have been demanding a complete rollback of the entry tax by the Goa BJP government led by Manohar Parrikar has gained further momentum with the BJP’s loss at the Karnataka assembly polls.
“Now that the apex motor transport body has arrived at a decision, we all will abide by it and we will intensify our agitation as it is harming the interest of both states,” said Rajendra Shinde of Khanapur Taluka Motor Transporters Association.
“Since a majority of vehicles to Goa have to pass through Khanapur, we will not allow any vehicular movement to Goa from May 12 midnight,” ascertained Shinde.
The Belgaum Chamber of Commerce and Industries and the wholesale vegetable suppliers have also arranged a meeting to chalk out their action in this regard.
“We are awaiting details of a meeting with transporters in Goa. Once we receive details, we will arrive at a decision,” stated P Y Kadam, a wholesaler of vegetables to Goa.
The issue has gained relevance after BJP’s poll debacle. It may be recalled that member of the BJP national executive and Rajya Sabha MP Dr Prabhakar Kore and Belgaum MP Suresh Angadi had earlier termed Goa’s decision as “illegal” and assured measures would be initiated to persuade Parrikar to roll back the tax. The duo is expected to meet Parrikar on May 12.
K’taka debacle: Was entry tax responsible?TEAM HERALD
BELGAUM: Did Goa’s entry tax influence the outcome of the polls in Karnataka?
BJP MLA Prahlad Remani lost the Karnataka assembly elections miserably to the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti candidate Arvind Patil in Khanapur. Remani had been backed by Goa’s CM Manohar Parrikar and his other ministerial colleagues.What had angered many voters in the area was that Parrikar and some of his ministers were allegedly impolite to a delegation of transporters during their visit to Khanapur taluka.
Modi factor failed: CongTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Manohar Parrikar-led ‘parivartan government in Goa’ factors failed to work for BJP in the Karnataka assembly polls, Congress party said on Wednesday.
The Congress leaders have hailed party’s victory in Karnataka polls and described it as a “backlash from the people for the corruption and misrule of BJP in that state.”
They also said that the victory is like a wave that would continue in favour of Congress for the next round of assembly elections in four states and later in the Lok Sabha polls as well.
On the other hand, the Goa unit of BJP targeted B S Yeddyurappa for playing spoil-spot in the Karnataka polls.
Addressing a press conference, Congress legislative party spokesman Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco said that Congress victory in Karnataka proved that people are loyal to the party. “People voted for Congress as they wanted Congress,” he said.
“Modi and Parrikar’s parivartan factors did not work for BJP,” he commented.
Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president Subhash Shirodkar said, ‘The Karnataka poll results have sent a message that people of India are with the Congress and its effect will be also seen in the four states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi and Chhattisgarh.
Congressman Ramakant Khalap said, “There were number of factors like anti-corruption wave, frustration against the BJP and the party’s misadministration.” He said that people are always in favour of good governance and not against misrule or corruption.
When contacted, BJP state president Vinay Tendulkar said that rebel Yeddyurappa acted against the party and made all efforts to defeat it.
Entry tax was reason for BJP’s K’taka exitTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: While continuing its demand to roll back the controversial entry tax, the Congress on Wednesday claimed that Goa BJP government’s decision to impose entry tax on vehicles coming from other states was one of the reasons for BJP’s debacle at the Karnataka polls.
“The imposition of the entry tax is definitely one of the reasons for BJP’s defeat in Karnataka. People from Karnataka have shown resentment in the form of anti-BJP votes,” Subhash Shirodkar, President, Goa Pradesh Congress Committee, told reporters Wednesday.
“BJP President Rajnath Singh, during his campaigning in Karnataka, had made a statement that he would ask Goa government to withdraw the entry tax, but Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar did not listen,” he recalled.
The president recalled that Congress MLAs had shown their resentment towards imposition of entry tax in the recently concluded assembly session.
“We have been opposing it and when time comes we will also agitate,” he said, when asked why Congress party has so far not acted to show their opposition to the issue.
Goa government’s decision to impose entry tax had evoked strong protest from the transporters and traders associations from neighbouring states.
Congress now confident of solving Mhadei water disputePanjim: Congress leaders in Goa are confident of resolving the vexed issue of sharing of Mhadei river water, with Congress coming to power in Karnataka.
GPCC President Subhash Shirodkar said that all efforts would be made to settle the issue once Congress forms its government in Karnataka.
“We would take up the issue and try to find a lasting solution to the issue of diversion of water by Karnataka from the catchment areas of Mhadei river,” he said.
Infighting led to defeat: CMTEAM HERALD
PONDA: Reacting to the BJP’s defeat at the Karnataka assembly poll results on Wednesday, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar admitted that infighting within the party had led to the downfall of BJP in Karnataka.
Parrikar was speaking to reporters along the sidelines of a Ponda Municipal Council election campaign meeting organised by Ponda Citizens Committee at Ponda late Wednesday evening.
“The Karnataka assembly election result is the outcome of a conflict between B S Yeddyurappa and the Karnataka BJP. However, the scenario in our party is trouble-free and there is nothing to worry as all is well within the Goa BJP,” said Parrikar.
NCP, Cong bash BJP over beefTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: Both the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party in separate press conferences accused the BJP government of conspiring to deny beef to Goans calling it an important part of the diet of minorities.
Pointing out that the man behind the Govansh Raksha Abhiyan Hanuman Parab was a member of the BJP and an active worker, the parties suggested that it was a conspiracy by the ruling party to bring “untold miseries on both minority communities.”
They further alleged that the Advocate General was conniving with the petitioner. “The applicant and AG are in connivance. It’s a complete BJP petition as the applicant is a BJP worker,” Curtorim MLA and CLP spokesperson Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco told a press conference.
Chief spokesperson of the NCP, Trajano D’Mello also maintained that Parab was a BJP worker.
“The government has failed to represent the case properly to ensure beef is available at the counters,” he chided.
Goa has talent, but not when it is needed mostTEAM HERALD
PONDA: Goa may have reputed classical singers, but it seems that not one of them is ready to conduct workshops to train budding artistes and this has forced organizers of a four-day workshop in Ponda to seek the assistance of singers from neighbouring states.
Jayant Miringkar, a member of the Marva Trust which is organizing a four-day workshop on Shastriya and Natya Sangeet in association with Rajiv Gandhi Kala Mandir Ponda, claimed that no Goan-based singers of repute are ready to conduct workshops.
“There is no money problem, but still none of the Goan singers are ready to conduct workshops. I feel this could be due to time constraint,” said Miringkar while replying to a question from reporters on the lack of participation of Goan singers for workshops.
“If you have anyone from Goa to conduct such workshops, then please suggest as our efforts have failed. Goan singers are ready, but for only a couple of hours. As such, we have to rely on singers from neighbouring states,” added Miringkar.
Rajiv Gandhi Kala Mandir Ponda in association with Marva Trust has organised four day-workshop on Shastriya and Natya Sangeet at IMA hall, Ponda, from May 14. The workshop will be conducted by Pandit Vijay Koparkar from Pune.
The Marva Trust is organizing such workshops for the last couple of years .
“There are no fees for the participants and only 30 entries will be accepted on first come first serve basis. We will prefer participants above 10 years of age who are practicing classical singing or those who are under training, as this workshop will help them.”
MMC Councillors object shop transferTEAM HERALD
VASCO: Mormugao Municipal Councillor, Tara Kerkar has objected to the transfer of a godown and three shops belonging to Mormugao Municipal Council (MMC) to a person.
During the council meeting on Friday, when MMC Chairperson Fiola Rego placed four proposals of transferring the godown and three shops at Mukund Building, Kerkar demanded to know how MMC can transfer its premises.
Kerkar sought to know from Rego whether the beneficiary is the “blood relative” of the earlier lessee. “If not, the shops and the godown should not be transferred in his name,” stated Kerkar.
Rego said the issue was placed before the council and the council will forward it to the DMA for approval.
Need joint efforts to fight malariaTEAM HERALD
PONDA: Ponda Deputy Collector, Johnson Fernandes has advocated the need for combined efforts from residents, builders and the medical sector to eradicate water-borne disease like malaria.
Fernandes was speaking during the advocacy programme on water-borne diseases, especially malaria, organised by the Community Health Centre (CHC) Ponda at Ponda Sub-district Hospital on Friday.
The programme was organised for panchayat members including builders, scrap dealers, etc. About 50 representatives participated in the programme.
“To eradicate malaria, we require cooperation from residents, builders and above all, the role of the medical sector is pivotal. It’s not a one-man army job, but jointly it will become easier to curtail the malaria disease,” said Fernandes.
Budgetary provisions demanded for trustsTEAM HERALD
PONDA: Lokvishwas Pratishthan Chairman Anup Priolkar has urged the government to make budgetary provision to help the trusts which run schools for the differently abled children.
The Lokvishwas Pratishthan, established in 1981, presently runs separate schools for the mentally challenged, hearing impaired and visually impaired in its main complex at Dhavli-Ponda. Lokvishwas Pratishthan in the last three years has also started three schools at Valpoi, Canacona and Quepem for the differently abled children. About 225 students are enrolled at Dhavli, 37 at Canacona, and Valpoi has 34 and Quepem 44.
“There are some schemes for the schools for the differently abled, but there is a need to have budgetary provision,” said Priolkar on the sidelines of press briefing to announce construction of a new school building at Quepem.
Except for main campus at Dhavli, the other three schools are housed in rented premises. Lokvishwas Pratishthan now plans to construct its own building for the school at Quepem.
“We have planned to build school building and the foundation stone will be laid on May 11. The building will be disabled-friendly with a capacity to house 100 daycare students besides regular class rooms, facilities for sports and recreating, physiotherapy, dance/drama, speech therapy, vocational training,” said Priolkar.
“We appreciate government for its support to the educational institutes meant for the differently abled children. There are number of trusts which run schools for the differently abled children in the State. Government has schemes under Social Welfare and Educational Department, but there is a need to make a budgetary provision,” he said.
“We provide free services to the differently abled and our organization functions on donations from well wishers,” he added.
Kavlekar releases Konkani bookPANJIM: Quepem MLA Chandrakant Kavlekar recently released a Konkani book ‘Goycho Mull Avaz’ written by Adv Joao Fernandes.
Kavlekar released the book in the presence of Goa Konkani Academy President Pundalik Naik, Goa University professor Alito Siqueira, Quepem Municipal Council Vice Chairperson Camilo Simoes, artist Josepha Fernandes, Konkani writer Vincy Quadors and others.
The book is a compilation of different folk songs sung by the Christian Gawda community on different occasions, with introduction on different concept of Gawda community like Dhalo, Fugdi, Mand, Intruz, Intrumez and Yesre.
Kavlekar said it is one’s moral responsibility to work for the community in which one is born. “We should make every attempt to preserve our culture which has history and has been passed to us by our ancestors,” he said.
Shopping festival begins at MargaoPANJIM: Summer Shopping Festival exhibition of consumer and household products began at SGPDA Ground, near Kadamba Bus Stand Margao on May 7 and will continue till May 12. It is open from 11am to 9pm.
This six-day exhibition has more than 60 reputed companies participating with their latest range of products. Companies like TTK Prestige Ltd., Prince, Singer I Ltd, Gits Foods, Makita Power Tools, Zatpat Sofa, Aloebliss, Wood Craft Furniture and others are participating.
World Health Day celebratedPANJIM: PHC Candolim in collaboration with VP Arpora and the parish of Arpora-Nagoa celebrated World Health Day at Nagoa Parish Hall
The speaker for the day, Dr Marina Fernandes, Medical Officer, PHC Candolim, spoke on the risk factors attributed to the onset of hypertension through a power-point presentation. The most important of the risk factors, she said, were obesity, high salt intake in food, lack of exercise and stress. She emphasized on lifestyle modifications starting at an early age.
Sarpanch of Arpora Sushma Nagvekar, who was the chief guest, also spoke on the occasion. Extension educator of PHC Candolim, Daisy Vidwans, health officer Dr Maria Margret Sequeira and Chairman of the PHC hospital visiting committee Yeshwant Kandolkar were spresent.
8th May 2013
Goans for Dabolim Only: Attend Lohia Maidan rally to protect GoaTEAM HERALD
MARGAO: Goans for Dabolim Only on Tuesday gave a call to Goans to attend the May 15 rally at the historic Lohia Maidan, Margao in large numbers to convey a message loud and clear to the government that Goans are firmly opposed to the proposed Mopa airport.
Addressing meetings at Benaulim and Chinchinim villages this evening, the organization has reminded the people that the ongoing battle to save Dabolim is indeed a battle to protect the interest of Goa and Goans.
Speakers came down heavily on the Manohar Parrikar government for trying to fool and misguide Goans that Dabolim would continue to exist even after Mopa becomes a reality. Convenor of Goans for Dabolim Only Fr Eremito Rebello reiterated his open challenge to both the Congress and BJP, including Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar for an open debate on the economic feasibility of both airports in Goa.
Activist Serafino Cota pooh-poohed the government claims that Dabolim has reached a saturation point, saying that Dabolim’s capacity can be increased four-fold for the moment to meet the requirements.
Stating that Dabolim’s runway is almost the same as that of the world’s second largest airport at Heathrow, Cota told the government to stop spreading lies that big aircraft will not be able to land at Dabolim because of the runway.
In his address, tourist taxi operator Jeorge Fernandes rued that instead of making available improved amenities for tourists, the government of the day is pursuing the Mopa airport to bring in more tourists for their selfish ends. Saying that Mopa airport would spell doom for tourist taxi operators and shack owners in South Goa, Jeorge urged the people of Goa to join the Lohia Maidan rally on May 15 and protect Goa for Goans.
Leader of the anti-Mopa movement, Sandip Kamble, while addressing a meeting at Chinchinim, accused Chief Minister, Manohar Parrikar of spreading lies that the government would start the process of building the new airport at Mopa this year.
“Parrikar is fooling the people by saying the government would soon start work on the Mopa airport. How can Parrikar say that government would start work on the project when the people of Mopa are still fighting a legal battle on the acquisition of their land?” he asked.
People of Mopa had stopped government’s plans to build the new airport since the last five years and our movement will continue till the airport is scrapped and the land is returned back to the farmers”, he asserted.
President of Shack Owners Society Cruz Cardozo cautioned to remain alert on the proposed airport at Mopa saying, the neighbouring State wants to develop tourism by using Goa’s brand name.
Local activist Zuzico Fernandes said the time has come for Goans to come out in large numbers to show the Parrikar government that the proposed airport would spell doom for Goa and Goans.
Caitu says committed to protect Dabolim for civilian purposeMARGAO: Benaulim MLA Caitu Silva was on Tuesday found seated in the audience as Goans for Dabolim Airport had its meeting at Dando Grounds on Tuesday evening.
