Security has been tightened outside the Taj Resort and Convention Centre in Goa’s Dona Paula ahead of the arrival of rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde and MLAs backing him. The rebel leaders will fly to Mumbai Thursday to take part in the floor test at the Maharashtra legislative assembly.The Shinde faction, which is set to break away from Shiv Sena and stake claim to form the government in Maharashtra with the BJP, is expected to arrive in Goa late evening after a long stay in Guwahati.The rebel MLAs took off from Guwahati even as Shiv Sena’s petition challenging the floor test called on Thursday by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari was being heard in the Supreme Court. Flying in closer to Mumbai on a special Spice Jet flight, Panaji will be the third stop for the breakaway legislators in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra. While initially they had reached Surat, they later shifted to Guwahati and will now reach Panaji.The sea-facing hotel located in the posh Dona Paula area near Panaji is a short distance from the Goa Raj Bhavan. “On Wednesday evening, there was heavy police deployment outside the hotel with over 100 rooms booked for the Shinde camp and their aides,” said sources.As tourists milled around the hotel lobby Wednesday, sources added that armed officers of the Goa Police kept vigil at the hotel. Outside, there was heavy barricading on what was an overcast Wednesday afternoon.Sources also said that senior police officers of the Goa Police also reviewed the security arrangements at the five-star hotel Wednesday evening.The Goa Police have also strengthened its checks at its northern border at Patradevi. Goa shares a border with Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra. Shiv Sena MLA from Sidhudurg Vaibhav Naik is backing Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray while senior Shiv Sena leader and MLA from Sawantwadi Deepak Kesarkar is among the rebels with Shinde.
Goa Assembly Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar on Tuesday said that archives of the state Assembly were intact and that Chief Minister Pramod Sawant may have been “misguided” when he said that records of the House from 1963 to 2000 were destroyed.On Monday, Sawant had said that records of the Assembly’s first session in 1963, and up to 2000, were destroyed when the Assembly was relocated from Adil Shah Palace in Panaji to Porvorim in 2000.“I wanted to preserve them, but they were destroyed. I am sorry, this should not have happened. Since 2000, we are preserving the records and their digitisation is being done,” Sawant had said on Monday while addressing the opening of a training programme for MLAs ahead of the monsoon session next month.On Tuesday, Tawadkar told The Indian Express, “The statement is incorrect. Somebody has misguided him (Sawant). All our documents are intact. Nothing has been destroyed.”Sawant, who was the Speaker in 2017, had said, “Old records of the Assembly proceedings, including speeches of Goa’s first chief minister, Dayanand Bandodkar, were destroyed when the Secretariat was shifted from the Adil Shah Palace building to the new complex in 2000.”Tawadkar, however, said that all documents, including Bandodkar’s speeches, questions and answers, and proceedings of the Assembly were available in digitised form. He also said, “I have told him (CM Sawant) that somebody has misguided him. The statement is not correct.”
Opposition Legislators in Goa refused to attend a training workshop organised by the Assembly at a five-star hotel in Panaji on Monday.While the Congress said the same two-day training workshop could have been held in the Assembly without burdening the finances, the AAP said MLAs need not receive training from the Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini institute, an RSS-affiliate.Leader of the Opposition Micheal Lobo said they had attended the opening ceremony in respect of the Speaker’s chair but they were of the view that the session could have been held on the Assembly premises in Porvorim that has all the facilities for a conference and catering.The session was aimed at training and educating MLAs about the procedures and processes of the Assembly. Nineteen of Goa’s 40 legislators are first-time MLAs.
A local court in Panaji has asked the Goa police to file in a case of alleged financial irregularities in the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) held in Goa in 2014.In a complaint filed in 2015, Goa Forward Party (GFP) General Secretary (Organisation) Durgadas Kamat had alleged illegalities in the bills raised for IFFI causing a loss of Rs 5 crore to the state exchequer. He said he filed a private complaint before the magistrate after the police did not act on his complaint.“The allegations made in the complaint are of serious nature involving huge money and therefore, the respondent is required to do detailed investigations based on documentary evidence available. The manner in which the inquiry already done by the respondent appears to be mere eye wash and not seriously done. The authority under which said inquiry done is also not known,” wrote Chief Judicial Magistrate, ‘A’ Court, Panaji Ram Subrai Prabhu Dessai, in his six-page order of June 8.🚨 Limited Time Offer | Express Premium with ad-lite for just Rs 2/ day 👉🏽 Click here to subscribe 🚨The court ordered that an FIR under sections 408 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) and 419 (cheating with knowledge of wrongful loss) be registered. “I find that there is absolute need for thorough investigation in the matter in order to unearth the truth in respect of the allegations made in the complaint,” the magistrate said.On April 6, the court had asked the state government to produce all the case files related to this complaint. The court was informed that they were handed to a special public prosecutor who died in 2018. The court noted that the special public prosecutor died and “the case papers remained with him and inspite of efforts made by the police the file could not be traced.” The court said that there was no documentary evidence to show that the files were handed over to the prosecutor and it was not the specific case of the police that the files of the case were destroyed.“Even otherwise, during the pendency of the present proceedings, the respondent ought not to have destroyed the records pertaining to the investigation in this crime. It is also not the case of the respondent that final report has been filed in the said crime and therefore, the question of destruction of the investigation papers does not arise at all,” the court said.The court also asked the police to file a monthly report in the case.
