Latest Goa Breaking News & Headlines

Goa: Now, Sunburn to be held on smaller scale, say organisers
Times of India | 2 hours ago
Times of India
2 hours ago

PANAJI: After chief minister Pramod Sawant announced on Wednesday that he has denied permission to host the electronic dance music festival Sunburn at Vagator next month, its organisers said on Friday that instead of a mega event, they will hold a smaller event from December 27 to 29. “Bearing in mind the improving situation and with nightlife and events slowly making a comeback, Percept has tied up with Hilltop, Vagator, to produce a smaller, limited capacity Sunburn from December 27-29 at Hilltop, Vagator,” read a statement by Percept Live. Under advice from the government of Goa, it was decided to not pursue a mega festival any further due to the Covid pandemic, the organisers said. ‘No permission as BJP afraid third wave may mar its image’The smaller event, the organisers said, “is being organised with the support of the requisite authorities. The planning for the same is under way”. Last year, the government had withdrawn permission granted to the electronic dance music festival after public outcry, coupled with protests by Congress. This year, the application was kept pending for over four months even as Percept Live had started marketing the event and tickets were sold with a condition that only people who are vaccinated will be allowed. The denial of permission for the event came as a surprise to many as all other tourism-related activities, including casinos, are functioning at full capacity. A source said that the government has denied per mission for the event as it does not want to give another tool to the opposition and hold it responsible if a third wave erupts. “BJP’s government’s image took a massive beating during the second wave as over 2,000 people died as it failed to manage the pandemic. It can’t afford another blow with just two months left for assembly polls. It will be suicidal even as the pandemic situation is under control now,” he said.

Times of India
  • Sunburn will not be allowed in Goa this year, says CM Pramod Sawant
  • Times of India

    Panaji: Chief minister Pramod Sawant said on Wednesday that the electronic dance music (EDM) festival Sunburn won’t happen in Goa this year. However, tourism minister Manohar Agjaonkar said that once Goa’s eligible population is covered with both doses of the vaccine, the festival can be held in January or February next year. After the CM, post-cabinet meeting, said that it has been decided not to grant permission for the festival, Ajgaonkar said he hadn’t been informed about the decision. However, he added that it was the “right decision” given the pandemic situation. “We have not given permission to hold Sunburn this time,” said Sawant. “We are not having Sunburn this year. I have cancelled it. I have already made the note on the file and have sent it back.” The festival organisers had announced on October 24 that they would hold the EDM on December 28, 29 and 30 this year at Vagator, with limited entry. Ajgaonkar explained that he had sent the proposal to hold Sunburn for the chief minister’s approval, as he felt the situation was conducive for it. “Whether any event should take place or not, the final call is with the CM,” he said. “There is a pandemic, and he knows better what the exact situation is like. We had approved the file and sent it to the CM to take the call. CM must have taken the decision because he thinks the situation is not right for it. According to me, the situation was right.” He said that at Sunburn, the crowd runs in lakhs. “We should not think of profit and loss at this moment,” he said. “We have to give priority to save Goans’ lives. Once the entire Goa population is covered with both doses of the vaccine, any event can take place in the state. Until then, we are not safe. If the vaccination target is achieved by January-February, the event can take place. Those coming in for the fest should also have taken both doses. The show must go on.” He said the chief minister has possibly taken the decision respecting the wishes of the local people. “What the people want has to happen in the end,” Ajgaonkar said. “The CM has taken the decision by studying the entire situation. I cannot take any decision on my own without the CM’s approval. CM had not told me that he would not give approval. His decision is final.”

  • No Sunburn Festival This Year As Well, Says Goa CM Pramod Sawant
  • News18

    (Image: News18)The Goa government on Wednesday said it will not grant permission to organise the 15th edition of the Sunburn EDM festival, slated to be held in December. "The state government has refused the permission to host the Sunburn festival in Goa. I have already signed the file refusing the permission," Chief Minister Pramod Sawant told reporters after chairing a state cabinet meeting refusing to elaborate. The 15th edition of the Sunburn Festival was slated for December this year at Vagator with the organisers announcing that only fully vaccinated participants will be allowed. Meanwhile, Goa Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar said it is the CM's prerogative whether to refuse or allow permission to organise the Sunburn festival. We have to respect the decision of the chief minister," he said. Sunburn is a commercial electronic dance music festival held in India.Read all the Latest News, Breaking News and Coronavirus News here. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Telegram.