Caitu later told newsmen that he has not attended the meeting as an MLA, but as a citizen of Benaulim supporting the cause of Dabolim airport.
“I was not even invited for the meeting by Goans for Dabolim Only, but still I decided to attend the meeting as a citizen of the village to express my solidarity with the cause of Dabolim airport”, he said.
When newsmen sought his stand on the airport controversy, Caitu said he is totally committed to the protection of Dabolim airport for civilian purpose.
When further asked whether he has taken up the issue with Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who appears determined to go ahead with the proposed airport, Caitu shot back “I have not only raised the issue of Dabolim airport in the House, but also took up the matter with the Chief Minister, who has promised to ensure that Dabolim would continue to remain as a civilian airport. But, we want that the assurances should be given in writing”.
Day 2: 90 notices served on Moti Dongor inhabitantsTEAM HERALD
MARGAO: Day two of the ongoing drive against encroachments saw officials of the Administrator of Comunidades, South descending atop Moti Dongor locality to serve the demolition notices on the inhabitants.
A total of 210 structures have been surveyed by the Comunidade Administrator’s office for having encroached on the property belonging to the local Comunidade. Till noon, a team of Comunidade officials had served around 45 notices on the inhabitants, in some cases, pasting the demolition notices on the closed doors. Around 90 notices were served on the inhabitants at the end of the day.
An official Amaro Afonso told Herald that the process will continue in the next couple of days given the magnitude of the exercise, adding that they have 15 days time to complete the entire exercise.
Comunidade Administrator Sangeeta Naik informed that the residents who have been served notices to show cause within 15 why their structures should not be demolished under the Goa Land (Prohibitions of Construction Act), 1995 for encroaching upon the land without authorization.
“All the 252 inhabitants will be given a personal hearing before passing an order. They have been told to produce any document which authorized them to occupy the land”, she said.
House destroyed in Balli blazeTEAM HERALD
MARGAO: A major fire destroyed a residential house at Balli on Tuesday noon, destroying property worth around Rs 16 lakh.
The incident is believed to have occurred around 1.20 pm when fire broke out in the house when the inmates were outside. The fire destroyed household items, including gold ornaments.
Two fire tenders from Margao and Curchorem rushed to Balli upon receiving a call of the fire incident. While the fire services have put the total loss of property at Rs five lakh, the house owner has claimed a loss of Rs 16 lakh.
Quepem Dy Collector Prashant Shirodkar, besides officials of the Quepem Mamlatdar and police visited the site for an on the spot assessment.
The damaged caused to the house is put at Rs four lakh, sources said.
Tuesday ~ A day of fire mishaps
Two shacks gutted at BenaulimTEAM HERALD
MARGAO: Two beach shacks were gutted in a major fire at Benaulim in the wee hours of Tuesday.
Property worth lakhs of rupees have been destroyed in the fire.
Shack owner Roger Fernandes told Herald that all items in the shack were reduced to ashes in the devastating fire that engulfed the shack. He has put the total loss between Rs 10 and 15 lakh.
“The whole range of goods including music system, refrigerators, chairs, tables etc were all gutted. Rough estimates have put the loss between Rs 10 and 15 lakh”, he said.
Another shack owner Damacian Fernandes said he was intimated of the fire incident at around 5 am by his workers. Though none of his workers have sustained any injuries, all belongings in the shack were gutted.
“Everything housed in the shack, including the music system and other goods were all gutted”, he said, while putting the total loss of goods at Rs 12-15 lakh.
HC reserves order on 130 bulls at meat complexTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: The Bombay High Court at Goa on Tuesday has reserved the order on the fate of the 130 bulls at the Goa Meat Complex for Thursday, even as the Advocate General and the lawyer for the petitioner said they would need time to study the Cattle Transport laws of Karnataka and Maharashtra before arguing on the petition filed by the meat traders.
The 130 bulls at the Goa Meat Complex were brought there for slaughter before the High Court imposed a ban on slaughter at the GMC.
On the petition of the meat traders asking to be permitted to bring in cattle from the neighbouring states of Maharashtra and Karnataka, which is crucial to the availability of beef in the State, the advocates representing both the State and the petitioner have sought time to study the cattle transport laws in the neighbouring states.
With no beef available in the state for three weeks, pressure is mounting on the government to ensure its availability. The Council for Social Justice and Peace has already in a strongly worded statement hit out at the government for its casual approach in dealing with the matter.
Association mooted to fight for devolution of powersTEAM HERALD
MARGAO: With successive governments denying rights and powers to the Panchayat Raj Institutions, an association of elected members comprising of panchayat and Zilla members is mooted to fight for the devolution of powers, funds and functions under the Goa Panchayat Raj Act.
The proposal was unveiled by South Goa Zilla Chairperson Nelly Rodrigues at the marketing symposium organized by the zilla body at the Ravindra Bhavan here on Tuesday.
“This association of the elected panchayat and ZP members will act as a cohesive force to secure the rights of the Panchayati Raj institutions. Our leaders have no time for the panchayats and Zilla Panchayat. We have to manage ourselves. Our pleas for the devolution of powers and functions have fallen on deaf ears”, she said.
She asserted that the Association of Elected Panchayat and ZP members will help voice their grievances forcefully.
She appealed to the Panchayat and ZP members to leave aside their differences and coming under one banner to fight for the powers and rights bestowed under the 73rd Amendment to the Constitution.
Konkan Fruit Fest to lay special emphasis on jackfruitTEAM HERALD
MARGAO: Goa’s “Ponos and Patponos” will figure prominently at the decade-old Konkan Fruit Fest 2013 organized by the Botanical Society of Goa which has moved to South Goa this year.
The four-day celebrations will be held on the sprawling BPS Club Grounds from May 9-12 will lay special focus on the jackfruit and its commercial exploitation for export.
The BPS Club is the festival partner, while the ICAR-Goa and KVK-North, the Dr Balasaheb Sawant Konkan Krishi Vidyapeet, Dapoli and Directorate of Agriculture, Panjim are participating along with the Goa Food and Drugs Administration, besides other departments.
Addressing the media, Botanical Society of Goa Secretary Miguel Braganza said that fruits for the competition must reach the venue by 3 pm on Thursday.
Entries will be judged the same day and the results will be declared the next day, he said, adding there will also be entertainment and on-the-spot competitions in fruit eating and fruit carving.
He said the fruit fest will be open to the public after the inauguration till 7 pm.
“There will be a competition for processed fruit products (pickle, candy, jam, syrup, cake and wine) on Friday.
Stalls are available for sale of fruits and fruit products or plants and equipments used for fruit cultivation or processing.
For details contact Lorna Fernandes, Yogita Mehra (9960643245) and Miguel Braganza (9822982676).
GTDC proposes to re-start white water rafting from JuneTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: After having successfully started white water rafting last year to give a new dimension to tourism, Goa Tourism Development Corporation is proposing to re-start this adventure sport during this monsoon as well, beginning June.
The Goa Tourism Development Corporation plans to keep this activity on for at least four months.
Chairman of the Goa Tourism Development Corporation Nilesh Cabral said, “We had a very good response last year even though it began late.”
The adventure sport launched in Surla-Sattari and which lasted for only two months catered to at least 1,300 visitors. “This time we are hoping to attract 2500 people,” Cabral said, adding that more boats and trips would be introduced.
It was pointed out that part of the revenue generated from this sport last year was allocated to the Sattari-Surla Village Panchayat for developing infrastructure in the surrounding area leading to the site.
Cabral said that plans to introduce hot air balloons has been temporarily kept on hold following a recent incident of an hot air balloon explosion reported in another tourist State.
“We may have the hot air balloon controlled by a rope only at Anjuna,” he said.
The corporation is planning some activities during the monsoon which, the Chairman said, would be finalised within the next couple of weeks.
“The focus is to improve the infrastructure so that we are ready before the next tourism season begins,” Cabral explained.
Tenders for the new cruise boat for GTDC in Panjim is also in the final stages and work on the cruise boats jetty is going on at a fast pace.
Goa mining case in SC todayTEAM HERALD
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday fixed listing of an interim stay application of a mining firm before the "Forest Bench" on Wednesday, along with other connected matters.
The order was passed by the Bench of Justices P Sathasivam and M Y Eqbal on a mention made by advocate Parijat Sinha.
The Chief Justice of India has, however, not yet constituted any forest bench since after retirement of Justice Aftab Alam who was heading such a bench and as such the cause list does not show the case listed before any court.
The regular hearing on the petition of the Goa Foundation was, however, supposed to take place on Friday but that too has not been listed that day for want of any forest bench to hear the case.
Sources in the Registrar's office said the case may be accommodated in a supplementary list as otherwise the main case of the Goa Foundation is already slated on Friday.
GMPF delegation meets PMTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: A nine-member Goa Mining People’s Front (GMPF) delegation met Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in Delhi on Tuesday and requested his government to put up a plea before the Supreme Court for day to day hearing of the illegal mining case notwithstanding the vacations. The case is scheduled to be heard on June 10.
GMPF Convenor Suhas Naik said that the Prime Minister has been requested to convey to the SC through the office of Attorney General of India for day to day hearing of the PIL pertaining to illegal mining in Goa.
“We want them to fast track the case,” Naik said. GMPF members accompanied by Congress MP Francisco Sardinha met the PM Tuesday afternoon. “The PM said that environmental concerns should be addressed seriously,” he added.
Officials begin survey of Cotigao to track more tigersTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: Even as the government mulls on a tiger reserve that could encompass Netravalli, Mhadei, Bhagwan Mahavir sanctuary and additional areas – but still not Cotigao – under a new name which will have to do with the ‘Sahyadri …” it is gearing to find more tigers having started a survey with cameras in Cotigao from Monday, officials said.
“Circumstantial evidence point to three tigers,” but we have no photographic proof, says Principal Chief Wildlife Warden Richard D’ Souza, who told Herald that the work on formulating a formal proposal for a tiger reserve is on.
“We have to put the evidence together, documentation is important. We need pug marks, pictures, etc together,” he says, arguing that the proposal is not such a problem.
The survey will be done by a 10-15 member team led by leading tiger expert and conservation zoologist K Ullas Karanth. He is the pioneer in the scientific application of camera trapping techniques as the foundation of scientific estimation of tiger population densities in forests. He also applies statistics to camera trapping data, to make a close estimate of tiger population in a given area.
The pugmark method was previously used by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, Project Tiger five-year tiger census.
Forest department says that they could have a new name and the proposed tiger reserve could encompass a larger area. The department is waiting for the results of the survey to end in 2017, though d’ Souza says that that they may not wait so long, but “we have to find more tigers in the Goa region.”
But officials admit that they have not found any traces of the big cat in the Cotigao sanctuary.
According to reports cameras have been installed at 15 different locations in Cotigao and Netravali wildlife sanctuaries. Camera positions are shifted every five days, the report says.
It may be recalled that the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest asked the state government to submit its proposal to declare Mhadei Wildlife sanctuary as a tiger reserve. The forest department had captured photographs a fortnight ago of a tigress in Mhadei wildlife sanctuary and she was confirmed by experts to be from the state.
Priests accuse ASI officials of indifferent attitude
Say Se Cathedral not painted inside for last 4-5 yearsTEAM HERALD
OLD GOA: After accusing the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) of unilaterally removing many paintings from the Se Cathedral in Old Goa, priests at the Se Cathedral have blamed ASI officials for their indifferent attitude towards the world famous heritage site and the parishioners since the past few years.
“Since the time Dr Shivanand Rao, Superintending Archeologist of ASI Goa circle, has come to Goa as the ASI official, the Se Cathedral has not been painted inside for the last four-five years. Even repairs of the Blessed Sacrament haven’t been carried out, while the ceiling of the Cathedral is peeling off,” Se Cathedral Parish Priest Fr Leonard Correia told Herald.
“The ASI officials visited the church to take stock of the situation, but till date nothing has been done. Even electrical fixtures have gone off for years now and they haven’t been replaced and the situation is going from bad to worse,” stated Fr Correia.
“Though ASI spends a lot on things outside the church, but it hardly spends any amount for the church,” added Fr Correia.
“Parishioners are not allowed to enter through the main gate of the church, but outsiders are allowed to enter from the main gate. The parishioners have to use the other gate to enter the parish. But ASI opens the main gate for their agents and those who come for their work. This has happened since the time the present ASI officer has been posted at Old Goa,” claimed Fr Correia.
Se Cathedral Assistant Parish Priest Fr Ramiro Luis was also critical of ASI’s response to their letter regarding the paintings, which were removed from the Se Cathedral.
“Paintings are removed and no account has been given as to what has happened to the paintings. We are just told that the paintings have been taken for chemical analysis, but till date the paintings are not brought back and this is going on for the past three-four years,” he said.
“Due to ASI’s interference in everything, we cannot even exercise our pastoral work in the church. ASI has considered the church as a monument, but for us it’s a living body and we are disturbed with the things going on here,” added Fr Luis.
When contacted for comments, Dr Rao said: “I have not received letter from anyone and it is news to me. You may have a copy of the letter, but I don’t have it.”
Dr Rao later disconnected the call and efforts to contact him again failed as he did not respond to the phone calls.
Over 3,000 students to appear for GCETTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: More than 3,000 science students are expected to answer the Goa Common Entrance Test Examination, the result of which will decide admissions into the state’s engineering and pharmacy colleges.
The GCET examination will be held at 10 centres across the state, with 3014 applicants this year which are around 600 less than previous years.
Speaking to Herald, Deputy Director of Technical Education Pradip Kusnur said that the final number of those who actually answer the exam could be lower than those who have applied given that this year the examination is being held after the declaration of the HSSCE results.
“This year the number of applicants for GCET has gone down by around 600. Earlier it used to hover around 3,600 or so. This is because of the NEET-UG,” he said.
“We do not know how many of the students will finally answer. Because students will now already know whether they have cleared the Std XII exam or not and how they have fared,” Kusnur added.
However this year the GCET will only grant admission to engineering and pharmacy courses with architecture too now having a National Exam -- the NATA(National Aptitude Test in Architecture), conducted by Council of Architecture.
GCET-2013 will be conducted in physics, chemistry and maths, based on Class. XII syllabus prescribed by Goa Board for March 2013 exam in these subjects. Each paper will consist of 75 questions, of one mark each, to be answered in two hours, with no negative marking.
This year’s exam excludes biology given that the medical and dental aspirants will be answering the NEET-UG for their admissions.
The Centre’s include Don Bosco Higher Secondary School and Goa College of Pharmacy in Panjim, Rosary College, Navelim, Fr Agnel Multipurpose Higher Secondary, Verna, Deepvihar High School, Vasco, Purushottam Walawalkar Higher Secondary, Mapusa, A J de Almeida HS and N J Aguiar HSS, Ponda, Govt HSS in Sankhali and Chandrabhaga Naik HSS in Curchorem.