Congress leaders and workers were briefly detained by police in Panaji on Thursday for protesting against the Enforcement Directorate’s questioning of Rahul Gandhi for the third consecutive day.The Congress had called for a peaceful protest near the Raj Bhavan in Dona Paula. State Congress president Amit Patkar said a party delegation was slated to meet Governor PS Sreedharan Pillai on Thursday.They marched from the Dona Paula circle to the Raj Bhavan but the police stopped them and rounded them up in vans. “The governor wanted to meet us but even before we could reach the Raj Bhavan, the police stopped us. Democracy is being murdered in this country,” said Patkar, who led the protest.He said about 25 Congress workers were detained by the police and released later. Congress MLAs including Sankalp Amonkar, Kedar Naik, Altone D’costa and Yuri Alemao met police officers at the Panaji police station in the afternoon.Amonkar said, “We were first told that this is preventive detention but now they have booked a case under section 151 (of the Indian Penal Code).” Section 151 pertains to “knowingly joining or continuing in an assembly of five or more persons after it has been commanded to disperse”.
President Ramnath Kovind Wednesday laid foundation stone for the construction of the Raj Bhavan annexe at the Goa Governor’s residence. The new building will come up within the Raj Bhavan premises overlooking the Arabian Sea.Goa Governor P S Sreedharan Pillai said Thursday that the Raj Bhavan building, which was over 400 years old, is a national monument and would be preserved in its existing form.Why is a new Raj Bhavan being built?The Raj Bhavan at Dona Paula in Panaji is a monument that has been standing for over four centuries. Government officials have argued that the maintenance of the Raj Bhavan building is difficult and expensive and modifications to the existing structure are not permissible since it is a heritage building. The government has envisioned use of the existing Raj Bhavan building, a protected Archeological Survey of India monument, for tourism.When was the decision to construct a new Raj Bhavan taken?The Goa government had first announced its decision to construct a new Raj Bhavan in July 2020. However, the then Goa Governor, Satyapal Malik, had written a letter to Goa CM Pramod Sawant stating that “at a time when the state is battling Covid-19 and reeling under financial crises, the idea to construct a new Raj Bhavan is irrational and imprudent”.The Cabinet led by Sawant in his new government formed in March, recently approved the construction of the new Raj Bhavan building.What has been the government’s response to those opposing the move?Opposition parties in Goa have questioned the need for a new building.In a statement issued on May 23, the Raj Bhavan clarified that the “present building of Raj Bhavan and the Governor’s Secretariat Building will remain intact and will not be disturbed or modified in any manner”.Glimpses from Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony at Raj Bhavan, Dona Paula, Goa.@psspillaigov@DrPramodPSawant@ramesh_tawadkar pic.twitter.com/ncf0dAo1uC— Shripad Y. Naik (@shripadynaik) June 15, 2022But it said the building had undergone “a great deal of wear and tear resulting in crores of rupees being spent every year for the maintenance by the Public Works Department”.The statement added, the Raj Bhavan’s requirements too have changed, needing “more space with modern facilities and amenities”.Governor Pillai had earlier said, “This (the existing Raj Bhavan) is a monument, a national monument. Not even a single stone can be changed by the Governor, the Chief Minister or the President.”Officials said Pillai accepted the Chief Minister’s proposal as maintaining the old building was “difficult”. The new project will be executed by the Public Works Department.What is the history of the heritage building?In 1540, the then Portuguese Viceroy had built fort ramparts surrounding the entire cape due to its strategic location, government officials said.Subsequently in 1541, the chapel that exists at site was built along with the present day structure — it was originally planned to serve as a convent.In 1844, this convent became the residence of the Archbishop and, in 1866, it became the palace residence of the Portuguese governor.What is there inside the existing Raj Bhavan premises?The sprawling Raj Bhavan estate is located on a cape in the Goan capital, and is also known by its erstwhile Portuguese name “Palacio do Cabo”. It offers a breathtaking view of the Arabian sea and hosts a number of residential suites along with the Our Lady of the Cape Church, a Grotto, the Estate Beach and a jetty.After being opened for visitors in 2019, it was closed for the public in 2020 citing “security reasons”. Governor Pillai said that it would once again be opened to the public once the new building gets completed.Where will the new Raj Bhavan come up?The new building will come up within the sprawling 88-acre premises of the Raj Bhavan in Dona Paula in Panaji. Government officials said that the construction is likely to begin by September, adding that the building should be ready in about two years.President Ram Nath Kovind laid the foundation stone of the new Raj Bhavan (Annexe) at Goa.