Nearly Rs 9 lakh worth drugs seized in 2 raids in North Goa
Times of India | 3 hours ago
Times of India
3 hours ago

GOA: In two separate raids, Pernem police and the Anti-Narcotics Cell (ANC) of Goa police have caught drugs worth Rs 3.5 lakh and Rs 5.3 lakh, respectively. Pernem police raided a rented accommodation at Khind in Morjim and nabbed three — Shabab Khan, 39, from Bengaluru, Imran Noor Mohammad, 36, from Delhi, and Niyazuddin Kamaluddin, 29, from Bangalore — with 33 tablets of ecstasy, 14 packets of MDMA and Ganja. ANC in a raid at Guddem in Siolim, have arrested Satyanarayana Manukoda, 27, from Visakhapatnam, who was found to be in possession of 536g of a blackish substance suspected to be hashish oil.

Times of India
  • Nets worth Rs 3 lakh seized from Karnataka fishermen in Goa
  • Times of India

    Poinguinim: The fisheries department on Thursday found 25 high speed fishing boats from Karnataka fishing in the territorial waters of Goa within two nautical miles near Talpona in Canacona. Assisted by the coastal police, the fisheries department seized five fishing nets worth Rs 3 lakh and some fish. Goa Kshatriya Pagi Samaj president Ashok Dhuri said for the past eight days, fishermen from Malpe in Karnataka have been fishing in Goan waters violating the distance limit of 12 nautical miles. “We, Pagi Samaj members, who fish in small canoes, have been seeing them and today, along with the fisheries department and coastal police, we went to question them. They were arrogant and on seeing the police in the fishing canoe, they fled in their high speed boats,” he said. “The coastal police is handicapped as they do not possess a vigilance working boat as the one allotted to them is non-operational for the last one year. Besides, the police is equipped with two guns, which have no special room to be kept at the coastal police station at Talpona. The guns are therefore kept at Cutbona, which is many nautical miles away,” Dhuri said. He further appealed to the department concerned to make the vigilance boat available to the coastal police in the absence of which they are handicapped. This, he said, can result in fights between small fishermen and the fishermen with bigger boats. Dhuri added that the bigger boats do bull fishing by violating the distance limit, whereby the small fishermen have no space to carry out fishing. “Whenever these small fishermen go for fishing in their small canoes, the bigger boats can collide with them purposely,” he said.

As protests mount, Old Goa panchayat says will stop work at heritage site
Times of India | 3 hours ago
Times of India
3 hours ago

PANAJI: The Old Goa panchayat on Friday said that by December 1, they will issue a stop work order, and subsequently revoke the construction licence of the controversial project coming up close to the world heritage site at Old Goa. The statement by the Old Goa panchayat members came as the protests against the controversial project gained momentum following public protest and with political parties such as Congress, AAP and TMC extending support to the Save Old Goa Action Committee. "We have called a meeting on Tuesday when a decision will be taken and stop work order will be issued and also a decision to revoke the construction licence will be taken," sarpanch Janita Madkaikar told TOI. The licence to the controversial bungalow was issued in 2016 by the previous body of Old Goa panchayat, on the basis that the project proponent had all the permissions. ‘Will ask for nod given to project to be cancelled’The issue gained momentum in the last three days especially after minister for ports Michael Lobo asked CM Pramod Sawant to revoke the licence given to the bungalow. He said that nearly three lakh people will protest otherwise. The bungalow is reportedly being built by a Mumbai-based fashion designer, who is also a BJP functionary. “The project had permissions from TCP, health department, Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) and an approval of the conservation committee,” panchayat member Vishwas Kurtikar told reporters when asked why no action was taken against the “controversial” project by the panchayat, earlier. Madkaikar, however, said they could not call the project either “legal or illegal” since it had permissions. Kurtikar said they did not view the project seriously or suspect anything was amiss until a panchayat member in July alleged illegalities in the project. “It was then we thoroughly studied the project and felt that it was likely to be not what it was supposed to be. The conservation committee had issued permission for repairs and not for construction of a new structure, and legal opinion was sought,” he said. He said they will also write to the government to cancel the permissions granted for the project. “Personally, I feel there could be some violations in terms of builder building beyond the approved plinth, but things would become clear once the old cadastral is compared with the new one. We will know if there was forgery,” he said.