Kusnur said that all preparations have been made for the smooth conduct of the examinations.
Offloading cement in river angers localsTEAM HERALD
PORVORIM: While efforts are in full swing to complete the Aldona-Calvim Bridge by May 30, workers have been accused of paying scant attention to the surroundings and were found washing a concrete mixer and offloading the cement into the river.
According to a resident from Aldona, the incident took place on Sunday at about 6 am, when about six cement mixer trucks went to the site to off load cement for the bridge construction work.
“After offloading the cement on the bridge, the cement mixer truck went to the Calvim bus stop to remove the leftover cement from the truck,” said the resident.
“The worker cleaned the mixer truck and to our shock, poured the leftover cement on the road and into the river.”
“Despite our repeated requests not to pour the leftover cement on the road and river, the workers said the contractor had instructed them to do so,” the resident added.
Govt mulls society to protect children’s rightsTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: The government is contemplating of constituting a State Level Child Protection Society under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme to protect children’s rights, Secretary Women and Child Development P Krishnamurthy said.
Speaking at a meeting of the Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights organized in the conference hall, Secretariat, Porvorim, on Tuesday Krishnamurthy stressed the need to prepare modules based on legal aspects, creation of post of Project Officer and other required staff for a State Level Child Protection Society, besides, imparting training to officials from Government departments such as Police, Panchayats, Health, Education and representatives of NGOs for the effective implementation of the protection of children rights.
The meeting was attended by V P Rao, secretary, Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Keshav Chandra, Secretary, Education and Samira Kazi, Chairperson of Child Rights Commission.
The dissemination of information relating to the provisions of the Protection Of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 through television, radio and print media to create awareness about this act for the general public, children, as well as parents, guardians, effective working of Village Child Protection Committee, Clubs, NGOs and other related issues were discussed at the meeting.
V P Rao urged the stakeholders and concerned authorities to cooperate with the Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights and give suggestions for effective implementation of the POCSO Act and rules.
The meeting was also attended by SS Monteiro, Director of Prosecution, Mahadev Araundekar, Dy Director of Women and Child Development, D Redkar, Dy Director of Panchayats, Vishram Borkar, SP (North), Shekhar Prabhudesai, SP (South), Ezilda F D’Souza, PI Women Police Station, Martha Mascarenhas, C Colaço, and representatives from various NGOs.
Property disputes before LokayuktaTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: The Lokayukta has received four complaints out of which two were related to property dispute while the other two fell within the ambit of the ombudsman.
According to information, the Lokayukta office has received two complaints regards a personal dispute between State public servants. The cases were disposed off at the preliminary stage as they ‘were not as per Lokayukta compliance’.
The Goa Lokayukta had received its first complaint in April against Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and Dattaprasad Kholkar, Deputy Chairman of the Goa State Planning Board for misusing their power. The investigation is currently at a preliminary stage.
The Lokayukta Retd Justice Sudershan Reddy is currently on vacation and would be back only after May 15.
The second case challenging the very appointment of the Lokayukta has been kept on hold as a petition is being heard in the Bombay High Court at Goa.
The arguments in the case got over Tuesday and the Court has reserved the judgment.
Juvenile held with charasTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: A juvenile was arrested by the Anti Narcoitics cell with 460 grams of Charas, behind the St Cruz football ground, police said.
The drugs worth around Rs 70,000 were seized by police after they received a tip off that one person would be coming to deliver the drugs to a prospective client at that particular place.
Accordingly a trap was laid by the team led by PI Suraj Halarnkar. After positioning themselves near the Library, the team was able to apprehend one person who was found to have on his person 460 grams of charas, one mobile phone and cash of Rs 250.
A case under NDPS Act was registered against the accused and he has been admitted to Apna Ghar Merces.
MODESTY OUTRAGED: In an incident reported at Caranzalem, a girl has lodged a complaint that Valencio Estrocio from Caranzalem outraged her modesty and threatened her and her relatives with dire consequences. A case has been registered u/s 354, 506 IPC.
GSPCB serves notices on 13 vessels over waste oilTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: Goa State Pollution Control Board has issued notices to transporters of hazardous waste oils, which are generated from barges, cruise ships, off-shore casino vessels and other ships docking in Goa for failing to submit the annual details regarding collection and disposal of waste oil.
The notices have been served to 13 transporters under Hazardous Waste (Management, Handling and Transboundary Movement) Rules 2008 asking ‘why the authorization (consent to operate) granted under said rules should not be revoked/withdrawn in view of non compliance of conditions.’
As per the Hazardous Waste Rules, used-oil transporters are required to submit the copy of the manifest and also file annual returns of the waste collected and disposed off by them. However, the transporters have failed to comply with this condition.
“In view of non-submission of the details regarding hazardous waste, it has become difficult for the Board to keep track and also maintain the records of hazardous generated and disposed in Goa,” the notice issued by GSPCB Chairman Jose Manual Noronha reads.
According to records, all transporters are from Mumbai.
Noronha said that in the absence of records, Board is not in a position to trace where exactly the waste has been taken and handled. “Many transporters claim that they are taking waste outside Goa for recycling but there is a possibility that they might be dumping it in the sea, resulting in tar-balls,” he said.
The issue of tar-balls had hit the State in 2010, after someone criminally dumped a shipload of waste oil into the Arabian Sea.
Noronha said that according to Rules, the transporters will now have to seek NOC from GSPCB along with the pollution board of the State, where they are dumping the oil.
Meanwhile, a notice has been issued to those who generate the waste oil such as ship owners, cruise owners, off-shore casino vessel operators, to ensure that the waste oil/sludge oil/ residue containing oil, is handed over to the recyclers/reprocessors established and operating their plants in the State of Goa and having valid consent to operate as requires under Water and Air Act and Authorization under Hazardous Waste Rules 2008.
There are total 29 generators of waste oil registered with GSPCB.
Canacona farmers seek compensationTEAM HERALD
POINGUINIM: Over 65 farmers from Canacona taluka have sought compensation after claiming that their crops were destroyed by recent cyclonic winds in Cotigao and some parts of Gaondongrem.
Agriculture Department of anacona (ZAO) has received 65 complaints from farmers regarding damage to their crops and trees. They informed that the farmers have sought compensation to the tune of Rs 15 lakh.
Speaking to Herald, Canacona ZAO Shivram Naik Gaonkar said he has scrutinized about 42 applications and will conduct an inspection.
Workers express ire over plant closureTEAM HERALD
SANGUEM: The workers of a company at Costi-Sanguem on Monday staged a day-long agitation in front of the office of Sanguem Mamlatdar and criticised the arbitrary permission granted by the government for the closure of the plant.
It may be recalled that the company had sought closure of the plant citing non-availability of iron ore for production purpose and the delay caused by the Central government in granting Value Addition Plant for the company.
The workers, agitating under the banner ‘CITU’ claimed that both the grounds sought by the company for closure of the plant are "highly spurious and illegal."
“The reasons sought by the company are well within the realm of the government policy which needs to be fine tuned to ensure survival of all existing industries. There was no labour problem at the factory and as such the government should have not considered the request made by the company,” claimed a worker.
The workers have urged the government to withdraw the unwarranted closure permission order and direct the company to commence production activity at the plant with immediate effect.
The agitating workers also handed over a memorandum to Sanguem Mamlatdar Pramod Bhat with a request to send appropriate report to the higher authorities highlighting the grave injustice done to the labour class over the closure.
Stress on education in remote areas: GuvTEAM HERALD
BORIM: Admitting that indiscipline has affected some educational institutions, Governor Bharat Vir Wanchoo on Saturday appealed to educationists to guard their institutions zealously, so that the sanctity of these institutions will not be tarnished.
Addressing the concluding ceremony of the Silver Jubilee year of Shivgram Education Society (SES) at Shiroda, Governor Wanchoo also expressed his desire that education should improve in remote areas. “Although Goa is ahead in education sector, still there is lot to be done in remote areas,” he said.
Wanchoo emphasized the need of world class education, to enhance the capacity and competitiveness of youth to progress and lead the country to greater heights. “It is only through education that we can hope to eradicate social evils,” said the governor.
Wanchoo also felt that the role of teachers is of fundamental importance in the overall education system and is to provide quality education to children.
He advised teachers to undertake their assignment with missionary zeal and to equip themselves adequately to meet the challenges of providing quality education.
In his address, SES Chairman and former minister Subhash Shirodkar said he intends to set up two colleges in shipbuilding and physiotherapy.
Sports scheme for Mapusa youthTEAM HERALD
PORVORIM: In a bid to inculcate a fitness and recreational culture among the tech-savy youth with a sedentary lifestyle in municipal areas, the State government on Monday launched the ‘Fair Recreational Activity and Non Competitive Involvement in Sports’ (FRANCIS) Scheme in Mapusa.
Addressing press persons, Deputy Chief Minister Francis D’Souza stated that the open spaces in municipal areas are either being misused or encroached. “Urbanization has caused deprivation of open spaces to the urban communities, who predominately stay in flats. Due to confinement in the apartments, the kids spend their time on video games, TV, mobile phones and internet,” said D’Souza.
“To meet this situation and inculcate a strong sports fitness and recreational culture, the government through this scheme intends to connect with urban population by providing assistance in developing safe play areas,” added D’Souza.
“The local municipal body, schools, colleges, other such institutions, registered sports clubs, registered housing societies owning land not less than 2,000 sq mtrs within the municipal jurisdiction are eligible for the benefit under this scheme,” informed the deputy chief minister.
7th May 2013
Cuncolim estate plot unsealed
Axis directed to cover hazardous waste by May 15TEAM HERALD
MARGAO: The district authorities on Monday opened the seal put on Plot No 2 of the Cuncolim Industrial Estate to facilitate covering of the 25,000 tons of hazardous waste before the onset of monsoons, with a direction to Ms The Axis to complete the covering before May 15 evening.
A team from the District Collectorate led by Awal Karkun, Rosario Fernandes descended on the industrial estate along with Goa State Pollution Control Board officials to open the plot which was earlier sealed by the administration to stop unauthorized transportation of waste.
Sources in the know said that GSPCB official submitted a detailed program to Ms The Axis how to go about the work, including the nature of tarpaulin to be used to cover the plot.
The decision to cover the dump yard comes in the backdrop of the host of decisions taken by Chief Minister, Manohar Parrikar to tackle hazardous waste.
The Chief Minister had last month set a 15-day deadline on Ms The Axis to cover the hazardous waste with tarpaulin sheets as a temporary measure, taking into account the fast approaching monsoons.
Parrikar had also issued directions to the Industrial Development Corporation to hand over a plot of land to Ms The Axis to set up a landfill site on scientific lines in consultation with the Goa State Pollution Control Board.
“Our priority for the moment in the Cuncolim Industrial Estate is to get the hazardous waste covered with tarpaulin sheets to prevent the waste from getting exposed to rains. Once this is done, the next action would be to get the IDC to hand over the landfill site to Ms The Axis for treatment of hazardous waste”, remarked a GSPCB official.
Chemists and druggists to join May 10 strikeTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: Chemists and Druggists in Goa will join a one-day strike called by the All India Organization of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD), on May 10, with Chemists and Druggists Association of Goa (CDAG) set to join the strike.
The strike call is primarily to protest the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Policy 2013, which the chemists say aims to reduce the margins which the chemist gets on the sale of medicines.
While the call to take part in the strike has gone out to all members of the Association, pharmacies located within hospitals premises will continue to cater to in-patients so that they are unaffected. If 24-hour pharmacies choose to heed the bandh call their services may be affected.
In a letter to the Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers, the AIOCD has demanded that they give a 10% margin to distributor and 20% to retailers.
“It is important to bring to your notice that in previous DPCOs (Drug Price Control Orders) when mark-up to manufacturer was 100%, corresponding trade margin was 16%. Now going through draft of policy, it is evident that manufacturer's mark-up will go about 300% & more,” the AIOCD has said in their letter.
Speaking to Herald, Lyndon D’Silva, secretary of CDAG said that they are participating in the strike under the call given by AIOCD and were giving forewarning, so that patients do not suffer.
“The strike is to draw the attention of the central government to these issues, at the same time, we do not want patients to be affected,” the CDAG said.
The AIOCD is also demanding the government resolve issue of shortage of qualified pharmacists, who as per law are the only ones who can legally dispense medicines.
They seek that the government suitably amend Rule 65(15)(c) of Drugs & Cosmetics Rules to permit-the partner/proprietor as a qualified person to dispense the medicines.
Their other demand includes the stopping of Foreign Direct Investment in distribution and retailing of medicines as families of 25-lakh employees are dependent on this livelihood through employment in this sector.
Travel agents join protest against transaction fee withdrawal
26 IATA, 100 non-IATA agents to remain closed todayTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: Travel agents in Goa have joined in the nationwide protest against the withdrawal of six per cent transaction fee in air tickets by all airlines and demanded a fair deal if this business segment is to survive.
As many as 26 International Air Transport Association (IATA) travel agents active in Goa and around 100 non-IATA agents will remain closed today, May 7. As a result people will not be able to book tickets for a day.
In Goa, approximately Rs 75 lakh is generated by travel agents on air line ticket booking daily.
President of the Travel Agents’ Association of India (TAAI – Goa Unit) Arif Abdul Razaq said, “We are united with the All India Association of Travel Agents and will support whatever decision is arrived at Tuesday.”
Nilesh Shah, Past President of the Travel Agents’ Association of India (Goa Unit) said, “How are travel agents expected to survive if airlines stop the commission which is being paid to them.”
Shah said that from 9 per cent, the commission has shrunk to zero per cent pointing out that airlines now want customers to deal with them directly. They are also intending to charge for baggage weight and seat selection.It was pointed out that neither the airlines industry nor the government is listening to the travel agents and no positive response has been received even though the grievances have been brought to the attention of the Director General of Civil Aviation.
Agents expect the civil aviation ministry to work out a solution, following the token strike. A meeting with representatives of airlines and agents' association is scheduled in Delhi Tuesday.
MARGAO: The Goa chapter of Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) will participate in the nation wide “shutter down” strike on Tuesday.
The strike has been called tomorrow to safeguard the interest of citizens against what the Association termed as the unethical practices adopted by the Indian & Foreign Airlines operating in and out of India, besides some of the government policies.
The travel agents contended that apart operating cost of establishment, they have to buy tickets from airlines by issuing bank guarantees upfront. “On the other hand, dealing with corporate clients means extending a credit line of three-four weeks. Unless we are paid, how can we continue in business”, they demanded to know.
Experts to draw calendar promoting tourism globallyTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: Stung with the criticism heaped on it during the Assembly session, the Tourism Ministry seems to be getting its act together by proposing to constitute a panel of experts who will decide on a calendar of events for promoting Goa Tourism internationally and nationally.