राष्ट्रपती रामनाथ कोविंद यांच्या हस्ते गोव्यातील नव्या राजभवन वास्तूचा पायाभरणी सोहळा दोनापावल येथे पार पडला. प्रस्तावित वास्तू सध्याच्या राजभवन आवारातच निर्माणाधीन आहे. pic.twitter.com/ZXz3kTaDz2— PIB in Goa (@PIB_Panaji) June 15, 2022What will the new building look like?According to the PWD, the ground floor of the building will have the President’s quarters with a master bedroom, a large sea-facing deck, living, dining area, kitchen and two guest bedrooms. It will also have the Governor’s office, office space for staff to the Governor, President’s staff on duty, ADCs, video conferencing facility and two VIP guest rooms. There will be a separate entrance for VIPs and another entry for other offices.The first floor will have Governor’s quarters with a master bedroom, a large sea-facing deck, living, dining, kitchen, and two guest bedrooms. It will also have offices of secretaries, joint secretaries, controller, assistant controller, allied staff offices, a control room, a banquet hall and a dining hall.The PWD has said that it has designed a barrier-free, sustainable building design suited to Goan climate while making maximum use of the sea view.
Panaji: Welcoming the government’s plan to build a new Raj Bhavan, Congress MLA Carlos Fereira said Goa government should consider the possibility of getting the project funded by the Centre. “I’m told that funds are made available for building Raj Bhavans by the Centre. The Goa government can examine if the funds can be obtained from the Centre,” Fereira said. President Ram Nath Kovind is on a two-day visit to Goa during which he will lay the foundation for the project. “I will support the move of the government to build a new Raj Bhavan, which will be modern and yet meet the aesthetic standards of the existing Raj Bhavan. We should look at it positively. I don’t want to oppose it simply because I’m an opposition MLA,” he said. The Aldona MLA said the existing Raj Bhavan is the oldest in the country. Being a protected monument, there are limitations involved in restoration, renovations and maintenance. “Since I have been an advisor to governors of Goa, I know the dangers concerning the stability of the structure, the kind of work that was sought to be undertaken in 2000, and the apprehensions of the engineers,” he said.
PANAJI: As Covid cases continue to rise in the state, health officials have said that people must get tested for the disease even if they have flu-like symptoms. State epidemiologist Dr Utkarsh Betodkar said that people have no option but to take precautions. On Wednesday, the state recorded a total of 82 new cases.
Panaji: Even as Covid-19 cases rise rapidly in the state, health authorities have said that people should get tested even if they have flu or flu-like symptoms. On Tuesday, Goa hit 100 daily cases after nearly four months, after several days of daily cases ranging from 60 to 70. State epidemiologist Dr Utkarsh Betokdar said that people have no alternative but to take precautions. “People should get tested even if they think they have the flu,” Betodkar said. However, health authorities are still not ready to term the present rise a new (or a fourth) wave. “Hospitalisations are still on the lower side, just one or two admissions a week,” he said. “Since the rise, a single fatality has been reported, adding that the patient who died after contracting the infection was a 95-year-old woman. Betodkar said that most patients reported mild symptoms, unlike in earlier phases of the pandemic. Since the rise in cases, the majority of patients have been treated in home isolation. The directorate of health services is still unclear as to how to define the ongoing increase, but one pattern that’s been emerging has been similar to earlier, which is that South Goa is reporting more cases than North Goa. “We haven’t seen any clusters so far, but more infections are being reported from South Goa,” he said. Betodkar said that it may be because of “the higher concentration of population” in certain talukas of South Goa. The first wave originated at Mangor Hill, Vasco, in the first week of June 2020, reaching other parts of the state by the month-en. While Vasco became the hotspot, Salcete also reported a huge number of cases. During the second wave, Margao remained at the top, whereas in North Goa, Calangute, Candolim, Panaji and Porvorim saw the disease spread like wildfire, but the tally of cases in South Goa was higher than that of North Goa. Even during the third wave which began from December 28, 2021, and started dipping by mid-February, South Goa was ahead in terms of numbers.
