Times of India | 3 months ago | 08-02-2022 | 11:51 am
CALANGUTE: Former Calangute BJP MLA and minister Michael Lobo joined Congress because he knew there was an anti-incumbency mood against him, BJP Goa election in-charge and Maharashtra leader of opposition Devendra Fadnavis said on Monday. “He thinks by changing his party people will change their minds and he will win. He claims he works for people, but in reality he’s become the boss of the people and thinks he’s the king,” Fadnavis said at the opening of Calangute BJP candidate Joseph Sequeira’s campaign office. Sequeira said Lobo has spoiled the image of Goa’s tourism hub. “Today Calangute is known for drugs, prostitution, goondagiri. That is the development he has done in the 10 years he’s been MLA,” he said, further criticising Lobo for bringing Calangute under the North Goa Planning and Development Authority against peoples’ wishes.
A plastic clean-up drive was held at Divar Island where over 50 kgs of garbage was collected. Members of the Rotary Club Panjim Midtown, students from Goa University (tourism department) and others rode for over 20 kilometres on BLive e-bikes from Old Goa Residency to Divar Island collecting plastic and waste material in an effort to amplify the message of Save Soil. Save Soil is a global movement launched by Sadhguru to save soil from extinction, and bring the necessary policies to address the catastrophic issue facing humanity. According to recent studies, soil extinction is an issue of growing concern in the state. The residents of Goa are concerned about the almost irreparable, unprecedented soil erosion seen on hills, river sides as well as other scenic locations in Goa. The quantity of plastic that makes its way into the rivers and also gets washed ashore makes for a shocking visual for the locals and tourists. Talking about the initiative, Sandeep Mukherjee, Co-founder and COO at BLive said, “BLive has been a key driver of sustainability in Goa. The 'Save Soil' effort saw participation from various volunteers and Rotary Club members who rode electric cycles across the island of Divar and collected plastic garbage amounting to over 50 kilos. We believe that consistent efforts need to be taken to spread awareness about sustainable mobility and saving the environment to make the planet cleaner and greener.” The clean up drive was also joined by John Corte, a resident of Divar Island and an environmental activist whose mission is to make the island a plastic-free zone. Said John, a resident of Divar, "However irreversible the problem may seem, there is always an opportunity for the people to do their part and contribute to aiding the planet. This clean-up initiative led by BLive has made a significant effort to spread awareness about the soil problem at hand."
Calangute: A day after Calangute residents demanded that a bar and restaurant be shut down for operating as a dance bar, the management, on Thursday, denied any illegal activities and stated that the premises have been taken on lease from former tourism minister Manohar ‘Babu’ Ajgaonkar. Management representative Dinesh Yadav told reporters that the entire controversy is a fallout of an assault wherein three sons of a woman security supervisor were assaulted by some locals. One of the sons has received serious head injuries following which police registered an offence of attempt to murder under Section 307 IPC against the locals. “It’s because an offence under Section 307 IPC has been registered that the locals are upset,” Yadav said. The assault had nothing to do with the bar or its customers, but was because of some quarrel between them, he said. Asked about permissions to operate the bar, Yadav said the Calangute panchayat had revoked the licence last year, but they have a stay order from the director of panchayats, so they can continue to operate. “We have been here for a long time and nobody made any complaints. It’s only because of this assault that we’re being unnecessarily dragged into a controversy,” he said. Locals who had gathered in front of the nightspot on Wednesday alleged that the place only has a bar and restaurant licence but operates as a dance bar.