Times of India
Sainbari massacre ignored in history textbooks
Times of India | 5 hours ago
Times of India
5 hours ago

Panaji: In West Bengal, 15,000 people were killed in a single night in Sainbari, but it is not part of our history books, like the Jallianwala Bagh tragedy, said filmmaker of the docu-feature film ‘Sainbari to Sandeshkali’, which covers this massacre and is being screened at the 52nd International Film Festival of India (Iffi). “If Jallianwala Bagh, battle of Panipat and battle of Buxar appear in our history books, why not the battle of Sainbari where 15,000 people were killed in just one night?” said Sanghamitra Chaudhury, the film’s director. He said that the victims are still awaiting justice. “Justice has not been meted out to those victims and their families. I would like not only the entire India, but the entire world to see this film so that they know what happened in West Bengal.” The film follows the trail of politically motivated mass murders that took place in Sainbari, Sandeshkhali and other places of West Bengal during the period from 1970. The film is part of Iffi’s Indian Panorama section non-feature category. “The affected were refugees from East Bengal, now Bangladesh. They came to take shelter in West Bengal. However, they were sent to remote islands of Sundarbans and there, all necessities like medicines, clothes and food supplies were taken away from them. One night, boats carrying unknown people came to the land and killed the refugees and set fire to their houses. This is the tale we have portrayed in our film,” Chaudhury said. “I went 50 years behind and started the film from Sainbari because that was the most dreaded political murder. There are people in Bardhaman who still remember this incident. These are stories which are not narrated in our history books,” she said. Chaudhury said her film shows how the bereaved families are still reeling under the traumatising effect of the tragedies inflicted upon them.

Times of India
Ousted from Cong, Trajano joins TMC
Times of India | 5 hours ago
Times of India
5 hours ago

Panaji: Former Congress spokesperson who was expelled from the primary membership of the party, Trajano D’mello along with a few others joined All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Friday. Vice president of North Goa district Gautam Mandrekar, district committee member Dilip Kudnekar, and Shirgao BJP committee member Sanmesh Gaonkar also joined TMC in the presence of former Goa CM Luizinho Faleiro who recently was elected as Rajya Sabha member from Kolkota, and Goa in-charge Mahua Moitra. TNN Two days ago former district judge and state information commissioner Afonso Araujo and former sarpanch and members of Borim panchayat joined TMC. Some artistes who are now members of the party held a musical programme in Curtorim recently

Times of India
Cong demands apology from Nadda over dharma comment
Times of India | 5 hours ago
Times of India
5 hours ago

Panaji: The state Congress unit on Friday condemned BJP national president J P Nadda’s statement, during his Goa visit, asking people to follow the path of ‘dharma’ (righteousness) and stay away from ‘adharma’. Congress said that Goans have always been on the path of righteousness, but it was BJP that formed the government in the state through non-righteous ways. State Congress president Girish Chodankar said that Nadda should instead ask Goa BJP government and party workers to be virtuous. “In 2017, people of Goa voted for Congress and it was the single largest party, but BJP formed the government by non-righteous means backed by top leadership, right from PM Narendra Modi to late CM Manohar Parrikar,” Chodankar said. “There are several instances to prove that they misused power,” he said. It was proved by BJP’s stand on medium of instruction (MoI), Chodankar said. Stating that the party also spoke about the Rs 35,000 crore mining scam, he asked if the recovery happened in the so-called mining scam. They called Panaji MLA Atanasio Monserrate a “rapist” and now he is part of BJP, he said. He said that no action was taken on 21 orders passed by the Lokayukta. On the contrary, he was stripped of his amenities, he said. BJP once labelled present panchayats minister Mauvin Godinho as “father of corruption”, but he is part of the government, Chodankar said .