PANAJI- The Union government said that at least 10.5% of Goa’s population was unemployed during the Covid-19 pandemic, much above the national unemployment rate of 4.2 %. This was the third highest joblessness in the country during that period, after Nagaland and Lakshadweep, according to a report released by the Union ministry of statistics and programme implementation (MoSPI). The data also shows that women constitute just one fourth of the labour force in Goa. At 27.3%, this figure is less than the average 32.5%
Panaji: At least 10.5% of Goa’s population was unemployed during the Covid-19 pandemic, much above the national unemployment rate of 4.2 %, shows a report released by the Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) for 2020-21. Goa had the third highest joblessness in the country during that period, after Nagaland and Lakshadweep. The data also shows that women constitute just one fourth of the labour force in Goa. At a meagre 27.3%, the Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) of women in Goa is below the national average of 32.5%. This data is part of the Union ministry’s Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) annual report for July 2020 to June 2021. For the survey, MoSPI collected data from 24 villages in Goa, contacting 723 persons from 192 rural households. For the urban areas, 962 women and men from 256 households were interviewed. In rural and urban areas, the unemployment rate is more or less the same, with rural areas registering unemployment rate of 10% and urban areas registering unemployment rate of 10.9%. Monthly data published by the Centre for Monitoring of Indian Economy (CMIE) showed that unemployment in Goa increased over the past three months and stood at 15.5% in April, up from the 11.6% unemployment rate in January. The independent research firm had also come to the same conclusion that the prevalence of unemployment in Goa is higher than the national average. As per the Centre’s report, the LFPR for Goa stood at 48.5% for those in the 15 years and above age group. In this, the female participation stands at 33% in the rural areas and at 23.8% in urban pocket. Men form 69% of the work force in Goa (rural 64.6% and urban 71.6%). Among rural males, 33% of the employed men said that they are self employed while 57% claimed to be salaried with regular wages and 9% working as casual workers. Among rural women who said that they were employed, 59% stated they are self employed, 34% earn regular wages and 7% are casual workers. Among urban men, 36% are self employed, 59% are salaried and 5% are casual labourers. At 63%, the percentage of urban women who are salaried outnumbered salaried men. The data also appears to vary from the data released by the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) for 2019-20. According to the MoSPI, Goa’s sex ratio in rural areas stands at 831 females for every 1,000 men, while in urban areas, the sex ratio is 999 females for every 1000 men. However, the NFHS data pegged the sex ratio in rural areas at 1,092 females per 1,000 males and in urban areas at 985 women for every 1,000 males.
Panaji: In a bid to tap the prevailing demand for seafood during the fishing ban period, a group of fishermen is illegally venturing into the backwaters of Dongorim, a fish biodiversity hotspot, allegedly with clandestine local support. The fishermen — comprising 20-odd men and women — use small boats shaped like baskets and nets to land a huge catch, stoking fears among locals that this activity may deplete fish resources. “We saw two vehicles returning from the backwaters loaded with catch on Tuesday and warned them not to carry out illegal fishing again,” villager Eknath Mayekar said. The non-local fishermen arrive in a couple of vehicles and carry out fishing in the flooded paddy fields between two major sluice gates — Damra and Cauzem. “They have been resorting to illegal fishing for a few weeks with the support of some locals,” a resident said. The water bodies between the two sluice gates are not covered under fishing rights of any tenants’ association. “These are fish breeding sites and indiscriminate fishing during the ban period will destroy our local resources,” Ramrao Wagh, a local politician said. When confronted by some villagers on Tuesday, the fishermen said a sluice gate operator who had been allotted fishing rights had engaged them. But the residents contended that the fishing area is beyond any sluice gate’s domain. St Andre MLA Viresh Borkar and the Tiswadi mamlatdar have been informed about this illegal fishing activity, sources said.