Ministry level sources say that the panel of experts would assist the tourism department in choosing destinations both within and outside India that need to be tapped and accordingly, plan participation at trade and travel marts.
This move comes in the wake of severe criticism in the Goa Assembly’s Budget Session which saw the Opposition censuring the government over its tourism promotion strategies and participation in travel marts and road shows.
The Opposition was of the view that the calendar of events should be decided by a panel of experts in the travel and tour trade in Goa who would assist the department in deciding which markets need to be tapped or skipped, depending on the strategies adopted and responses received. There was also criticism by legislators that the department continues to market Goa tourism in destinations which are saturated thereby wasting huge amounts of money.
“It would now be left to the panel of experts to advise the tourism ministry on which travel marts it should participate at and accordingly facilitate in the preparation of year long itinerary,” said a senior ministry official.
Meanwhile, charter flights sprung a surprise by touching a record 987 flights this season, which closes next week. Until May 5, 2013 a total of 2.15 lakh passengers arrived in Goa through charter flights.
Stakeholders in the industry are optimistic that there will be a growth in charter arrivals in the next season following the nod given by the Centre for issue of visas on arrival in Goa.
“Charter arrivals could go up by at least 10 to 15 per cent next season,” said Ernest Dias of SITA, a leading travel and tour operator dealing with markets namely Russia, UK , Finland Scandinavia.
It is learnt that Poland which withdrew its charters for the 2012-13 season has already shown interest in resuming the same, while Kazakhstan has expressed intentions of flying in bigger charters to Goa.
Presently, Goa is participating in a travel mart in Dubai after skipping its participation there for two years.
“We are hoping to attract more tourists from Arabia for medical and wedding tourism,” said an department official.
Other than the regular overseas travel marts in Moscow, London, Berlin it participated for the first time in a travel mart in Gothenburg and conducted road shows in Lithuania and Latvia.
Goa losing out on ore export to China: GMOEASHWETA KAMAT
PANJIM: What was once uttered by Goa’s leading mining bigwigs that, “Mining in Goa, is a sunset industry,” now seems to have come true with the imposition of the ban on mining operations which has driven away its biggest buyer ~China.
A series of production bans and export tariff hikes – designed to help Indian steelmakers – have pushed Goa’s and consequently India’s, by large, iron ore exports to the cliff. India which was until recently the third- largest exporter of ore used in making steel, after Australia and Brazil, has no business left.
The Goa Mineral Ore Exporters Association (GMOEA), admitting the above said ‘Goa has been a reliable supplier of iron ore to China but in the current situation, the state is losing its credibility’.
“There was a relationship developed for decades and hence there was an element of trust. State was getting sentimental value from its buyers. But now we have started losing our reliability,” GMOEA secretary Glen Kalavampara told Herald. He said apart from the series of actions in the state, global recession has also hit China and its market.
The industrial players from the mining sector in Goa have lamented that there is ‘no market left in China for Goa’s iron ore’. The buyers in China, have been reportedly saying as published by some National Media last month, that, ‘a decline in iron ore exports from India following a crackdown by the government to check illegal mining has prompted China to begin exploring alternative markets to source its requirement of ore,’.
While Australia and Brazil continue to supply 75 percent of China’s need, followed by South Africa, new markets have also emerged viz~Indonesia, Ukraine, Iran and other south-east Asian countries.
The mine owners in Goa are very much aware about the situation and see no future of state’s low grade iron ore. Harish Melwani, a mine owner said ‘buyers in China have already informed us that they are not interested in doing business with Goa’.
“State’s iron ore supply is not very stable. Who can tell what the iron ore policy is? There is no idea when there would be clarity on legal and illegal mining. `Chinese companies are looking for alternatives," he said.
Goan iron ore's quality ranges between 46 per cent to 59 per cent of Fe. Most of the ore from the state is exported as there are no many takers for the same in the Country.
One of the State’s leading mining major ~Shivanand Salgaoncar said ‘there is no trust left. Trust, is an important aspect of a business, which has been running for decades. Goa has lost its market in China’.
He said that in the absence of iron ore from India, of which Goa contributes more than 50 percent, the competing nations such as Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia has made up the supply.
“Even if mining resumes, it would be a very difficult task to get back the loss,” he stated.
Sesa Goa Managing director, P K Mukherjee, as reported by Herald, last year had said, ‘it's tough to put timelines on when things will start to improve, and even after mining is allowed it's tough to say how customers will react as a lot of relationships have been hurt over the last few quarters’.
Khandeparkar panel to prepare roadmap for future miningSHWETA KAMAT
PANJIM: The Justice (retd) R M S Khandeparkar committee has decided to examine those mining illegalities, which were not reportedly scrutinized by the Justice M B Shah Commission, rather than just verifying the irregularities and illegalities enlisted by the Shah Commission in its exhaustive report on illegal mining in Goa.
More importantly, the committee plans to prepare a roadmap for future of the mining industry in the state. The committee has also decided to seek inputs from anti and pro-mining public, regarding illegal mining in Goa.
The six member high level committee was formed based on the findings in the Justice Shah Commission report which had pointed out several irregularities and illegalities in the mining sector.
Speaking to HERALD, Justice Khandeparkar said, ‘the terms of reference of the committee are very clear. They are not just restricted to findings of Justice Shah Commission but it will also include recommendations to the government to decide on future of mining’.
The retired justice said that the committee will go through the findings of Shah Commission, but will also investigate into several aspects which are left untouched by them. “The Shah commission has not been able to do many things because of absence of material on record,” he said.
The former high court Judge, however, said that the committee will wait for the final judgement from SC on the mining PIL, before drawing any final conclusion.
The two part Shah Commission report focuses on the number of mining leases (operational and non operational), condonation of delay, illegalities in issuing environment clearances and other permissions under various acts, mining in forest areas, encroachments, etc.
The report had also castigated State and Central government authorities for allowing and shielding illegalities in the mining sector.
Further, Khandeparkar said that a notice would be issued for the public asking them to come forward with any information regarding illegal mining.
He said that everyone, which includes all stakeholders including mine owners, would be heard during the course of the investigation by the committee.
Khandeparkar said that the first meeting of the committee is yet to be held as they are waiting for the infrastructure to be ready. He said that there is no deadline set for submitting the final report to the government.
As per the notification issued by the government in December, 2012, the committee has been given a year to submit its report.
Admissions to colleges begin; CET on May 8, 9TEAM HERALD
PANJIM: Admissions to graduate courses for the new academic year, opened on Monday at various colleges, with some witnessing a rush for application forms even as many students from the Science stream are busy preparing for the Goa Common Entrance Test slated for May 8 and 9.
The non professional colleges offer undergraduate programmes in Science, Arts, Commerce, management and computer applications.
Often students have to travel long distances to avail college education since colleges are few and mainly located in the towns.
Speaking to Herald, Fr Walter de Sa, the principal of St Xavier’s College in Mapusa said that given that the results are just out, and the NEET-UG and the GCET are yet to be held the rush for admissions at colleges is less.
“Some students are yet to collect their results and leaving certificates from their higher secondary schools, so it will take some time,” he told Herald.
The NEET-UG, which is the National Common Entrance Test for entry into the Medical and Dental Colleges across the country, was held on Sunday May 5, in Goa as in the rest of the country.
The Goa Common Entrance Test (GCET) 2013 will be held on May 8 and 9. Besides pure science courses such as chemistry, applied sciences such as microbiology, biotechnology and computer science that are offered by colleges too have a high demand and are the second option for those whom the first choice is a professional degree. In other fields, however, especially that of Arts subjects like psychology, languages, as well as commerce subjects find takers.
Fr de Sa admitted that the increase in the number of seats in professional courses such as engineering and medicine would have an effect on the number and quality of students who study in the non-professional colleges.
“Yes, it will affect the overall quality and numbers,” Fr de Sa said.
Admissions to colleges will continue over the summer with colleges even admitting students who have to answer their supplementary examinations scheduled on June 10 and 11.
There is neck and neck competition for courses especially those that have limited number of seats which get exhausted quickly and those who do not make the grade are left disappointed.
Beef traders petition MLAsMARGAO: With the government not taking cognizance of their demands, aggrieved beef traders has now knocked the doors of Salcete MLAs supporting the Manohar Parrikar dispensation to work out a solution to the slaughtering of animals at the Goa Meat Complex.
Meat traders are believed to have called on Fisheries Minister, Avertano Furtado, Benaulim MLA Caitu Silva Mickky Pacheco and conveyed their sentiment on the resumption of animal slaughter at the complex. They are also believed to have met Congress MLA Reginaldo Lourenco, Independent MLA Vijai Sardessai and others.
When contacted, Fisheries Minister Avertano Furtado said since he is presently out of station, he has requested Benaulim MLA Caitu Silva to take a delegation of the meat traders to Chief Minister, with their grievances.
“Parrikar is returning to Goa on Tuesday and they will seek an appointment with him to resolve the issue”, Furtado said.
Treasurer of the Querashi meat traders Association of Goa, Sheikh Jabber Bepari said that the conditional order passed by the High Court last week has not helped to mitigate the hardships of the meat traders. “The High court has categorically said that no animal from outside the state of Goa shall be permitted to be slaughtered at the Goa Meat Complex. The order says that the competent authority shall ensure that the animal is from the state of Goa. This one condition will spell doom for our business since 95 per cent of our animal requirements was met from outside the state. There are hardly any animals available for slaughtering in Goa. This is a reality”, he said.
Bepari pointed out that if they cannot import animals for slaughtering in Goa as per the high court ban, the government should assume the responsibility of slaughtering the animals and supplying the meat requirements of the traders.
Beef shortage continues despite lifting of banTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: Even a week after the High Court lifted a ban on cattle slaughter at the Goa Meat Complex albeit with stringent conditions, there is no beef in the markets with traders complaining that as long as the ban on bringing in cattle from the neighbouring states for slaughter continues, beef will continue to be scarce.
The high price of fish in the market owing to scarce catch is ruining the merry holiday season and the NRI reunions.
Beef stalls at the Mapusa as well as Panjim markets were shut for the third consecutive week following the ban.
“We are forced to eat bland veg food, fish is expensive, beef is unavailable and how much of the insipid steroid injected chicken can we eat,” Fatima de Souza a housewife said speaking to Herald.
Meanwhile, the Beef Traders Association has filed an intervention petition in the High Court and is expected to come up for hearing on Tuesday, along with the main application.
Traders are asking that they be allowed to purchase meat from outside the state.
Speaking to Herald, Lyndon Monteiro the chairman of the Goa Meat Complex said that there are court guidelines which he was strictly following.
He admitted that the meat traders were not bringing animals to be slaughtered at the Complex, possibly due to the unavailability of animals or because of the fear amongst the traders owing to the ongoing situation.
Meanwhile fish prices continued to remain high with the trawler owners attributing it to the scarce catch as well as unavailability of the ‘good variety fish’ in the sea.
CSJP: HC verdict is infringement of minorities’ religious rightsTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: The Council for Social Justice and Peace, has meanwhile in a statement hit out at the government for failing to act with a sense of fairness over the whole shortage of beef issue.
“The interim order of the High Court of Bombay in Goa virtually prohibits the slaughter of bulls and promotes import of beef from across the State’s borders crippling the functioning of the Goa Meat Complex having wide repercussions on the livelihood of the meat traders and the large number of consumers both of whom belong to the minority community. This verdict is an infringement on the religious rights of the minorities in Goa,” CSJP executive secretary Fr Savio Fernandes said in a statement adding that he questioned the blatant silence of the legislators on this issue of importance to the minority communities.
“The CSJP views with disappointment the failure of the government to intervene and act with a sense of fairness and justice towards the meat traders and those who consume beef as an essential part of their diet. The least that the Government of Goa could have done is to pursue the matter with urgency to find an acceptable solution,” Fr Savio said.
“We demand that the Chief Minister meet afflicted groups as a matter of urgency and demonstrate that he truly means to be equitable to all religious communities,” the CSJP said adding that the government should avoid half-measures and that the solution must be comprehensive and long term.
The CSJP also called on the chairman of the Goa Meat Complex Lyndon Monteiro and were appraised of the situation facing the state’s sole legal abattoir.
5th May 2013
NH-4A expansion: Rector says Church kept in dark
Says venture undertaken to benefit building lobbyTEAM HERALD
OLD GOA: Claiming that church authorities and locals have been kept in the dark over the proposed NH-4A expansion work, the rector of Bom Jesus Basilica has alleged that the expansion work could end up benefiting the real estate lobby, as attempts are being made to clear the jungles on both sides of the Old Goa-Kadamba highway.
He was reacting to comments from PWD Minister Sudhin Dhavlikar, who had recently informed that the State government was in the process of preparing a detailed project report on the widening of the Old Goa-Panjim road, with a dedicated lane for two wheelers.
Speaking to Herald, Rector of Bom Jesus Basilica, Fr Savio Baretto, voiced concern over the “secrecy” over the issue of the NH4A highway expansion project.
“Till date, no one knows the plans of the State government on the NH4A highway expansion project. Since Old Goa has world heritage sites, there are certain rules which the State government has to follow, since one cannot have a highway within 300 meters of the world heritage monument,” he said.
“Presently, areas which are not accessible, especially the jungles along the Old Goa-Kadamba highway, are being opened up for the builders on the pretext of the highway expansion. I feel that it is the building lobby which is interested in this highway, so that the whole area along the Kadamba plateau in Old Goa can be an urban paradise.”
“We need to know what is going on and hence, the State government should put up complete information on the internet, conduct meetings with locals and take all stakeholders, including the panchayat, the church, the ASI and the people, into confidence in this regard,” Fr Barreto added.
State advertises for posts of CIC, SIC for third timeTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: The State government has advertised the posts of Chief Information Commissioner and State Information Commissioner for the third time. Both the posts are vacant over a year, after the expiry of the tenure of the previous officials.
The advertisement comes as RTI activists have pressurised the government to start the process of appointing a commissioner and chief commissioner.
While a resolution was passed at the first Rural All Goa RTI Convention held at Madkai on April 21, 2013 demanding “that the Goa Government immediately appoint the Goa State Chief Information Commissioner and State Information Commissioner in a very transparent manner and in accordance with law”, National RTI Awardee, Rajan Ghate threatened to go on hunger strike if the government did not set the process in motion within 15 days.
The advertisement issued in some local dailies calls for application from eligible persons before May 25.
“The Chief Information Commissioner and the State Information Commissioner shall be a person of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in law, science and technology, social service, management, journalism, mass media or administration and governance,” the ad reads.
The government had advertised the post twice before ~on April 17, 2012 for the post of State Information Commissioner and on August 09, 2012 for the post of Chief Information Commissioner.
Over 50 applications were received from college lecturers, ex government employees, current senior government officials former IAS officers and the like.
However none of them were chosen. Political parties led by the Nationalist Congress Party’s Trajano D’Mello had termed the delay in appointing the post as a means of stifling flow of information.