Times of India
Attempts on to add fake voters to Taleigao list
Times of India | 5 hours ago
Times of India
5 hours ago

Panaji: Congress functionary and former mayor Tony Rodrigues on Friday complained to the chief officer about an attempt to include fake names in the voters’ roll for Taleigao constituency. Rodrigues and former mayor Uday Madkaikar told reporters that while an exercise to add fresh voters has been initiated by the election commission, seizing the opportunity there has been an attempt to add fake names. “There is a strong likelihood of tampering and adding of bogus names to the electoral voters list by some anti-national elements,” Rodrigues stated in the complaint. Rodrigues, who is vying for the Congress ticket, stated that his supporters have observed suspicious movement and influx of individuals who are not residents of Taleigao. It is suspected that the influx is to tamper with the electoral list, he said, and demanded action against those who are making efforts to have bogus names added to the voters’ list.

Times of India
Drive to enroll new, left out voters today
Times of India | 5 hours ago
Times of India
5 hours ago

Panaji: The state chief election office, Panaji, as per instructions of Election Commission of India (ECI), has started a ‘special summary revision 2021’ drive in a bid to enrol voters. The ECI has fixed a special campaign on November 27 and 28, wherein booth level officers (BLO) will be available across all polling stations to enrol new and left out voters. Stating that this is the last chance to make it to the electoral roll, the chief electoral office has said that those who enrol during this campaign will be able to cast their vote and participate in the 2022 state assembly elections. Those who have attained the age of 18 as on January 1, 2021, or those born on before January 1, 2004, are also encouraged to register themselves in the electoral roll. New voters can apply online on www.nvsp.in or download the voter helpline mobile app or visit ERO at the nearest taluka mamlatdar office or polling station on Saturday and Sunday.

Times of India
In midst of Iffi mania, Goa Votes booth spreads election awareness
Times of India | 5 hours ago
Times of India
5 hours ago

Panaji: Booth level officers (BLOs) from Panaji are making the best use of the 52nd Iffi, not to watch films, but to spread awareness about the system of EVMs and VVPAT machines for the upcoming state assembly elections. Located amidst the array of food stalls in the Inox courtyard, the ‘Goa Votes’ kiosk sees a footfall of 20-25 people per day who walk in to enquire about issues related to voting cards and the functioning of the machines. “The maximum number of visitors at the kiosk are in the 30 to 40 age group. Often these are delegates who are interested in relocating to Goa and have questions regarding the procedure to make a new voters’ ID for Goa and delete their old one. We have received maximum queries from residents of Karnataka and Maharashtra,” said Panaji BLO Shailendra Shirodkar. The kiosk has been set up on instructions of the mamlatdar and the North Goa deputy collector under the initiative called Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation program, better known as SVEEP. This is a flagship program of the Commission of India for voter education, spreading voter awareness and promoting voter literacy in India. Following the culmination of the Iffi, the BLOs will carry out this initiative at ferry wharfs, market places, major bus stands and other crowded areas. There will also be a special focus on creating voter awareness among college students from the first week of December. With many of them being first time voters, they must understand the value of their vote to bring in good governance, said BLO Mahajay Gad.

Times of India
Honour Parrikars promise to Pernem locals over Mopa jobs
Times of India | 5 hours ago
Times of India
5 hours ago

Margao: Congress Curtorim MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco on Friday urged chief minister Pramod Sawant to intervene in the matter pertaining to recruitment of Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) personnel at Mopa airport, pointing out that selected candidates have to pay exorbitant fees of Rs 2.3 lakh for training. He said that he had written to the CM two weeks ago on the issue.Lourenco said that the applicants are required to apply by email which, he said, was a very difficult task for the locals owing to lack of infrastructure and poor internet literacy. He said that the selected candidates, after passing the physical test, have to undergo six-month training by paying a Rs 2.3 lakh fee, which, he said, was unaffordable for most of the applicants from Pernem taluka. “Former chief minister Manohar Parrikar had assured Pernem taluka locals that professional skills will be imparted to them free of cost along with the payment of stipend for jobs at Mopa airport, which, unfortunately, is not getting reflected during the on-going recruitment process. Manohar bhai’s promise to the locals regarding imparting free-of-cost training for skilled jobs at Mopa airport has to be honoured,” Lourenco said. Stating that locals have already sacrificed their ancestral land for the Mopa airport, Lourenco demanded that besides free training, stipend should be paid to all selected trainees.