Panaji: After a brief lull, an increase in rainfall activity is expected over Goa from June 18 onwards. The India meteorological department (IMD) has forecast heavy rainfall exceeding 6cm in 24hrs from this Saturday. “Squally weather with wind speed reaching 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph is likely to prevail along and off the South Maharashtra-Goa coast on June 19. Fishermen are advised not to venture into these areas during the period,” the weather warning reads. On Wednesday, the southwest monsoon was weak over Goa and only light to moderate rainfall occurred at most places over the state. The highest rainfall was received at Pernem with 3cm while the rain gauge stations at Mapusa, Sanquelim, Old Goa and Volpoi recorded only 1cm rainfall each. “Monsoon rainfall is not uniform within the 122 days of the season. Some days, we get good or vigorous rainfall, we call it active monsoon conditions while on some other days, we hardly get much rainfall. Such conditions are called weak monsoon conditions or a break in monsoon conditions,” said M R Ramesh Kumar, meteorologist and former chief scientist from the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) Dona Paula, Goa.
Panaji: Eco-friendly immersion of Ganesh idols in artificial ponds, which was almost alien to Panjikars all these years, is now slowly but steadily catching up. The Together for Panaji association has written to the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) to set up one artificial immersion pond in each ward of the city to enable the immersion process for the festival. “Ganesh Chaturthi festival is celebrated in the state with great fervour. However, the ritual of the idol immersion in natural water bodies leaves the ecosystem contaminated. CCP needs to show the way by providing at least one artificial immersion pond in each ward,” the letter reads. The letter further states that this will enable all households to perform the ritual without affecting nature. “Individual corporators need to take the initiative to set up such ponds during the festival period,” the letter reads. Association members stressed that an awareness campaign in this respect must be done as a prelude to the festival. “CCP needs to start a campaign a few months before the festival to educate people to avoid PoP idols,” the letter states.
Panaji: The cyber crime police station registered an FIR against an unknown person, on Wednesday, for impersonating chief minister Pramod Sawant and sending messages to officers and politicians among others. A senior police officer said that during the past two days, WhatsApp messages were sent to many people known to the chief minister and when it was brought to the notice of the chief minister’s office, they filed a written complaint. They said that teams have been constituted and are on field to nab the accused. In July 2021, Sawant’s old social media account was hacked. A month after the chief minister complained to the police that his old social media account had been hacked, Goa police had arrested Mohd Shakir Husain from Uttar Pradesh for creating a fake social media account in the name of the chief minisster.
PANAJI: Chief minister Pramod Sawant on Tuesday said that the state government's legal team is examining anti-conversion laws in the state and at the Centre, and that if required, the state would bring in an anti-conversion law. He said current anti-conversion laws are "weak". The chief minister added that anti-conversion laws are a state subject and, if required, the state will bring in new laws. Sawant said that he has never differentiated between the majority and minority in the state, and it will not be done in the future too. "Goa follows a common civil code, and everyone is Goan," he said. "At present the anti-conversion laws are weak to act against those involved in religious conversions," he said. "Nobody can be involved in religious conversions. If someone is doing illegal conversion, then we will not keep quiet," Sawant added. Speaking on the construction and renovation of temples which were destroyed during the Portuguese regime and on religious conversions, Sawant said temples showcase Goa's culture.
Panaji: Stating that the existing anti-conversion laws are weak, chief minister Pramod Sawant on Tuesday said that the state government’s legal team is examining these laws in the state and at the Centre. The chief minister added that anti-conversion laws are a state subject and, if required, the state will bring in new laws. Sawant said that he has never differentiated between the majority and minority in the state, and it will not be done in the future too. “Goa follows a common civil code, and everyone is Goan,” he said. “At present the anti-conversion laws are weak to act against those involved in religious conversions,” he said. “Nobody can be involved in religious conversions. If someone is doing illegal conversion, then we will not keep quiet,” Sawant added. Speaking on the construction and renovation of temples which were destroyed during the Portuguese regime and on religious conversions, Sawant said temples showcase Goa’s culture.
Panaji: Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Tuesday that his legal team was studying anti-conversion laws, and added that if any changes were required, they would be carried out. In an interview to a news channel, Sawant said that “illegal” religious conversions would not be tolerated.“If anyone illegally converts by inducement or duress, that will not be tolerated,” said Sawant. “This is not for votes. This is a wrong idea,” he said, when asked if his stance was a political strategy.“At present, the law is weak. My legal team is studying it. If any changes are required, they will be carried out. Anti-conversion laws in the state and in the country are being looked at,” Sawant said. “If for the last 20-25 years someone is doing it (illegal religious conversion), if this has been going on in broad daylight and no one is acting against it even after a complaint, and if with the existing laws we cannot put an end to it, then there needs to be a new law for it,” he added.