Among the applicants were Prabhakar Timble, former State Election Commissioner, Prakash Dessai, former chairman of the Goa Public Service Commission, Dr M Pinheiro Principal of Salgaocar College of Law and others.
K’taka polls: All eyes on AsnotikarTEAM HERALD
CANACONA: As Karnataka goes to polls on Sunday, all eyes are on whether Anand Asnotikar, the strongman of Uttar Kannada, will succeed in retaining the Karwar Assembly segment.
Asnotikar received a major boost from across the border, with politicians from Goa, including Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, rallying around Asnotikar and canvassing extensively for him in the run-up to the Sunday polls.
Asnotikar’s strong links to local leaders in South Goa ~ he is the son-in-law of former sports minister late Sanjay Bandekar ~ have been further strengthened after he extended his business activities along Goa’s coast.
However, the vast area of the Karwar Assembly segment, which extends beyond Ankola, has made it difficult for Asnotikar to interact with all party workers.
“It’s been 15 days since we have been canvassing in Karwar, however, we haven’t met or seen our candidate (Asnotikar) even once so far,” remarked a BJP worker from Canacona, who has been camping at Karwar for poll related work.
While both Parrikar and Sports Minister Ramesh Tawadkar addressed meetings in Karwar to mobilize support for Asnotikar, it remains to be seen if Goan leaders and party workers will help Asnotikar at the polls.
Asnotikar will battle it out with Congress rebel candidate Satish Sail, who is contesting as an independent, and the Congress candidate, Ramanand Naik.
Cess on dry waste to generate revenueTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: By amending Section 7 of the Goa Non Biodegradable Garbage (control) Act the government seeks to levy a cess at such rates that are to be determined by the government from time to time by notification in the officials gazette not exceeding 2 % of the sale price as defined in clause of section 2 of the Goa Value added Tax Act of such items marketed in non biodegradable packaging material including bottles and containers as may be mentioned in such a notification.
The government says it will be utilized for implementation of solid waste management schemes including segregation, collection, safe disposal and recycling of non-bio degradable waste material and also to promote the sale and use of bio-degradable packaging material, bags and containers.
Though no financial implications that will arise from the bill, it will generate additional revenue to the government by way of cess.
BJP protests Sarabjit’s deathTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Goa Unit held a demonstration at the ferry point, Panjim, to protest the death of Indian death row prisoner Sarabjit Singh in Pakistan. The party blamed what they called ‘weak’ foreign policy and ‘diplomatic failure’ of the United Progressive Alliance in the case.
BJP workers, MLAs, office bearers, including Narendra Sawaikar, Kiran Kandolkar, Pramod Sawant and others, shouted slogans against the UPA government and the Pakistani establishment. To register their anger, the workers burnt an effigy of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.
Addressing the crowd, BJP vice president Sawaikar said that Congress-led UPA government has tarnished the image of India at the international fora and has sent the message that India is a weak nation. “It has given a perception to the world that whatever is done against India, it will not even react.”
“But the perception needs to be changed. A strong signal needs to be sent to those nations such as Pakistan and China who are trying to intrude into our country’s space,” he said adding, ‘All efforts need to be made to bring BJP into power at the Center.’ MLA Kiran Kandolkar, condemning the death of Sarabjit, demanded that an international inquiry into the matter and stringent action be initiated against Pakistan.
He said that the Indian prisoner, who was wrongly charged as a terrorist, was killed as part of a conspiracy in which the Government of Pakistan was complicit.
The death row convict succumbed to injuries in a Pakistan hospital in the wee hours of Thursday, nearly a week after being brutally assaulted by inmates in a Lahore jail.
Assault case registeredTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: One Ashpak Ali from Caranzalem complained that two persons from St Cruz, Savio and Pitu, assaulted him with slaps on his face. Pitu even knifed him, injuring his left hand. A case under section 326 r/w 34 of the IPC has been registered.
KJBS memo over forest dept driveTEAM HERALD
CANACONA: The Kankon Jangal Bachao Samiti (KJBS) has requested the forest department to stop chopping down bushes in the name of afforestation but to preserve the forest cover in a sustainable manner.
The KJBS on Friday submitted a memorandum to Canacona MLA and Sports Minister Ramesh Tawadkar and Dy Conservator of Forests (South) Ramesh Gauns Dessai, criticising the drive initiated by the forest department in the forests of Canacona.
Targeting department officials for failing to apply a proper mind to the so-called afforestation drive, the KJBS alleged that the department’s annual drive was virtually destroying the biodiversity in forest areas.
“While bushes and other trees are considered unwanted by the forest department, they are the life-support of micro-biodiversity and are also very important as fuel for local residents,” states the memorandum.
The forest department’s drive to plant new saplings and fencing of areas with barbed areas, besides digging long deep trenches, has also come in for sharp criticism.
“The metal fencing and the long deep trenches have been a cause of concern for wild animals, sometimes causing their deaths, besides restricting their freedom of movement,” stated the memorandum.
“The cutting of bushes will only destroy the habitat of creatures leading to their extinction. It further disturbs the food chain of dependant animals forcing them either to migrate or die of starvation.”
The samiti also stated that many local communities use these plants as a rich source of medicine.
GMC fire: Agency was appointed for fire auditTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: Barely a week before the fire actually broke out, the Goa Medical College had appointed an agency to audit fire safety and check out the entire building and file a report.
Speaking to Herald, Director of Administration of the Goa Medical College and hospital Swapnil Naik said that they have been pursuing the matter with the GMC for a long time.
“The agency will basically be checking the buildings and filing a report. It’s like an audit,” Naik said adding that the job was given to the agency before the fire could actually break out.
When asked about the condition of some of the old blocks including that of the Out-Patient Department Block as also the Operation Theatre block, Naik said that priority is being given to the stipulations by the Medical Council of India which was one of the conditions for increasing the number of seats.
“This year the priority is given (to carry out work) to meet the increase of seats. That includes an auditorium block, new lecture halls, etc. Next year we have to fulfil the criteria,” Naik said.
He said that the auditorium and lecture hall block will be coming up in the place of the old morgue, which will give way to the new morgue that is expected to be inaugurated within the next 15 days.
MP blames UPA for illegal mining
Says, whoever supported it should be punishedTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: In a rather unexpected development, Congress Member of Parliament (MP) Francisco Sardinha blamed the Congress-led UPA government for illegal mining in Goa, leading many to question whether this was an implosion as a result of mining.
He also blamed the State government for the mess and demanded that all those involved, irrespective of what position they are holding, be punished for allowing and shielding illegal mining.
“Both the authorities… both state and central, who were involved… who closed their eyes and allowed illegal mining….they should be punished… Not only State but also Centre,” Sardinha said.
Justice M B Shah Commission in its report on illegal mining in Goa has pointed out to illegalities and irregularities by the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF), Union Mines Ministry as well as the state government for allowing and failing to act against mushrooming illegal mining in Goa between 2006 and 2011.
Without targeting at anyone in particular, Sardinha said, “The mess in the mining sector is only because of a few people.” Quoting Mahatma Gandhi on greed, he added, “Whoever is directly responsible for allowing illegalities in the mining sector, should be punished”.
He was responding to the question on whether former Mines Minister (Digambar Kamat) who is been held responsible Shah Commission should be punished. “We elected members are punished by people every five years, if found to be involved in wrong doings,” Sardinha said later, admitting that the mess created in the mining sector was one of the reasons for Congress’ defeat in the March 2012 polls.
The Congress leader said that people are been made to suffer for no fault of theirs. Mine owners have made enough money for their survival, he said. “They have worked hard and made money. As far as it’s legal we have no problem. It’s their legal money,” he stated.
A combative Sardinha also castigated the state government, saying ‘its’ been a year now but government has failed to address the issue (of mining). By now they should have acted’. He also showed displeasure over the way the government claimed that the scam is only Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000 crore and not Rs 35,000 crore as reported by the Shah Commission.
Sardinha wanted the State government to appoint a good counsel to argue the matter of legal mining in the Supreme Court, saying that the state cannot survive without legal mining. He said that Members of Parliament need to put in efforts to convince the Centre to immediately resume legal mining.
The Congress leader along with mining stakeholders such as truck owners, barge owners and others dependent on the activity would next week petition Central authorities to start legal mining at the earliest.
They are set to meet Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, MoEF Minister Jayanti Natrajan, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and others.
BJP responsible for closure of mining: GPCCPANJIM: Saying that he would speak to Sardinha as to whether he had really made this statement to the press today, GPCC president Subash Shirodkar maintained, “In fact, it is the existing BJP government which is responsible for the closure of mining in the State and not the Congress-led government at the Centre nor the previous Congress government in Goa.”
Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco, CLP spokesman, said, “If at all he has made such a statement, it is highly unacceptable.” He added that it is odd for such a senior person, who has benefited so much from the party, to make such utterances.
Rawanfond family knocks Parsekar’s doors for justiceTEAM HERALD
MARGAO: A family from Rawanfond-Margao has knocked the doors of Health Minister Laxmikant Parsekar for justice and to initiate stringent action against the concerned Hospicio doctors for alleged negligence.
In her representation, Natty Gomes drew attention of the Health Minister to the manner in which Hospicio doctors attended and treated her mother Maria after she met with an accident at Rawanfond on April 26 evening.
“She sustained extensive degloving injuries in her right leg and was taken to Hospicio casualty at around 5 pm. The degloving injury was sutured by a medical officer without cleaning the wound and leaving no drain for the excess blood”, Natty alleged.
Moreover, she pointed out that the suturing should have been conducted in the operation theatre and not in the casualty ward and it ought to have been performed by a senior orthopaedic surgeon. “When we inquired with the medical officer who sutured the wound, he said he had intimated the senior orthopaedic surgeon on the mobile phone, who allegedly opined that his presence was not required”, she recalled.
She told the minister that the family was forced to admit the victim in a private hospital, where they were informed that her leg could be amputated because of the infection.
My mother sustained extensive degloving injuries in her right leg and was taken to Hospicio casualty at around 5 pm. The degloving injury was sutured by a medical officer without cleaning the wound and leaving no drain for the excess blood, Natty alleged
Eradicate rights violations: ArlekarTEAM HERALD
MARGAO: Asserting that Goa is not an exception to rampant violation of human rights across the country, Goa Legislative Assembly Speaker Rajendra Arlekar on Saturday called upon human rights organization for coordinated efforts to eradicate human right violations from the State.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Goa unit of International Human Rights Association (IHRA) at the Black Box, Ravindra Bhavan here this evening, Arlekar said that human rights violations may not be restricted to Karnataka and Bihar, but Goa may be ahead of even Bihar in human rights violations.
“Goa might have achieved progress during the last 50 years, but the State has also witnessed a rise in corruption and human right violations during the same period. We see serious cases of human rights violations in the State almost everyday. Is our bureaucracy not ahead of other States in human right violations”, he questioned.
Reminding the bureaucracy that governance is a continuous process, he said that justice ought to be delivered to the common man by the bureaucracy instead of passing the buck.
Saying there may be undertrials in Goa awaiting trial, the Speaker demanded to know as to who would protect their rights and bring the Constitutional provisions to their doorsteps.
Referring to the Right to Information Act, Arlekar said the RTI should be used for the betterment of the society.
President of Human Rights Protection Foundation Dr Ravindra Shanbhag and Secretary, IHRA Adv Anjeet Raj also spoke.
The Goa unit of the IHRA is headed by social activist Navnath Khandeparkar.
Goans for Dabolim Only to hold meets in SalceteTEAM HERALD
MARAGO: More than a fortnight after it was launched to fight scrapping of the proposed Mopa airport, Goans for Dabolim Only is bracing up to take the movement across Salcete villages and down South Goa.
Beginning from Sunday, the organization will hold around 17 meetings in the next 10 days, culminating in a massive meeting at the historic Lohia Maidan on May 15.
In Salcete, meetings are planned in the villages of Curtorim, Nuvem, Benaulim, Assolna, Cuncolim, Chinchinim, Loutolim, Verna, Betalbatim, Sao Jose de Areal, Cavelossim, Navelim and Raia. Meetings will also be held at Cortalim, Vasco, Quepem and Canacona during the next 10 days.
Goans for Dabolim Only had its first meeting at Cansaulim earlier this week, setting the stage for a sustained movement against the proposed airport at Mopa.
At the meeting, Convenor Fr Eremito Rebello had dared both BJP and Congress, besides Chief Minister, Manohar Parrikar for an open debate on the sustainability of two airports in Goa. He has conveyed a message loud and clear to the rulers that experts have ruled out the sustainability of the two airports, while demanding scrapping of the proposed Mopa airport.
Incidentally, at the Cansaulim meeting, the president of the Goenchea Ramponkarancho Ekvott, Agnelo Rodrigues thundered that it is a lie that late Matanhy Saldanha had supported Mopa airport. “Matanhy had submitted a charter of demands to Parrikar before joining the BJP. One of the demands was the scrapping of the Mopa airport”, he asserted.
Beginning from Monday, the organization will hold around 17 meetings in the next 10 days, culminating in a massive meeting at Lohia Maidan on May 15. In Salcete, meetings are planned in Curtorim, Nuvem, Benaulim, Assolna, Cuncolim, Chinchinim, Loutolim, Verna, Betalbatim, Sao Jose de Areal, Cavelossim, Navelim and Raia
Organic waste converter inaugurated at MapusaTEAM HERALD
PORVORIM: Deputy Chief Minister Francis D’Souza has said about 1,600 kg of wet garbage generated in the fish market and Morod area will be treated at the Organic Waste Converter in Mapusa Municipal Council (MMC) market and the manure would by sold by MMC.
He was speaking after inaugurating the Organic Waste Converter on Friday, which has been installed at a cost of Rs 40 lakh. He added that a second converter of a similar capacity will be installed in the market sub-yard to treat the wet garbage of that area.
Stating that there has been a good demand for used plastic material, D’Souza said: “Some companies have shown interest in the purchase of used plastic material.”
Besides, MMC is also planning to set up a plant which can generate waste plastic into diesel.”
MMC Chairperson Sudhir Kandolkar stated that MMC is committed to resolve the garbage problem in Mapusa.
“The Organic Waste Converter installed in the fish market is a first step in this direction. MMC proposes to install three such converters in Mapusa. The MMC has acquired 30,000 sq mtrs of land at Cuchelim to set up a garbage treatment plant. We have released a tender for the construction of a compound wall in this area,” informed Kandolkar.
Balli case adjourned to May 21TEAM HERALD
MARGAO: Chairman of Goa Law Commission Narendra Sawaikar and UTAA leaders on Saturday made their presence felt in the South Goa Sessions Court on Saturday in connection with the chargehseet filed against them by the CBI for damaging railway and public property on the day of the UTAA agitation at Balli on May 25, 2011.