Times of India
Opposition unites, demands revoking of nods to structure at Old Goa heritage site
Times of India | 5 hours ago
Times of India
5 hours ago

Panaji: A day after BJP minister Michael Lobo raised the ante over the controversial structure that is coming up close to a heritage site in Old Goa, and demanded action from chief minister Pramod Sawant, Congress, Aam Aadmi Party and All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Friday demanded that the approvals given for the construction be revoked immediately. “We will oppose the construction tooth and nail and pressurise the BJP government to revoke all permissions granted by supporting the ongoing agitation. If not, ready for a mega protest,” Congress spokesperson Tulio D’Souza told reporters. D’Souza said if Congress forms the government, it will revoke all permissions given to the project. Also, the construction should be demolished and the land restored to its original form, he said. Chodankar said Congress was the first to raise objections about the illegalities of the project, but kept away on the request of some prominent citizens. “We agreed to the people’s request that the issue should not be politicised,” he said. How could the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) issue permission for the project, he questioned. AAP state convener Rahul Mhambre visited those on a hunger strike and demanded a written assurance to revoke permission to the structure. Stating that the bungalow belongs to a fashion designer and a BJP functionary, Mhambre alleged that such projects are getting cleared by the state government because Sawant is a very weak chief minister and a puppet in the hands of the Centre. TMC’s Goa in-charge and Lok Sabha MP, Mahua Moitra on Friday visited the ongoing ‘satyagrapha’ against the construction and promised to raise the issue in the Parliament when it resumes on November 29. She said a 51sqm hut within the ASI protected area has been converted into a 800sqm villa. “This is how the ‘double engine sarkar’ works,” she said.

Times of India
Approvals for Old Goa bungalow given by BJP govt in 2016, says Vijai Sardesai
Times of India | 5 hours ago
Times of India
5 hours ago

Margao: Fatorda MLA Vijai Sardesai on Friday clarified that neither he as town and country planning (TCP) minister nor his Goa Forward Party (GFP) was involved in issuing permissions for the controversial house at Old Goa, and challenged the incumbent TCP minister Chandrakant Kavlekar to prove otherwise. Addressing a press conference to clarify his side after Kavlekar reportedly stated that a former TCP minister had issued permissions to the structure, Sardesai accused Kavlekar of purposely making a “vague” statement to let the accusing fingers point at him (Sardesai). Sardesai said that since the location comes under the Conservation Committee, approval was granted by it on October 7, 2016, and that, subsequently, TCP gave its technical clearance in 11 days on October 18, 2016. “The TCP permission was granted (to the structure) when BJP government under Laxmikant Parsekar (as CM) and the late Francis D’Souza as TCP minister (was in office), and not during (the tenure of) the coalition government. GFP formed a coalition government and I was sworn in as minister on March 14, 2017, five months after the permissions were issued,” Sardesai said. He said that Sujay Lotlikar, a former office bearer of GFP, was asked to step down soon after links of the controversial house came to be reported in the media in May 2021. “Construction of this controversial structure happened when Kavlekar was the TCP minister in a non-alliance BJP government. It is the full BJP government that gave the approval and it is the full BJP government during which the construction of this structure began,” Sardesai said. He further challenged Kavlekar to show him the copies of the file and file notings and “prove which minister he is talking about”. “The onus is on the government to prove the illegality and take action against the guilty. The onus lies on the government to prove me wrong,” he said.