Panaji: With the Mopa International airport expected to be commissioned in September, Goa is set to see an increased flow of travellers. While development at the beginning of the tourist season ought to have made the tourism industry euphoric, concerns have risen over alleged non-implementation of taxi meters. Trade members have alleged that though tourist taxis have been fitted with meters, operators are still not billing travellers as per metre rates and fear that, as an immediate fallout, hotels in South Goa may be affected. A hotelier from North Goa, Francisco de Braganca, said that tourist taxi operators continue to charge exorbitantly and added that the transport department does not have a mechanism in place to check if they are using meters. "If you charge Rs 3,000-4,000 for a one-way journey from North Goa to South Goa, we are afraid hotels in South Goa may lose clients," he said.
Panaji: With the Mopa International airport expected to be commissioned in September, Goa is set to see an increased flow of travellers. While development at the beginning of the tourist season ought to have made the tourism industry euphoric, concerns have risen over alleged non-implementation of taxi meters. Trade members have alleged that though tourist taxis have been fitted with meters, operators are still not billing travellers as per metre rates and fear that, as an immediate fallout, hotels in South Goa may be affected. A hotelier from North Goa, Francisco de Braganca, said that tourist taxi operators continue to charge exorbitantly and added that the transport department does not have a mechanism in place to check if they are using meters. “If you charge Rs 3,000-4,000 for a one-way journey from North Goa to South Goa, we are afraid hotels in South Goa may lose clients,” he said. “Is there any system in place to check if tourist taxis operators bill their clients reasonably?” Braganca said. He said coaches will have to be arranged from the North Goa airport rather than completely relying on tourist taxis for transportation. A hotelier in South Goa said that the state has received enough bad publicity in the past on the account of a few operators indulging in unhealthy trade practices. The need of the hour is to have a shuttle service as available at other airports in the country, he said. “Until four-lanning of the national highway is completed fully, travelling from North to South and vice versa will not be smooth and fast. In such a situation, taxi operators are likely to take advantage of the situation,” he said. It has taken the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) over five years and that too, after intervention of the court, to get the government to ensure that tourist taxis install digital meters. Some, however, are yet to get the digital meters fitted on their vehicles. A senior official from the transport department said that so far they have not received a single complaint of overcharging. “The guests should insist that the driver switch on the digital meter and charge accordingly. They should complain to the transport department if they (drivers) fail to do so,” the senior officer said. TTAG has discussed the problem with chief minister Pramod Sawant. “With Zuari bridge expected to be commissioned by the end of the next month, it will cut travel time. When we met the chief minister on Monday, we discussed connectivity issues, and hassle free travelling from North to South should. If meters are fixed and if they are not used, what is the use of having them installed?” Shah said. Shah said a rapid system of transportation has to be in place before the new airport is thrown open. “We will need more vehicles once the new airport becomes functional, so we also asked the CM to remove an embargo on issuance of fresh licences for taxis and rickshaws,” Shah added.
PANAJI: CM Pramod Sawant on Tuesday said that the state may introduce a scheme along the lines of the Union government's 'Agnipath' scheme to recruit youth in the state police, fire and forest services. He said the state is training youth to appear for competitive exams. Chief minister Pramod Sawant on Tuesday said that the new Agnipath scheme, launched under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership, will give Goan youths an opportunity to join the armed forces. Welcoming Modi's decision to fill up 10 lakh jobs in central government departments within one-and-a-half year, Sawant said youths of the state will get an opportunity at employment. He said the directorate of higher education has trained youths to appear for competitive exams.
Panaji: Chaos ensued at Porvorim on Tuesday after a KTC bus got into an accident near Mall de Goa, leaving its driver and conductor injured. The driver allegedly lost control of the bus and rammed into a four-wheeler parked by the roadside, and then collided with a tree leaving the front portion of the bus completely damaged. Part of the parked car was also left damaged. The bus was proceeding towards the Porvorim depot before dropping passengers to the Panaji bus stand. The driver and conductor suffered minor injuries and were treated at a Porvorim-based hospital. “We are awaiting a detailed report of the accident. The statement of the injured persons will be taken after they are discharged from the hospital. Accordingly, we will have a better picture of what transpired,” said KTC assistant inspector, Ramakrishna Gauns. The traffic police soon arrived at the site and maneuvered the vehicles around the accident site for smooth flow of the traffic movement.