The matter, however, was adjourned to May 21 for appearance of all the 21 accused persons in the court of Additional Sessions Judge Vijaya Pol.
UTAA President Prakash Velip and former Sanguem MLA Meng Gaonkar were amongst the UTAA leaders who were present in the courtroom today. Sports Minister, Ramesh Tawadkar, however, was conspicuous by his absence.
The case was committed to the Sessions Court by Judicial Magistrate First Class, Quepem on grounds that a prima facie case was made out against the 21 accused by the CBI under Section 4 of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, The CBI has also charged them under Sections 143, 147, 148, 341, 435, 188, 332, 324 read with Section 149 of the IPC.
It was the case of the CBI that the accused persons blocked and damaged railway property on the day of the UTAA agitation on May 25 in support of the charter of demands. Besides, the CBI also charged them for burning and damaging around 18 government vehicles on the same day.
Colva Beach brings no cheer for visitors
Children’s Park in shambles. Women sound bitter over absence of changing rooms and lack of toilet facilitiesTEAM HERALD
MARGAO: It is summer time and what better way for Shastikars to beat the summer heat than to head to Colva beach. The elderly, in particular, do not miss a sea water bath as they believe that its medicinal properties offer cure for joint pains.
Sadly, Colva beach appears to be neglected, with locals complaining of absence of bare minimum facilities, including sanitation, changing rooms, security et al. In fact, children accompanying parents for the picnic have nothing to cheer about as the Children’s Park lies in shambles since the last two years.
Women sounded bitter over the absence of changing rooms and lack of toilet facilities. In the absence of mobile toilets, women say they are forced to track nearly 300 metres to answer nature’s call. Repeated requests to the Tourism Department to install mobile toilets have fallen on deaf ears.
Says Anita Pereira: “I have been visiting Colva Beach for the last 15-20 years during summer time. A sea bath gives a relief from joint pains. But, we are sad that the government has till date not installed a single changing room at the Colva Beach for the benefit of women”.
Another woman, Zena D’Costa echoed similar sentiments. She said that the absence of any provision for mobile toilets and changing rooms put women in great hardships.
The Children’s Park overlooking the beach also lies in a neglected State. The play items installed at the park are craving for attention, with none of them in working condition. The benches installed in the park are either awaiting repairs or replacement.
That’s not all. It is months now since the retaining wall of the creek running parallel to the Children’s Park had collapsed, but is still awaiting repairs.
On the illumination front, the less said, the better. Colva Beach plays host to two high mast lamps and two four arm lamps, but all the lamps intended to illuminate the beach are in non-working condition. The power cable of a four-arm lamp was used for drying of clothes. Solar lamps installed all across the Children’s Park are damaged and non-functioning for want f maintenance, facilitating anti-social activity in the park after sunset.
Says Colva Civic and Consumer Forum activist, Alexander D’Souza: “No one seems bothered to stem the rot at Colva Beach. Women are the worst hit in the absence of changing rooms and toilets. We had asked for five mobile toilets at the beach, but in vain. Repeated request to spruce up the children’s park has fallen on deaf ears”.
IRB men play truant over patrollingMARGAO: Though the government has boasted deploying IRB personnel along the beach belt, their presence is hardly seen around.
When a Herald team visited Colva around Saturday noon, the IRB personnel were found holed up inside the life guard watch tower.
It was only after some time that the personnel descended from the watch tower and went about beach patrolling.
Tourists carrying liquor bottles on the beach is a common phenomenon on Colva Beach, and the police presence has failed to contain the menace, local says
On the contrary, the men-in-uniform are accused by the local of turning a blind eye to the illegal activities, including the presence of hawkers, for a consideration.
A police constable has even earned the notoriety for collecting haftas from law violators, including smokers in public places, besides minor traffic violations.
Colva police station short-staffedMARGAO: Colva Police Station ~ which has jurisdiction over the Salcete’s entire coastal belt, spanning from Cavelossim to Majorda ~ has got a new station in-charge, PI Uttam Raut Dessai.
But, a change in guard brings no good news for the men-in-uniform attached to this coastal police station. It may sound strange, that Colva police has only one police sub-inspector, with the department not filling up the vacancies for months now.
“One PI and a PSI cannot run a police station whose jurisdiction extends to the entire coastal belt”, rued a police official. The police also face a shortage of personnel, including head constables and constables for quite some time. Chief Minister, Manohar Parrikar’s assurance to Betalbatim villagers to beef up patrolling along Salcete coastal belt following the attack on two women has not changed the ground reality till date. Police sources say there are no adequate cops at the station to attend to matters, leave alone deploying more cops for patrolling duties.
3rd May 2013
Margao market clean-up drive faces resistanceTEAM HERALD
MARGAO: Margao’s SGPDA market witnessed uproar on Thursday morning after the Green Goa Works (GGW) went about its drive to clean up the market from encroachments.
Fruit and vegetable vendors bitterly protested over the action, even as they demanded similar action against encroachments and illegal vending in the wholesale fish market and the Margao municipal markets.
Green Goa Work began its drive in the SGPDA market this morning as part of PDA’s market re-orientation plan, but the exercise encountered resistance from vendors after their goods, beyond the white line were lifted away by a Margao Municipal anti-encroachment squad.
The situation triggered uproar from the vendors who later called on the SGPDA Member Secretary Rajesh Naik to lodge their protest over the drive. The vendors entered into heated exchanges with MMC Market Inspector Mohan Arlekar demanding his locus standi in initiating action in the PDA market when their jurisdiction is restricted to the municipal markets. Arlekar defended his action saying that the PDA had requisitioned the anti-encroachment squad via a written order.
Tempers finally cooled down after the meeting with the SGPDA member secretary when the vendors agreed to enforce the white line. They, however, reiterate their demand that the authorities clean up encroachments in the other markets as well.
Vegetable vendor Francisco Dias objected to the drive by the GGW, demanding to know why similar exercise is not undertaken in the wholesale fish market. “SGPDA vendors are suffering because of illegal vending in the wholesale fish market and the municipal markets. We want similar action against the wholesale fish market as well”, he said.
SGPDA member secretary Rajesh Naik said the PDA has engaged Green Goa works to put the market in order. He said the exercise is being carried out as per the high court directions along with the Margao Municipality.
Meanwhile Green Goa works Convenor Claude Alvares told Herald that the situation returned to normal after initial protests by the vendors.
He said the Green Goa works has a clear directions to ensure environmental cleanliness and to make it the best market in Goa.
On the supply of drinking water to the market, Alvares said water will be supplied to the market from Friday. “The PDA has deposited an amount of Rs one lakh as part payment to the Rs four lakh outstanding amount”, he said.
He said the SGPDA market should see a turn around hopefully by the first week of June.
Ponda civic polls: samiti declares candidatesTEAM HERALD
BORIM: Assuring people of Ponda that they will force the candidates supported by them to resign if found guilty in any corruption case, Ponda Vikas Samiti (PVS) declared 13 candidates for Ponda Municipal Council (PMC) election on May 12.
Addressing media, PVS President Ram Kunkolienkar claimed that PVS is non-political organization, but to give clean and transparent administration, they have decided to choose some good candidates. PVS also released its manifesto.
When asked how they can claim their organisation as non-political, as they have selected candidates to contest the PMC election, Kunkolienkar reiterated that it’s a non-political organisation and for the sake of Ponda city, they leaped into selection process.
“We don’t have political strength, but we believe in people’ support and they will surely help PVS,” he added.
The selected candidates are Sanjay Naik (Ward 1), Saharsha Naik (Ward 2), Yatish Sawkar (Ward 3), Roy Naik (Ward 4), Lalan Naik (Ward 5), Damodar Naik (Ward 6), Dilip Naik (Ward 7), Nilesh Subrai (Ward 9), Kishore Naik (Ward 10), Geeta Sirsat (Ward 11), Francis Fernando (Ward 12), Subhash Sirsat (Ward 13) and Arti Mundye (Ward 14). PVS is yet to finalise candidate from Ward 8.
Indian cinema centenary celebration at KA todayTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: As Indian cinema is celebrating its centenary celebration on May 3, upcoming child artist of Goa, Akshada Bandekar will pay her tribute to all the female singers of Bollywood right from 1920s to the present era, featuring Surraiya to Shreya Ghoshal.
The show will be a colourful event and first of its kind held at Dinanath Mangueshkar auditorium, Kala Academy on May 3 from 6:30pm onwards.
Bollywood star singer Hema Sardesai will be the guest of honour.
The show will be open to all and is supported by Department of Art and Culture and Kala Academy and co-sponsored by State Bank of India and Radio Partner 92.7 Big FM.
State says no to Bimbel, Grande Island for NavyTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: The State government has rejected the proposal made by the Indian Navy for acquisition of land at Bimbel and the Grande Island, Revenue Minister Francis D’Souza informed the State Legislative Assembly on Thursday.
The minister said that there was a proposal from the naval authorities to acquire the Grande island and land at Bimbel beach owing to the threat to aviation from terrorists. “But both the proposals have been rejected,” he said.
The Deputy Chief Minister was replying to the calling attention motion moved by Congress MLA Mauvin Godinho who pointed out that the villagers of Chicolna-Bogmalo are been denied access to Grande Island by the Navy, to have their annual litany at the Cross located on the island.
He said that the island is also been used by traditional fishermen to rest, during their fishing expedition. It is also used by fishermen to take refuge when the weather is rough. Godinho said that naval authorities are asking for permissions to have access to the island.
While clarifying the defence forces are outside the purview of the State government, D’Souza assured the House that they would resolve the issue in consultation with the Navy.
“Armed forces have their own security concerns, where we have no control. But will call them for a meeting and work out a solution,” he said.
D’Souza said that government is already seized of the matter and Collector South is inquiring into the issue, whereby decision will be taken in larger interest of the state, wherein the safety and sentiments of the locals would be taken into consideration.
The Deputy Chief Minister said that naval base is occupying one part of Island having an area of 1.36 lakh sq mtrs of village Sao Jorge Island, where the Cross is located.
He said that on inquiry with commanding officer, it was informed that the permission is insisted upon by the Navy in view of security.
“It was denied by Navy that the authorities are harassing the local people. They said that the permissions are being granted as and when locals approach them to visit the island,” D’Souza said.
Godinho, not very satisfied with the answer said, that access is being denied on government as well as private land, which needs to be stopped immediately.
According to records, state government owns land of 2.78 lakh sqm and there is a private property of 5.28 lakh sqm on the island.
CM urged to save Fatorda fieldsTEAM HERALD
MARGAO: Fatorda MLA Vijai Sardessai’s dream Fatorda Lake project has once again come in for strong opposition from the farmers and local citizens as they made an impassioned plea to Chief Minister, Manohar Parrikar to save their fields and promote agricultural activities.
The opposition was conveyed to the government via a memorandum submitted to the office of district Collector, N D Agrawal this morning.
Activist Laurel Abranches said the proposed lake project would spell doom for the farmers who have been cultivating their ancestral fields for generations now.
“Instead of converting the fields into a lake for the tourists, the government should provide all out support for the farmers by way of fertilizers, seeds and machinery”, he demanded.
In the memorandum, the farmers contended that they will loose their livelihood and will be left high and dry without any income and resources to sustain if the Fatorda lake project is constructed over their fields. “Secondly, since this will be an artificial lake, the government will have to unnecessarily shell out crores of rupees from the tax payers money to make the project a reality”, the farmers said.
The farmers have also called upon the Chief Minister to investigate and punish the persons who have deleted the names of their ancestors from the Comunidade documents, with a plea to restore their names back on the documents.
Both sides of ICGS Vaibhav were damaged: Boat owners panelTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: Vice-President of Betul Boat Owners Association Thomas Rodrigues said Thursday that contrary to claims by the Indian Coast Guard that its vessel ICGS Vaibhav had not been damaged in the collision with the trawler off the Canacona coast, that led to the loss of six lives, he categorically stated, “the vessel is damaged on both sides”.
Speaking to Herald, Rodrigues questioned, “If the ship had brushed the trawler on one side, how is the Coast Guard vessel damaged on both sides? The trawler was hit in the middle and ripped into two. The hole in the trawler was made by the Coast Guard vessel. As a result she sank within five to ten minutes after the hit. This also gave them enough time to make a distress call.”
Narrating the incident which took place on April, 26 at around 5 am, Rodrigues said “Some of the crew was saved because they had floaters, while the others who could manage wore life jackets.”
Every vessel is equipped with various wireless channels. These channels can be used to contact other vessels while at sea. Mostly trawlers are connected to channel 71. In case of any distress, they tune to this channel which connects to the nearest vessel which can move towards the distressed vessel. Also every trawler is fitted with the Global Positioning System (GPS), which allows the other vessels to find exactly where the distress call came from.
“When Sea Messiah was sinking, the tandel sent out the distress call on channel 71. As he was nervous he did not tell the GPS point. All he said was ‘Save us, save us.’ It was around that time when ‘Yana Marine’ Panjim based trawler was entering Goa from Karwar which saved the 23 fishermen, who were in the sea for around five hours,” he says.
Rodrigues along with Sea Messiah owner, Martin Fernandes, asserted that when the ship was anchored, the lights were very much switched on as they are solar lights and once it gets dark the lights switch on.
“Even if the lights were off, the ICGS Vaibhav is equipped with state- of- the-art- technology which can detect any boat with or without light at a distance of 60 kms. However the lights of Sea Messiah were switched on,” says Rodrigues, who was seconded by Fernandes.
Five bodies of the crew were found while one is still untraceable. The site of the bodies which were found is disturbing, he says. Some families of the deceased are in Goa to perform the last rites, while some are yet to come.
“We hope the families as well as the trawler owner get compensated for the loss incurred,” says Rodrigues.
The surviving fishermen are busy attending to the families of the deceased some are at the post-mortem site, while some are called for the investigation by Yellow Gate Police officials. We are giving our full cooperation to the Coast Guard as well as the Department of Fisheries, said Rodrigues.
Coast Guard reacts...TEAM HERALD
PANJIM: The Coast Guard, Thursday said the PRO had merely detailed (to Herald) on Wednesday the claims initially made by those on board the Offshore Fast Patrol vessel ICGS Vaibhav and had added that the investigation is in progress to reveal the actual findings.
"The statement of the PRO in this regard was, therefore, not the final position of the Coast Guard as investigations are still in progress," a press statement said, adding that the Coast Guard condones the loss of life in the tragic incident and is very serious about the probe being conducted.
Minor girl kidnapped at ColvaTEAM HERALD
MARGAO: Gurappa Chavan, a resident of Colva and a native of Gadag, Karnataka has filed a complaint with Colva police that her minor daughter has been kidnapped by unknown person on April 30 at 7.30 pm when she was at home.