Times of India
Velsao residents oppose survey by railway officials
Times of India | 5 hours ago
Times of India
5 hours ago

Vasco: Residents of Velsao, Mollo along with Goencho Ekvott and village panchayat members, on Friday stopped the demarcation work being undertaken by Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) contractors who are hired by South Western Railways (SWR) for the rail doubling work. Olencio Simoes, joint secretary, Goencho Ekvott stated that RVNL officials are trespassing in private properties of the villagers without informing the owners, nor informing the local panchayat of Velsao-Pale-Isorssim. He said that RVNL authorities illegally started demarcating land for double tracking without land acquisition and began installing barbed wire fencing, thereby blocking right of access to the houses and properties. Founder of Goencho Ekvott, Orville Dourado Rodrigues warned the government that if such illegal development is forced against the wishes of the people of Velsao and the state, then Goencho Ekvott will be forced to mobilise thousands of people to come on the streets. Olencio stated that the land acquisition was opposed since 2008, and the land owners are now against the same land acquisition being carried out for doubling of railway track planned under the ministry of railways (South Western Railway Construction Organisation).

Times of India
Demolition drive restarts at Vathadev
Times of India | 5 hours ago
Times of India
5 hours ago

Bicholim: The demolition drive to clear the path for the construction of the proposed bypass from Vhalshim to Khandepar restarted on Friday after a day’s halt. Since Wednesday, as per the district collector’s order, the construction removal squad had undertaken demolition of houses in Vathadev village, Bicholim taluka to make way for the highway, under tight police security. On Wednesday, three houses were demolished out of the 18 structures listed for demolition as these are located along the proposed allignment for the new road. In order to avoid hardships faced by them on Wednesday, the villagers on Thursday submitted a memorandum to the office of the deputy collector, Bicholim taluka requesting more time to shift the belongings from their houses. Vasant Hosmani, a resident, along with other locals demanded a revaluation of their land as per current rates.

Times of India
After buses, Goa to have electric boat to ferry passengers
Times of India | 5 hours ago
Times of India
5 hours ago

Panaji: Months after embracing the technology of electric vehicles by adding 30 public buses to the state’s roads, Goa is all set to welcome an electric vehicle on its river route as well. Next month onwards, the Ribandar to Chorao ferry route may see Goa’s first electric boat, which will run on 100% clean energy. Battery-powered, the e-boat will run without fuel and will also have solar panels installed upon it, which will help power the battery. The captain of ports (CoP) and the river navigation department (RND) will launch the vessel by the third week of December. “The vessel is for the carriage of passengers only, and has a capacity to carry 60 pedestrians,” sources from the CoP said. The e-boat’s battery will be primarily charged at the charging stations that are being erected on either side of the river route. However, the solar panels will also act as an energy source to charge the battery. In addition to this, the vessel will also have back-up generators on board to be used in the monsoon in case there is a battery shortage. “We have been planning this project for the past two years ever since the Kerala government launched the first electric-solar ferry. This will therefore be the very first electric boat in Goa for the public,” an RND official told TOI. Aquarius Shipyard is building the vessel at a cost of Rs 4 crore and is expected to be delivered to the CoP very soon. After the delivery, the CoP and RND will take a call on whether or not to charge passengers for the ferry service. For now, the tentative plan is to operate the vessel on the Ribandar to Chorao ferry route, free of cost.

Times of India
Goa: ‘Don’t commence physical classes below Class VII’
Times of India | 5 hours ago
Times of India
5 hours ago

Panaji: The directorate of education (DoE) has warned schools against conducting physical classes for students below Class VII, as the state government has not permitted the same. DoE has said that action will be initiated against schools violating the directives. On Thursday, offline classes began for Class VII and VIII students across the state after the government gave its approval. Classes for students of Class IX to XII were already on. “All the heads of government/government aided/primary/secondary/higher secondary and special schools in the state were informed to reopen schools from Class VII to Class XII (physical classes). All heads are hereby strictly directed not to reopen any other standard other than mentioned in the circulars, without permission of the DoE. Action will be initiated for non-compliance of this circular,” director Bhushan Savaikar has said in the circular issued on November 26. The state Covid task force and expert committee had told the state government earlier this month that it was safe to have physical classes for all students from nursery onwards. However, the government decided that only students from Class VII onwards will attend school in physical format.