Panaji: While this year’s monsoon rainfall has so far been highest on June 12 — the second day after the onset over the state — at 69.6mm in 24 hours, it has drastically decreased over the following days and was only 1.4mm as of 8.30am on Tuesday. “June 12 was one of the wettest days so far during this monsoon, with the state receiving 69.6mm in one day,” said M R Ramesh Kumar, meteorologist and former chief scientist of the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO). An intense rainfall event is one in which a station receives more than 10cm of rain in a day. On June 12, three rain gauge stations in Goa crossed the 100mm mark within a span of 24 hours. “This type of distribution is bad for agriculture, drinking and even for hydroelectric power generation. We need both spatial and temporal distribution of rainfall, not everything in a few days. A break in monsoon conditions during the rest of the period is bad for the state,” he said. There has been weak monsoon activity over the state after the onset of monsoon, five days ago. “The northern limit of the monsoon has reached the southern part of Gujarat. Out of the 36 meteorological subdivisions of the Indian subcontinent, only two have excess rainfall and three have normal monsoon rainfall. A further 18 subdivisions had deficit rainfall and 13 had largely deficient rainfall. The country overall has a monsoon deficit of 36% up to the morning of June 14,” Kumar said.
Panaji: Chief minister Pramod Sawant on Tuesday said that the new Agnipath scheme, launched under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, will give Goan youths an opportunity to join the armed forces. Welcoming Modi’s decision to fill up 10 lakh jobs in central government departments within one-and-half year, Sawant said youths of the state will get an opportunity at employment. He said the directorate of higher education has trained youths to appear for competitive exams. Sawant further said the state government may introduce a scheme, on the lines of the Agnipath scheme, to recruit youths in the state police, fire and forest services. tnn
Panaji: Backing the inquiry into the Outline Development Plan (ODP), BJP on Monday said that the state government will prepare “honest ODPs” and added that no one should play the victim card. BJP said that once the report is completed, names of those involved in illegalities will be revealed. The party condemned the statement against TCP minister Vishwajit Rane over his decision to take action against illegalities and irregularities in ODPs. BJP spokesperson Yatish Naik said that the state government has started the process to get an “honest ODP”. “It is our party and people’s stand that the ODP should be formulated purely on legal basis and merit-wise because the character and identity of the state has to be preserved at all costs,” he said. Naik said that illegalities and irregularities should not find any place in ODPs. “If khazan land, tenanted agricultural land and no-development zone (NDZ) is converted in the ODP, then it will be a destructive plan and not an ODP,” he said. He said that if any person had played a role in any illegal act, he will have to face the consequences.
Panaji: Congress MLAs led by opposition leader Michael Lobo met chief minister Pramod Sawant on Tuesday and sought his intervention in giving monsoon-related works in their respective constituencies a push. Considering their request, Sawant directed officers to get the works done on priority, Lobo told reporters after the meeting. “Some Congress MLAs met the CM today regarding work in their constituencies. Monsoon is here, and those works have to be done without further delay,” Lobo said. The works that need to be completed pertained to one panchayat ghar that was leaking, a broken nullah, and other such similar jobs that need to be done before rain activity intensifies, he said. Opposition MLAs also discussed other issues with Sawant. “When a minister and government officers visit a constituency of an Opposition MLA, they are not informed. This has never happened in the past. We told the CM that he should tell his ministers and officers that they should intimate a MLA when they are in his constituency,” Lobo said. The invitation announcing the minister’s visit for a function or otherwise should be given a day or two in advance, the CM was told, he said. “The CM assured us that he will direct all his ministers and officers to follow protocol,” Lobo said.
Panaji: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has slammed archives minister Subhash Phaldessai for announcing that the state would bring archival documents about Goa’s history from Portugal while ignoring priceless documents of historic significance already existing in Goa. The party said the minister should visit the directorate of archives and archaeology in Goa which is the oldest archives in the entire country established in 1595, before planning a junket to Portugal. AAP state president Amit Palekar alleged that Phaldessai doesn’t seem to have understood his responsibility as archives minister. “Before running to Portugal for more documents, he should review the state of the archives building in Mala-Panaji which houses centuries-old documents. There has been non-stop flooding of this area for years, and the dampness and moisture puts these priceless documents at great risk. The flooding is so bad that the records area has to be kept closed to public many times during the monsoon,” Palekar said. AAP vice-president Valmiki Naik mocked the minister for stating that documents from Portugal may “reveal more secrets”. “The so-called ‘Goa Files’ strategy failed miserably after Goans, cutting across religious lines, unitedly condemned the mischievous plan of the BJP to sow communal discord in Goa. So now the Sawant government is now fishing for documents to try and concoct new controversies and divert from their governance failures,” Naik alleged.