The minor girl is whitish in complexion, round faced, black eyes, 5.4 feet height, medium build, hair black and has a black mole on right hand and upper lip.
The girl speaks Lamani, Konkani and was last wearing blue and chocolate colour churidar silver ankle and golden earring.
PSI Tulshidas Naik of Colva police is conducting further investigation.
Belarusian complains of rape bidTEAM HERALD
MARGAO: A 26-year-old woman tourist from Belarus has complained to the Colva police that two persons outraged her modesty and made an abortive bid to commit rape before robbing her of her valuables at Sernabatim beach on late Tuesday night.
Acting on the compliant, the Colva police registered an offence under section 376-D read with 511 and section 394 IPC against two unknown persons.
The incident occurred on late April 30 night when the complainant, who is putting up at a hotel at Sernabatim, headed to the beach between 11.30 pm to 11.45 pm.
Two unknown persons are believed to have approached her and after brief discussions, one of them suddenly pulled her to a canoe anchored on the beach, while the other held her mouth.
The sturdy built person tried to remove her clothes and was about to commit rape on the victim, but they fled from the scene leaving the victim alone after noticing some movement.
However, before making good their escape under the cover of darkness, the duo lifted away the victim’s bag containing Rs 600, 104 US dollars, some Bellarus rubbles and one camera all worth Rs 65,000.
Colva PI Nilesh Rane is investigating.
Surveyor to inspect GSL jetty worksTEAM HERALD
MARGAO: District Collector N D Agrawal on Thursday appointed a surveyor to check the ground reality in respect of the modernization projects and construction of a jetty undertaken by Goa Shipyard Limited in Vasco.
The decision was taken based after a meeting chaired by the district Collector and attended by representatives of Goa Shipyard Ltd and the people of Vollant Bounter in the district Collectorate here on Thursday.
The meeting was convened following instructions from the Chief Minister to the district collector after the issue came up in the Legislative Assembly earlier this week.
During the meeting, a delegation of the agitating residents drew attention of the Collector to the ongoing activities such as dredging, piling, blocking of traditional access of the fishermen by Goa Shipyard Ltd. They pointed out that the locals are being threatened by the officials on the ground they have trespassed into the area and are not allowed to anchor their fishing boats.
After hearing both the parties, the district collector said that he would appoint a surveyor in a day or two to check the ongoing activities, with a direction to submit the report at the earliest.
The second round of meeting is scheduled in the district collectorate on May 8 to review the situation and take a decision based on the surveyor’s report.
The issue over the expansion activities of Goa Shipyard and the construction of a jetty was raised in the Goa Legislative Assembly by Vasco MLA Carlos Almeida, who drew attention of the House to the fear and apprehensions of the people of Vollant Bounter. He had stated that the people are living in fear that they will be evicted from their houses by depriving them access to the public beach and carry out their day-to-day activities.
Gaondongrim mahajans reject mamlatdar’s listTEAM HERALD
CANACONA: As directed by the government, Canacona Mamlatdar Ravishekhar Nippanikar, has prepared and displayed the Mahajan’s list of the Shri Mallikarjun Devasthan, Gaondongrim.
According to sources, the list of Mahajans has been displayed at the Shri Mallikarjun Devasthan premises within the cut-off date set by the government and has called for objections.
However, the Mamlatdar is faced with complaints galore, further complicating the issue following strong protests and complaints with Mahajans claiming that the Mamlatdar-prepared list as “outdated” and that it also contains names of dead persons.
Sources informed that some Mahajans have refused to accept the Mamlatdar’s list of Mahajans of Shri Mallikarjun Devasthan, Gaondongrim, claiming that the list is outdated and it carries names of non-living persons.
Representing back to the Mamlatdar, about a dozen Mahajans claimed that he has not followed Article 23 of Devasthan Act and instead of preparing a revised 2012-13 list of Mahajans instead displayed an outdated list of 1985-86.
A copy of the objections is also marked to the Governor, CM, deputy chief minister and other authorities not to accept the Mamlatdar’s list and brought to their notice that conducting elections based on it will only worsen the legitimacy of the oldest temple in the taluka.
Seven bills passed, three privilege motions tabledTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: The Goa Assembly Speaker Rajendra Arlekar brought down the curtains on the long Assembly session that saw three privilege motions tabled and seven bills being passed on the last day.
One privilege motion was settled, the second was rejected and a third was sent to the privilege committee for examination.
The government also placed an action taken report on budget assurances before the House. This included the work order issued for phase II of the dental college at a cost of Rs 47 crore. On development plan for CCP the ATR says that a consultant has been appointed and the plan is being scrutinized.
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar also defended amendments made to VAT, saying that there was absolutely no chance of a price rise and, in fact, no taxes had gone up, but they had in fact “come down.”
He said that the only increase was in excise and this was basically to keep pace with the price of the alcohol, and gave an example of the rise of price of beer from Rs 30 years back to more than Rs 60 now.
He was particularly vociferous in defending his position viz a viz the rise in real estate prices, arguing that the prices of flats would instead come down and that “except for commercial complexes” price of housing has all been reduced.
“This government has given benefit to the people while taxing the rich a little,” he said asking, “If one is buying a Rs 5 crore bungalow then what is there to pay Rs 5 lakh to the government?”
Also, he reiterated, “I have not taxed those who are traveling by motorcycle.”
On the Public Services bill the chief minister said that it would take at least two months before the bill would become functional as there were rules and regulations which had to be drafted. “Don’t expect results tomorrow,” he told the House.
In the bill, authorities would also have to face a fine and disciplinary action if children, women or senior citizens are not protected in public places.
New degree college for Dharbandora: GaonkarTEAM HERALD
BORIM: Sanvordem MLA Ganesh Gaonkar on Wednesday announced state-of-the-art educational hub for higher learning at Dharbandora which will offer courses like BBA and BCom at affordable rate.
Addressing a press conference, Gaonkar said he himself had adopted ‘earn and learn’ mantra to pursue higher education, but he plans to give placements to Goan youth through the educational hub where job-oriented courses will be taught.
“To empower underprivileged students from rural and other areas, Shree Sateri Pissani Education Society is starting a new degree college Shri Gopal Gaonkar Memorial ‘Goa Multi-faculty College’, affiliated to Goa University,” informed Gaonkar.
Fresh tenders to revive IT HabitatTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: Goa’s attempts at making a late foray into becoming an IT destination may be realized with the government planning to refloat tenders for reviving the Rajiv Gandhi IT Habitat at Dona Paula plateau shortly, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told the House Thursday.
‘The tender process would begin from this month,” he said while replying during Question Hour.
Parrikar said that based on Central Government policy on Information Technology (IT), leading IT and electronic industries can be invited to set up their units at the revamped Rajiv Gandhi IT Habitat, to generate employment for Goan youth.
Altogether 2,85,296 sq mt of land at the Dona Paula plateau was earmarked for the IT Habitat and Rs 22.74 crore was spent out of the total money collected. The government had canceled the allotted plots, and refunded around Rs 140 crore to the companies which were allotted plots in 2006-07.
The ambitious project at Dona Paula was formally inaugurated by Congress President, Sonia Gandhi in 2006. Thereafter, due to violent protests, work was stopped in December 2007.
Porvorim MLA Rohan Khunte pointing to the answer provided to the Legislative Assembly said that while thousands of students pass out every year from the four engineering colleges of Goa, the job placement ratio is not even half. “There has been large scale unemployment and consequent migration of students in search of IT jobs outside the state,” he said.
Parrikar said in reply that non placement does not mean unemployment. “There are large number of people who opt for post graduation, some join their family business while some go for IIT,” he said.
According to the reply, State has four engineering colleges and around 2800 students passed from these four colleges over the last three years, while 1350 have been offered placements.
Will have no SEZs, declares ParrikarTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Thursday declared on the Floor of the House that Goa will not have Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and that several hundred hectares of land acquired for the 12 SEZs would be utilized only for industrial development.
The announcement came following a demand from Congress MLAs Alexio Reginaldo Lourenco and Mauvin Godinho, who sought to know the government stand on SEZs. The opposition leaders demanded that the SEZ land should not be given back to the promoters but instead should be utilized for industrial purposes.
While stating that the SEZ project was moved by erstwhile Congress government, which turned out to be a land scam, Parrikar said, “My government’s stand is clear. It will take back the land and will utilize it for industrial development.” The project was done in haste and fraudulently by the erstwhile government,” he alleged.
The Chief Minister, replying during the Question Hour, said that the SEZ matter is currently pending in the Supreme Court and government will fight the matter vigorously. “Though, we are clear on our stand, we cannot predict what and how the Supreme Court will decide on the matter,” he observed.
The question was tabled by Reginaldo, who sought to know the exact status of the SEZ projects and when the government is likely to file its affidavit in the matter.
Refuting the allegation, Industries Minister Mahadev Naik said, “No assurance has been given to promoters to settle the issue and no negotiations were held with them.”
He said that the government is in the process of finalizing the affidavit to be filed before the Apex Court. “I cannot disclose the affidavit content,” Naik said.
According to the reply, 38,40,886 sqm of land was allotted for theSEZs by GIDC.
Agitations had forced the state government to scrap the SEZs.
PWD engineer suspendedTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: A junior engineer from the PWD has been suspended by the government for allegedly engaging in irregularities, officials said today.
Vigilance Deputy Director A Rane told the media that a complaint was received against the JE and was examined by his department, which found that there was some irregularities in the tendering processing. So the government decided to place him under suspension.
According to officials, the investigation had found that that a work tender for the maintenance of water supply was released by the engineer which exceeded his financial powers.
The tender was not published in the newspapers and work was done by saying that there was an urgency under the short tender method.
They informed that that investigations had found that this was not the case and that the entire exercise was done in a fraudulent manner. So the engineer was placed under suspension. PWD officials confirmed the engineer’s suspension.
If Gadgil report followed, will have no funds for salaries: CMTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: The Goa government after partially objecting to Prof Madhav Gadgil committee report on the Western Ghats, Thursday claimed it will have no money in its treasury to pay salaries if all recommendations in the report are accepted.
“I was saying the other day that if we had to accept all the recommendations of Prof Gadgil committee report, then we will have no money to pay for salaries, even the salaries of Judges,” Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told the House on the concluding day of the Budget Session of the State Legislative Assembly Thursday.
Gadgil committee’s report had recommended measures for the protection of Western Ghats including suggestion that mining and other industrial activities in ecologically sensitive zones be banned.
Parrikar said the State government has already submitted its objection to the Ministry and he hopes it would be considered. “We are of the opinion that industries like small scale and micro industries can be allowed in the buffer zone of the Western Ghat,” he said while speaking on the resolution demanding special financial package from the Centre for the mining closure affected people in Goa.
As regards to the Ministry of Environment and Forests’ affidavit to the Supreme Court, about considering the area within 10 km of all national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in Goa as ecologically sensitive zones, the House expressed its total discontent.
While Leader of Opposition Pratapsing Rane questioned whether it was punishment for having preserved the ecology in Goa, Digambar Kamat said it was not ideal for the State.
BJP’s Pramod Sawant also rued saying if it was implemented, Goa will not have a single mine functioning.
Parrikar said the State government has sent its ‘area specific’ to the concerned authority in this regard. “The file must have moved today (Thursday), if not, I will personally see that it is dispatched by tomorrow (Friday),” he said adding that Goa has around 60 per cent green cover and if the new guidelines are in place, Goa will have only eight per cent for development.
“We have done better (increasing green cover, family planning, etc) that is why the apex court hits us bad, though it is not their intention. We should not permit indiscriminate slaughtering of green cover,” he said.
Nine HS schools excelTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: Nine Higher Secondary Schools have come out with flying colours in the Higher Secondary School Certificate Examination by recording a pass percentage of over 95% with two higher secondaries securing 100% pass percentage, according to information released by the Goa Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education.
Two schools ~ Kamaleshwar Shikshan Prasarak Sanstha's Higher Secondary School at Corgao Pernem and Damodar Higher Secondary School of Science recorded 100% pass percentage.
Shikshan Prasarak HSS offers education in Arts and Commerce streams and all 48 students from the science stream and 58 students from the commerce stream passed the exams. At Damodar HSS, Margao, all the 111 students who appeared in the science stream, passed.
Other colleges which secured 95% and above pass percentage include Carmel HSS Nuvem, Rosary HSS Navelim, Fr Agnel Multipurpose HSS Verna, Dnyanprasarak Mandal HSS Mulgao, Bicholim, Raghuvir and Premavati Salkar HSS Chorao, Mushtifund HSS and Mushtifund Aaryan HSS both in Panjim.
At the other end of the spectrum is St Xavier’s Academy, a school for the differently-abled in Old Goa, which unfortunately secured zero pass percentage as all of the five students who appeared from the Academy were marked ‘Needs Improvement’.
Jadeed HSS, Indira Nagar, Chimbel too recorded a low percentage with just three of the ten students who attempted from the vocational stream making it through the exam.
Girls steal the show
Pass percentage marginally lower than last yearTEAM HERALD
PANJIM / MARGAO: The state recorded an overall pass percentage of 82.96% among students at the Higher Secondary School Certificate Examination, marginally lower than last year’s pass percentage of 83.36. Girls performed marginally better than boys once again, at the results declared on Thursday.
While 84.69% of the 5,574 girls who appeared for the exam, passed, 80.00 per cent of the 4,968 boys who appeared made it through the exam.
In all 12,716 candidates had registered for the HSSC Examination, of which 12,707 appeared and 10,542 passed, recording a pass percentage of 82.96%. In the exempted category, 614 candidates registered for the HSSC Examination, of which 605 appeared and 207 passed aggregating a pass percentage of 34.21%.
Stream-wise, vocational students scored the highest pass percentage, scoring 87.83%, followed by science students with 84.98% and commerce students with 83.86%. Arts students recorded the lowest pass percentage of 74.68%.
Students with exemptions however could secure a pass percentage of only 34.21. Here too, more girls passed compared to boys.
Interestingly, 2,577 students who attempted the exam availed of sports merit marks and 408 of these passed because of these marks.
A Pernem HSS Kamleshwar Shikshan Prasarak at Korgao had the rare distinction of securing cent per cent results. A total of 106 students had appeared in the two streams of arts (58) and commerce (48) and all of them were declared successful. Damodar Higher Secondary School of Science too saw all its 111 students pass the HSSC examination. Daksha Atish Naik of Damodar HSS secured 94.16 per cent marks.
For students seeking to apply for re-evaluation, verification in the presence of their parent or guardian or photocopies of their answer sheets, the last date to apply is May 14. The last day to apply for verification in presentia / absentia is May 30.
Supplementary examinations will be held on June 10 and 11.
Pernem gets highest pass percentageTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: The northern-most Pernem taluka, which is largely rural and has modest educational facilities, led the state by securing the highest pass percentage, leaving urban talukas like Salcete, Tiswadi and Bardez behind with an overall pass percentage of 89.11, four percentage points ahead of Salcete which secured an overall pass percentage of 85.87.