Times of India
PMO has tentatively confirmed Modis Goa visit on December 19: Pramod Sawant
Times of India | 5 hours ago
Times of India
5 hours ago

Panaji: It has been tentatively confirmed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be present for the celebrations on December 19 in Goa, marking the 60th year of the state’s Liberation, chief minister Pramod Sawant said on Friday. The PM will pay tributes at the martyr’s memorial at Azad Maidan in Panaji and will inaugurate several new projects, Sawant said, following a meeting with officials of all state department to discuss the PM’s visit. “To mark the 60th year of Goa’s Liberation, we have invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi on behalf of Goa government and the people of Goa. This year, for the Liberation Day programme, we want him to come to Goa and inaugurate different Central and state-funded projects. We also want his presence for the programme on Atmanirbhar Bharat Swayampurna Goem,” said Sawant. At present, the PM’s visit is planned only as a day-long event, he said. “It has been tentatively fixed that the Prime Minister will be present for the programme on December 19. To mark the 60th year of Liberation, the PM will definitely come to Goa and will address the people of Goa,” said Sawant. The final schedule of his visit will only be announced after it is confirmed by the PMO, he said. “The first meeting on his meeting was held today and the heads of all departments were present. All officials have shared their ideas and different options for the day’s programme will be prepared and sent to the PM’s office for approval. The main programme we have planned is inauguration of the superspecialty hospital and the renovated Aguada jail project, done with central government funds,” said Sawant. He said discussion is presently on about whether the main event should be held at the Campal Grounds or at Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium. “The Prime Minister will also visit the memorial at Azad Maidan to pay his tribute to martyrs of Goa’s freedom movement. We want him to hand over the cheques for new approved projects of Rs 50 lakh to panchayats and Rs 1 crore to municipalities. We want him to felicitate sarpanch, panch, swayampurna mitras and beneficiaries,” said Sawant. The event will also see remembrance of freedom fighters in the presence of their families, he said.

Times of India
Citizens still unaware of EWS quota
Times of India | 5 hours ago
Times of India
5 hours ago

Panaji: Chief minister Pramod Sawant on Friday said that it has been a year since he has made the benefit of economically weaker section (EWS) reservations available in Goa. However, those eligible for it are still unaware of the benefit they can get through reservation in jobs as well as in education institutions. “It has been one year since I approved the EWS scheme, but the person who is eligible for it himself does not know. If we do not inform the person then who will? They are eligible for 10% reservation in the case of jobs as well as educational institutes,” said Sawant. He also said that nearly 50% of the works of citizens stuck due to inter-departmental issues have been resolved in the state since the launch of the Sarkar Tumchya Daari programme. Sawant was in Shiroda to attend the programme on Friday. “At least the issues of 50% citizens have been resolved under the Sarkar Tumchya Daari programme. The work was possibly stuck because of inter-departmental issues. Every field functionary sees what the issue is and even if it cannot be resolved on the spot, they make sure they get it resolved the next day by calling the citizen to their office. Within the next 8-10 days, the work of the remaining 50% people will be done,” said the chief minister. “The government has 210 schemes to offer, not just Griha Aadhar, DDSSY, DSY and Laadli Laxmi. We are here to give to the people, not to just give assurances,” Sawant said, hitting out at the opposition. There are some who are calling Sarkar Tumchya Daari an election gimmick, said the CM.

Times of India
Goa: BJP eyes political fortune in Navelim
Times of India | 5 hours ago
Times of India
5 hours ago