Panaji: The state government has asked the Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd (MECL) to prepare a report on the quantity of iron ore lying at 88 mining leases, which the state government has decided to auction. A senior official said that it will take around six months to start this e-auction. After deciding to auction all mining leases, the state had initiated the process to take over the 88 leases from lessees whose second renewal was quashed by the Supreme Court in February 2018. The directorate of mines and geology (DMG) had subsequently issued notices to all 88 to vacate their leases by June 6 this year. The state has started conducting a survey to ascertain if any movable or immovable assets have been left in the leases after June 6. “How can we put those 88 mining leases up for auction before we know the exact quantity of iron ore lying there?” a senior officer said. The DMG asked MECL to prepare the report on an urgent basis. “A minimum of six months will be required to complete the full process to start the e-auction of the mining leases,” a senior officer said. Earlier, the state had tentatively finalised eight mining leases for auction in Bicholim and Sattari talukas, but there has not been much progress on that front.
Panaji: Edu Bedia will at FC Goa for the sixth consecutive season, a record for any foreign player in the Indian Super League (ISL). The Spanish midfielder joined the club in 2017 and has continued since then with all players who joined with him either retiring or moving to other clubs. “Edu brings a wealth of experience with him and we expect him to be a bridge between the existing crop of players and the new ones coming in,” said FC Goa’s director of football Ravi Puskur. “He’s been a key player for us for the past two seasons and given the significant changes we’ve made in the coaching staff and foreign players this year, he will be an asset with his knowhow and familiarity with the league.” In nearly five years, Bedia has made 102 appearances for FC Goa across all competitions, notching 13 goals and as many assists during this period. “FC Goa is more than just a club in my career,” said Bedia. “Goa and the fans have been an important part of my life. I am delighted to be back with the team “It has been a pleasure for me to complete various personal milestones and also to win laurels with the club. However, I believe this coming season will be my most important at the club and I fully believe we will be back amongst the top teams in the ISL.”
Panaji: Chief minister Pramod Sawant on Monday said that work of setting up a tribal research centre and museum will be fast-tracked. Sawant said that the Goa commission for scheduled castes (SC) and scheduled tribes (ST) should work along with the state government and prepare a roadmap to implement forest rights to ensure that the communities are beneficiaries of land rights. He was speaking on the sidelines of inaugurating the renovated office of the commission at Patto, Panaji. Sawant said that the government is working to provide justice and equal rights to the SC, ST and Other Backward Class (OBC) community. “We will not allow any injustice to happen to the SC and ST communities with regards to promotions, roster or land rights,” he said. Sawant added that the commission created awareness about the cases that need to reach to the commission such as promotions, roster not being followed, ST rights, forest rights among others. He said that cases which come under the commission include inquiry into violation of any right provided in the Protection of the Civil Right Act, 1955, SC and ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989. He said that the communities should get justice under the acts without any discrimination. “Whatever the government has decided about providing land rights under the forest act can be resolved through collectors, the director of tribal affairs and the director of the commission. At present we have been able to give dwelling rights to only 319 people and in the future we want to give these in a phased manner,” he said. Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar said that as SC and ST people find it difficult to come to Panaji, courts were set up at Canacona and Quepem.
Panaji: BJP state president Sadanand Shet Tanavade on Monday said that leader of opposition Michael Lobo has to prove that his business is legal. Tanavade said that there is no issue in taking action against any one if earlier illegalities have surfaced now. “There is no problem in taking action now and action would be taken as per the law,” he said. Reacting to the Lobo statement that he has been selectively targeted by TCP minister Vishwajit Rane, Tanavade said, “There is no question of targeting him selectively. If he has not done any mistakes, it will come to light during the inquiry. If his business is illegal, then there is no need to get personal and he has to prove that it is legal,” he said. The BJP state president said that Lobo is the leader of the opposition of Congress, and GPCC president Amit Patkar is trying to safeguard him. “I don’t know how much knowledge Patkar has about it,” he said. Tanavade said that let the inquiry be conducted based on the initiative taken by Rane and let Lobo prove whether it is right or wrong. The BJP state president said that no opposition MLA has contacted him to join BJP.