Canacona taluka, which had just one examination centre at Canacona town is at the bottom of the list with a pass percentage of 68.07and Mormugao had the second lowest pass percentage of 77.49 per cent.
The pass percentages of other talukas hovered around the 80s with Bicholim recording 82.83, Quepem - 80.73, Bardez - 83.85, Tiswadi and Ponda recording 81.93 and 80.55 respectively.
The talukas of Valpoi, Dharbandora and Sanguem had no examination centres within their jurisdiction with students from Valpoi being allotted the Sanquelim centre, those from Sanguem the Curchorem centre and students from Dharbandora answering at the Ponda centre.
In terms of centres, the Harmal centre in Pernem taluka secured 93.75 pass percentage while Navelim centre, which includes some of the top schools in Margao came in second with 87.03 pass percentage.
MARGAO: Damodar Science Higher Secondary school, Margao achieved cent per cent results, with Daksha Atish Naik passing out with flying colours with 94.16 per cent mark.
Chairman of the school, Pandurang Bhai Naik said of the total 111 students who appeared for the examinations, 73 passed with distinctions, 36 students secured first class and only two students passing in second class.
“This is a big achievement for the science higher secondary school. I attribute the huge success to the efforts of the school principal, Ballikar, teachers and students”, Bhai said.
Incidentally, he recounted that around 63 students had passed with distinction last year and the figure has jumped to 73 this year”, he added.
The first three rankers of the school are Daksha Atish Naik with 94.16 per cent, Aadya Nitish Kerkar with 91.83 per cent and Marizela Justiana Carvalho with 91.67 per cent.
Daksha has scored 98 marks in Mathematics and 95 marks in chemistry and she plans to pursue engineering.
Aadya Kerkar scored 98 marks in physics and Marizela Justiana Carvalho scored 98 marks in biology.
PONDA: Higher secondary schools from Ponda have improved their performance at the HSSC exams compared to the performance of last academic year.
GVM’s HSS scored overall pass percentage of 89.13%, Ravi Naik HSS secured 77.62%, while Ameya HSS, Curti, scored 86 % results.
At GVMs, the passing percentage in various streams was science - 98.26%, commerce -90.90%, arts -79%, vocational electrical technology -91.66%, industrial management -75% and OSS - 100%.
Expressing happiness, GVM’s Principal Anita Bandodkar said the overall results were very good. “This time, boys have changed the trend and one of them is the topper in our higher secondary. Usually, girls used to top the merit list. The determination of our students has made our higher secondary proud,” she added.
Former GVM HSS principal Awadhut Kamat congratulated the students and said he was happy with the overall results of the higher secondary.
In Ameya HSS, vocational stream has scored 100 per cent results, commerce - 84% and arts - 83%. Prachi Jhatar has topped in the merit list of the higher secondary. She was an arts student and scored 83 per cent.
Ameya HSS Principal Flavia Colaco said she is very happy with the results. “In the vocational stream, we have scored 100 per cent and the overall result is good,” she said.
Ravi Naik HSS Principal Vishwas Raikar said he is happy with the results and wished the students the very best to pursue their higher education.
Ravi Naik HSS scored 80.33% in commerce stream, 70 % in arts, 75.76 % in science and 84.91 % in the vocational stream. However the name of the topper at the higher secondary was not disclosed.
‘Cavelossim police station inauguration by May 18’TEAM HERALD
PANJIM: The Cavelossim Police Station will be inaugurated by May 18, Chief Minister’s office told Herald Thursday in the wake of villagers alleging that there was a delay in inaugurating the same even though it was ready.
The opening of the building was delayed for want of nod from the government given the ongoing Assembly session. Residents had also suggested that the police station could be used to house a fire-tender that could fight fires and deal with emergencies along the coastal belt, since tenders take a long time to arrive from Margao.
Meanwhile, Benaulim MLA Caetano Silva told explained to Herald that in his utterances about the Police Department, he wanted to point out at the “corrupt system prevailing in the Police Department” and that is why during the discussion for demands for grants of Police Department, “the MLA had questioned whether cops are to be bribed for issuing clearance certificate,” and that he did not want to indulge in any bribe giving.
No funds utilized for welfare of tribals since 2010: TawadkarTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: Minister for tribal welfare Ramesh Tawadkar on Tuesday told the State Assembly that since 2010 no funds were utilized for the welfare of tribal community in the State.
Even for the financial year 2012-13, the funds remained unutilized as there were not many takers for tribal welfare schemes, the Minister for tribal welfare told Quepem MLA Chandrakant Kavalekar during Question Hour.
Since October 2012, the BJP government has introduced seven schemes for the community which includes financial assistance to construct new houses, repair houses, financial support to students, assistance for study tours, etc.
The minister said that the previous government deprived the poor among the Scheduled Tribes from availing the benefits under the schemes.
“Since there were no steps initiated for welfare of tribals all these years there were no takers for the schemes, which we launched,” he said, adding ‘the procedure for applying for various schemes would be simplified.
Tawadkar said that special camps would be organized in talukas to create awareness on various schemes, from May.
To another question, tabled by Kavalekar, Tawadkar said 32 committees have been constituted for implementing provisions of the Forest Dwellers Act in various parts of the State.
“Twenty more committees would be constituted shortly,” he said, adding ‘each committee would look into different aspects of Forest Dwellers Act.
Kavalekar cited the case in Quepem taluka, wherein tribals are living on forest land in municipal area and need protection. “Being a unique case, we would be looking into the matter on priority,” he assured.
House panel to close MLAs’ intimidation issueTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: Though the State Assembly’s Privilege Committee prima facie noted the intimidation of the members of the legislative assembly as ‘breach of privilege’, the Committee has decided to close the issue following the apology tendered by the taxi operators to the House.
The Committee in its first report tabled on the Floor of the House on Thursday said ‘the Press should be cautious while publishing news which creates unnecessary sensation and reaction’.
The conduct of taxi operators who took out morchas to the houses of Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar and Porvorim MLA Rohan Khaunte had evoked a strong reaction from the Goa Assembly, with Speaker Rajendra Arlekar saying that this was a "serious breach of privilege.”
The taxi operators resorted to morchas following a debate in the Assembly objecting to operators fleecing tourists and demanding that they compulsorily fix fare meters on their taxis.
“The North Goa Tourist Taxi Owners Association (NGTTOA) has committed gross Breach of Privilege and contempt of the House and its members are casting aspersions on their conduct and speeches in the House and causing obstruction to the members while performing their duties in the House,” the report stated.
“The (taxi) operators, after being explained about the powers, privileges and immunities of the House and its members, accepted their fault and apologised to the House and its members for their unwarranted conduct against,” the committee said.
The taxi operators claimed ignorance of Article 194 of the Constitution of India.
“Hence the committee desires to close the issue,” the report said adding ‘however, in future, necessary caution will be taken so that the benefits of ignorance of law are not repeated’.
The meeting of the committee was held on April 27 and attended by members of North Goa Tourist Taxi Owners Association . During the meeting, the committee observed that NGTTOA had wrongly created an issue and that when the words ‘Chor and Lootere’ were not found in any article of the newspapers as alleged by them, the committee felt that the controversy was made up just because they wanted to create an issue.
CM: Drive to fill backlog vacancies of STs/SCsTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: The State government will carry out a special recruitment drive to fill the backlog vacancies of Scheduled Tribes, Scheduled Castes and OBCs, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told the State Legislative Assembly on Thursday, while placing the blame squarely at the doorstep of the previous Congress government for the backlog.
Parrikar, while targeting the erstwhile Congress government, alleged that the STs/SCs vacancies were filled with general category candidates, leaving no scope to clear the backlog. He said that government will have to wait till vacancies are created to clear the backlog for the reserved categories.
Furious over Congress allegations that even after one year BJP government failed to clear the backlog of vacancies, Chief Minister said ‘if there will be no hue and cry, I am ready to sack all those general category workers currently working on ST/SC reservations’.
“Let Opposition tell me to take action….I will dismiss them all,” he said, replying to the allegation by Congress MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco during Question Hour.
According to the tabled reply to MLA Vijai Sardesai’s question, there is a backlog of 2200 jobs in various departments.
Ramesh Tawadkar said that till date govt has advertised 561 jobs and filled 131 vacancies. He said that efforts are on to clear the backlog at the earliest. He said that the post-based rosters are not maintained by the department.
It may be recalled that the Tribes of Goa, an umbrella organization of Scheduled Tribes, has strongly demanded that the government should direct all its departments to fill the vacant posts as per directions of the Supreme Court in the R K Sabarwal case and not to fill posts with general category candidates if ST candidates are not available.
GIDC's plot transfer regulations to be notified in 10 days.TEAM HERALD
PANJIM: The Goa Industrial Development Corporation draft transfer and sub-lease regulations to streamline allotment and transfer of plots would be notified in the next 10 days, Industries Minister Mahadev Naik told the House on Thursday.
The minister said that the GIDC board has already approved the regulations and these had been forwarded for legal vetting. Naik was replying during Zero Hour to Porvorim MLA Rohan Kaunte who pointed out that in the absence of a proper plot transfer policy, several industrial players who have invested, are not able to carry out any production.
Khaunte brought to the notice of the House that despite the Board’s approval in February 2013, the regulations have not yet been notified.
Under the draft transfer regulations, it is mandatory for the plot allotee to utilise 30 per cent of his plot along with carrying out certain portion of production activities, before putting up papers for transfer.
The regulations stipulate that owners of plots, which are on government premises, cannot sell off or sub-lease the plots to anyone. Besides owners who have brought the plot in the name of industrial development will now have to prove that they are actually setting up a unit there.
The GIDC had received flak for alleged illegal allotment of plots to some of its employees and members of the Board. In March, around 140 plot owners were issued show cause notices by GIDC after it was observed that the land allocated for industrial development was left unutilized or underutilized for over last three years.
Government notifies one-year ‘tax holiday’ on bargesTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: The Goa government has notified a one-year ‘tax holiday’ on barges, which comes into effect from April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014, under which owners will be exempted from barge tax only.
The other taxes applicable to barge operations and transportation of barges which was brought into effect in August last year will stay.
Sources in the Ports Administration and Inland Waterways disclosed that during the last financial year, revenue of Rs 3.22 crore was generated from barge tax alone.
The new tax slabs which were brought into effect however raised revenue by not more than 4 per cent since mining operations were brought to a halt in September 2012.
The barge operators had been raising a hue and cry over the new barge tax effected in August 2012, which raised the tax slabs at least by 45 per cent.
For barges with capacity of less than 1000 tons, the tax of Rs 90 was raised to Rs 100, while for barges with above 1000 metric tons capacity, the tax was raised from Rs 145 to Rs 200.
The notification issued by the government earlier this week states that barges, which were used exclusively for transportation of mineral ore within the State waterways, prior to September 11, 2012, are exempted from the payment of tax levied under Section 3 of the Barge Tax Act.
The conditions however imposed are that the tax exemption can be availed for the financial year 2013 -2014 (with effect from April 1, 2013 to March 2014).
For claiming the tax exemption, the registered owner will have to submit an affidavit to the effect that his barge has not been used for the purpose of transportation of any type of goods since September 11, 2012 till date by swearing an affidavit. In case, the registered owner uses his barge for transportation of any type of goods, then he will not be eligible for tax exemption under the notification.
The President of the All Goa Barge Owners’ Association Atul Jadhav said, “We had been pressing the government with this demand to exempt us from barge tax, since business had come to a halt since September last year.”
“There is no point paying tax when there is no business,” he said, adding that after the increase in barge tax last August, each barge was expected to pay as much as Rs 4 lakh per year for a barge above 1000-2000 tons and Rs 1 lakh for a barge with a capacity of upto 1000 tons.
Jadhav said that the association was also pressing for a change in the tax levy urging the government to levy the tax per trip.
He has expressed apprehension that if the buffer zone of 10 kms is imposed, uncertainty over mining would continue and would affect barge operators. “As it is, 20 barges have been sold due to loss of business,” he said.
House unanimously calls for Central mining packageTEAM HERALD
PANJIM: The Goa Legislative Assembly unanimously passed a resolution on Thursday, with both Ruling and Opposition MLAs, unitedly urging the Central government to step in for providing financial relief for the mining dependent people of Goa and resume legal mining.
The resolution, which was moved by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar urged the Centre to provide a financial package for rehabilitation of the people affected due to suspension of mining activities since September 2012. The resolution also urged the Centre to start legal mining while assuring that each mine will be ‘perfectly checked’ before allowing it to start.
“The State has managed the financial aspect for those affected due to stoppage of mining activity well…I assure to start legal mines, everything will be perfectly checked,” he told the House.
The Opposition pledged full support to the resolution and, if need be to ‘fight’ with the Centre in New Delhi to demand financial assistance to the State.
“An all-party delegation should go and fight in Delhi to get a financial package for the State. Even if we have to shout, hold dharna, we are there no matter which government is at the Centre,” Congress MLA Mauvin Godinho said, giving a strong assurance.
He also called on all-party leaders to cut across party lines and come together to resolve the issue for the long term.
“Legal mining, along with Special Status for Goa is of paramount importance for entire Goa. Legal mining was the mainstay of Goa. It has to start. We will help, irrespective of the party and the Government at the Centre,” Godinho reiterated.
Leader of Opposition Pratapsing Rane also added his support by saying, “We support legal mining.”
The Congress leaders also urged that State and Central government agencies should act in unison to present a case before the Supreme Court, to lift the ban on mining in Goa in order to resolve the current crisis which has grounded the mining industry and exports.
Parrikar intervening in the discussion said he was ready to take a delegation of all 40 MLAs to New Delhi for this purpose.
Margao MLA Digambar Kamat also concurred with his colleagues in urging that the Centre, Goa government and all stakeholders should come together to adopt a unified approach before the Supreme Court.
The legislators, including those from the Ruling party justified the demand for a financial package from the Centre, and cited to the revenue generated by mining, a major chunk of which goes to the Centre compared to the State.
“Central government has earned a lot from mining in the State. They should therefore contribute funds to Goa to compensate the affected, till legal mining resumes,” Curchorem BJP MLA Nilesh Cabral demanded. He was supported by Sanguem BJP MLA Subhash Phaldesai.
The legislators including Ganesh Gaonkar, Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco, Francisco Pacheco, Carlos Almeida and others also joined the chorus while expressing fear that prolonged closure of mining might possibly lead to a spate of suicides.
The members urged that banks be given directions not to prosecute those who availed loans for the purpose of mining business until the matter is resolved completely.
Under its umbrella scheme which was launched a month ago, Goa government distributed 100 sanction letters to the truck owners who will get Rs 8,000 to Rs 12,000 per month as compensation.