Margao: Since securing the Davorlim zilla panchayat (ZP) seat — a part of the Navelim assembly constituency — at the ZP elections held last year, BJP has been fancying its chances of winning the Navelim seat in the 2022 polls. With Luizinho Faleiro quitting as Congress MLA to join Trinamool Congress (TMC) and thus vacating the political space in Navelim, the altered political situation has bolstered the ambitions of the saffron party to breach the Congress citadel. With Faleiro having represented Navelim constituency for close to 30 years, political observers say that the former chief minister has cultivated a large loyal voter base. It is on the strength of these assured votes that Faleiro had managed to stage a comeback to local politics in 2017, after almost a decade of isolation following his defeat in the 2007 assembly polls. Faleiro won the seat polling over 8,000 votes, more than half of which are believed to be his “personal loyalty votes”. Political observers say that the behaviour of this large chunk of votes, in the event Faleiro decides not to contest from Navelim, will be crucial in determining the outcome of the 2022 polls. While Faleiro has maintained that he will take a “right decision in the interest of the people of Navelim”, political observers decipher the statement to mean that he may prop up a candidate of his choice on the TMC ticket. Besides, sources say, that with nearly a quarter of the total electorate from Navelim belonging to the Muslim community, concentrated largely in Rumdamol, Davorlim, and Ravanfond areas, political parties are working out strategies to woo these voters. BJP, party sources said, is also toying with the idea of fielding a Muslim face from Navelim with an eye on these minority votes. As it’s likely to be a multi-cornered fight in Navelim, the outcome will be determined largely on the strength of a candidates’ personal appeal in addition to his/her party’s traditional votes. Satyavijay Naik, who contested as its candidate for the Navelim ZP polls, its Davorlim ZP member Ulhas Tuyekar, its Navelim mandal vice-president, Paresh Dessai, besides party spokesperson Urfan Mulla, are strong claimants of the ticket. While NCP Benaulim MLA Churchill Alemao is seeking a NCP ticket for his daughter Valanka from Navelim — NCP-Congress alliance talks are learnt to have got stuck over this demand — political observers don’t rule out Valanka contesting on a TMC ticket or as an independent if the alliance deal doesn’t work out on Alemao’s terms. Alemao had trounced Faleiro in Navelim in the 2007 polls contesting on the Save Goa Front party, and has a significant voter base in this constituency. He has now given a deadline of November 29 for the NCP leadership to decide on the alliance, failing which he would be free to take his own decision. Avertano Furtado, who had contested against Faleiro in the 2017 polls, is now in the Congress camp and its probable candidate, while AAP functionary Pratima Coutinho, who had contested as a Congress candidate in the Navelim ZP bypolls held earlier this year, is being projected as the AAP candidate for 2022 assembly polls.

Times of India
Transport dept to begin strict checks on digital fare meters next week in Goa
Times of India | 6 hours ago
Times of India
6 hours ago

Panaji: Taxi operators in Goa who have failed to install digital fare meters in their vehicles will soon face the music of the directorate of transport. Starting next week, vehicles plying in the state without the device will be challaned and a penalty will be imposed. The government had earlier set a deadline of October 31 for the series-wise fitments of digital meters, following which the pending taxi operators were given until this month to get the installation complete. “Now that the deadline is over, action against violators will begin,” director of transport, Rajan Satardekar told TOI. Though a previous government order instructed the cancellation of taxi permits on failure to install the meters, the order was repealed by transport minister Mauvin Godinho. Taxi operators were then granted 100% subsidy on the installation of the device following which there was a slight surge in bookings. Now, to ensure that taxis follow the mandated rule, there will be checks on highways and state roads by the police. “We will stop taxis without meters from plying and challan them. We have not started issuing orders for cancellation of the taxi permits, but technically they are to be treated as cancelled since they are in violation for not installing the meters by the deadline. Simultaneously, fitment of pending vehicles is ongoing. However, the vehicles without fitment must not legally ply,” Satardekar said. He further said that the act of challaning the violating taxi vehicles will serve as paper-proof of their disobedience. “There is an immediate cash pinch because the violator is forced to pay an amount. We will intensify this move from next week onwards,” he added. There are roughly around 20,000 taxis registered in the state, of which about 16,000 are operational. As on November 20, only 4,109 vehicles have been fitted with the meters, and 2,631 bookings are awaiting installation. At the last hearing, the high court of Bombay at Goa grilled the Goa government on its poor implementation of the scheme after the directorate of transport submitted a status report on the installation of meters in taxis, which stated that only 65-75 digital fare meters are being installed daily and more than 2,000 vehicles are yet to be installed with meters.

Times of India