Panaji: Chief minister Pramod Sawant held a meeting with Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) on Thursday to discuss efforts to attract new private investments into the state along with steps that can improve the ease of doing business for existing local industries. GCCI president Ralph de Sousa said that administrative reforms need to be introduced in all government departments so that the private sector can operate efficiently. Pointing out that the government aims to remove the need for various licences, Sawant said that the government has introduced ease of doing business reforms in the town and country planning department with more reforms planned in other departments. GCCI also urged the state government to reduce power transmission and distribution losses, obtain more power from the Centre and form district-level committees to oversee the power situation. “Regarding labour issues, GCCI requested a dialogue with the industry and government in labour-related matters. We have also asked the government to promote mass plantation of Goan fruit bearing trees along national highways,” Sousa said. GCCI has assured full support to create awareness about various schemes announced both at the state and the national level. Chief secretary Puneet Kumar Goel along with other officials were present for the meeting. During his interaction, Sawant spoke about nurturing Goa into an agro industry state, while also facilitating growth of tourism, logistics, retail and manufacturing sectors. The chief minister also agreed to set up a Grievance Redressal Committee with GCCI members and industry stakeholders. The committee will directly connect with the chief minister’s office and discuss industry specific issues. Sawant said that the committee would aim to resolve all major concerns within six months. Sawant informed GCCI that the state government is working with the Telangana government to emulate their industrial model in Goa. He also said that a retail policy and logistics policy for Goa is on the anvil. The chief minister assured industry representatives that the Mormugao port connectivity will be completed within the next six to nine months. “This will be part of the multimodal linkage under the Gati Shakti programme and modernisation of infrastructure,” Sawant said.
Panaji: The state cabinet has approved Drishti Lifesaving Pvt Ltd as the licensee for the management, operations and maintenance of Aguada lower fort (former Central jail) for a period of 15 years and extendable by another 15 years. Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) had undertaken the restoration of the lower fort to repurpose it as a monument for the freedom struggle of Goa. On completion of the restoration work last year, GTDC, after taking necessary approvals, had floated a tender for appointing an agency for its management, operations and maintenance. During its tenure, Drishti Lifesaving, under the supervision of GTDC, will ensure that the Aguada jail premises are open throughout the week, including public holidays. However, the timings for visitors will be from 8am to 11pm. It will be responsible for operations and maintenance of the ‘Information Zone’, including but not limited to managing the ticket counters, operation and maintenance of Tourist Information Centre, handicrafts shop including marketing outlet for products made by Colvale jail inmates and other jails in Goa and operations and maintenance of the cafe. The operator will also undertake operations and maintenance of the museum zone including but not limited to operations of administration block, maintenance of small visitor's area along with seating arrangement and photo booths, organising outdoor events in the area along the fortification wall. The fort, constructed in 1612 by the Portuguese to guard against European invaders, has not been notified as a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India or the state archives. It is classified into two broad areas - upper fort and lower fort. While the upper fort was built as a vantage point to serve as a fort and a watering station for ships, the lower fort was used to offer a safe berth to the Portuguese ships. Before Liberation, the lower fort was used as a prison, where freedom fighters including Dr Ram Manohar Lohia and T B Cunha, were jailed during Goa’s freedom struggle. After Liberation, the state converted the fort to Central Jail until 2016, when it was shifted to the new jail complex constructed at Colvale.
Calangute: Shainaz Saudagar, a resident of Orda-Candolim and mother of the teenage boy, who was assaulted in a fight that broke out in Calangute, told the mediapersons that on the fateful night she was in the club on duty while her sons who had come to see her were waiting outside.“My teenage son is grievously injured and is in GMC hospital, while the main accused is absconding; I want justice for my son,” she said.Vivek Sharma, owner of the Devil’s Dance Bar said that there are CCTVs installed on the premises and there is no illegal activity going on. “The fight took place outside the premises and it can be verified through the CCTV footage,” he said.Speaking further, he said the property owner is someone else who has rented out the premises.When asked about the licence, he admitted saying that “we do not have the panchayat licence but we had moved the directorate of panchayat but it did not grant the licence.”Sarpanch Shawn Martins said that the panchayat of Calangute has revoked licences of 13 dance bars. “However the owners are well connected and through influence they operate the dance bars. When the new PI Laxi Amonkar came to Calangute all dance bars were shut but such establishments started operating again,” he said.Calangute PI Amonkar said that “the police have written to the authorities requesting a rethink on issuing licences to operate dance bars till 4 a.m. This is the main reason for illegal activities happening in Calangute.”When asked how dance bars started operating again when he had cracked down on them, PI Laxi said that “he landed in trouble because of it. The dance bar owners took me to court and also the human rights court.”North Goa DySP Karpe said that the police do take action against illegal activities and FIRs are filed.Regarding the demand for dance bars to be shut down, he said there is no law banning women from dancing in clubs. “There is a Supreme Court order allowing the dance bars to operate. Dance bars owners have licences to run their business,” he said.