Bicholim News

Tillari canals shut for major repairs for first time in 22 yrs
Times of India | 3 days ago | |
Times of India
3 days ago | |

Panaji: To fix the frequent breaches reported in the Tillari canals over the last couple of years, both the left and right bank canals have been shut for major maintenance and repairs that will be carried out over two months, officials of the state water resources department (WRD) said. This is the first time in 22 years that such major repairs are being taken up.“Any water requirement (from the Tillari canals) for irrigation in Goa will start only after December. The drinking water requirements of Pernem, Bicholim and Bardez will be met by sourcing water stored in the bandharas. Drinking water supply in Goa will not be affected; it will only be limited as we will have to ration it. No major maintenance works had been carried out on the canals for last 22 years and, if not taken up now, any major damage would mean supply from the canals would have to remain shut for a year,” a Goa WRD official said.The works, which will be executed by the Tillari irrigation project officials in Maharashtra, will mainly involve restoring the two canals to their original state in places where deterioration is found.Officials said work is already in progress and restoration of supply to Goa from the Tillari project in Dodamarg, Maharashtra, can be expected by January.“There are bandharas on the Chandel and the Kalana, from where the PWD pumps water for supply to the Chandel plant to meet Pernem taluka’s water requirements. From the bandharas on the Chapora and the Sal, water is being pumped into the reservoir at Amthane, which is used at the Amthane water treatment plant. This helps meet the drinking water requirements in Bardez and Bicholim,” said a source.Repeated breaches in recent years in the two Tillari canals carrying water from the project in Maharashtra to Goa were becoming a cause of worry, with some alleging that Maharashtra had not carried out proper maintenance of the canals on its side.

Tillari canals shut for major repairs for first time in 22 yrs
Ayurveda, homeopathy, allopathy hospital at Bicholim soon
Times of India | 4 days ago | |
Times of India
4 days ago | |

Bicholim: Chief minister Pramod Sawant on Saturday said that the state government is making special efforts to popularise traditional ayurvedic medicine systems in Goa as well as research in the field, after laying the foundation stone for the multi-purpose hospital being constructed by Deen Dayal Janseva Pratishthan at Vhalshim, Bicholim.Sawant said that the hospital is being built on an area of 4,000sqm at an estimated cost of Rs 20 crore. He thanked Indian Oil Corporation for its substantial financial assistance of Rs 10 crore.He said that the contribution made by Deendayal Janaseva Pratishthan to build a combined hospital for ayurveda, homeopathy and allopathy is honourable and this will be the first such hospital in the state to provide combined treatment.The chief minister said that as part of the efforts to popularise traditional Ayurvedic treatment, the World Ayurveda Congress and Aroyga Expo is being held in Goa from December 8.Sawant said all types of treatment will be offered at the Ribandar health centre with immediate effect. He added that a combined scheme has been launched for allopathy, homeopathic and ayurvedic treatment in the state. Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra, senior officer of Indian Oil Corporation, said that the work of providing financial assistance for this hospital through CSR funds is very inspiring as four lakh people will benefit from this hospital. Kanta Patnekar said that the project is expected to be completed within a year.

Ayurveda, homeopathy, allopathy hospital at Bicholim soon
Just four Goan companies submit bids ahead of mining blocks auction on Dec 15
Times of India | 6 days ago | |
Times of India
6 days ago | |

Panaji: Only four Goan mining companies — Fomento, V M Salgaocar, Salgaocar Mining, and Rajaram Bandekar Mines Pvt Ltd — have submitted bids for three of the four mining blocks that have been put up for auction by the state government. In all, 11 mining companies have submitted 28 bids for the four blocks.Companies from outside the state that have submitted bids include JSW, ArcelorMittal India Nippon Ltd, Shri Jagannath Steel and Power Ltd, Vedanta, MSP Ltd, Kai International and Kirloskar.Fifty-one companies had purchased tender documents from the government and more than 50% of these have proceeded to bid for the blocks. A technical bid was opened by the government on Tuesday.While the Bicholim mineral block has received five bids, the one at Sirigao-Mayem has received seven. The Monte de Sirigao block has received 10 bids and the Kalay mineral block, six.The e-auction provider will hold training and mock auctions for all the bidders on the e-auction platform, on Friday. On December 14, the state government will announce the names of companies that have qualified for technical bids. The auction will take place the next day and the name of the preferred bidder will also be announced.This is the first time that the state government is auctioning mining leases to carry out mining activities. Goa has over nine million tonnes of iron ore resources at the Monte-de-Sirigao mineral block, over 23 million tonnes at the Sirigao-Mayem mining block, over 20 million tonnes at the Kalay mineral block, and over 85 million tonnes at the Bicholim mineral block.The total concession area of the Sirigao-Mayem block is over 171 hectares, the Kalay block 179 hectares, the Bicholim block 478 hectares and the Monte de Sirigao block over 95 hectares.For the first time in Goa’s history, the state government will make a windfall from the auctioning of the mining blocks, as it has fixed 25% as the minimum reserve price of the iron ore rate for bids to the three North Goa blocks, while it is 15% for the South Goa mine. The iron ore price per tonne will be decided by the Indian Bureau of Mines and will depend on the market rate.

Just four Goan companies submit bids ahead of mining blocks auction on Dec 15
Once ubiquitous, the jackal is fading into silence
Times of India | 3 weeks ago | |
Times of India
3 weeks ago | |

At dusk, a symphony of curious sounds invariably emerges from the verdant mangrove forest along the River Sal. For the villagers of Sirlim and Chinchinim on its eastern bank, these are the howls of Indian jackals — erroneously referred to as foxes. But some strangers may be a little puzzled, as the wild canids that once ran riot in broad daylight have seemingly disappeared from most villages.While there may be no need to introduce them like cheetahs, since Salcete’s mangrove forests continue to be a pristine habitat for them, it is also true that their population has drastically depleted over the years.Till a few years ago, it wasn’t unusual to see packs of jackals prowling around the villages near the mangroves even during the day. “Now they are hardly seen near the highway or internal roads at Sirlim-Chinchinim, but at night, we can hear them howling occasionally,” said Dom Noronha, former chairman of the Dramapur-Sirlim biodiversity management committee (BMC). This, he argues, proves that their local habitat is still untouched, and perhaps they feel safer in it.The Sal, flowing down the Verna plateau, has an idyll patch of about 8sqkm of fields and mangroves from Bondorim in Sirlim of Dramapur panchayat and Deussua in Chinchinim panchayat.A few decades ago, jackals freely trotted around in diverse habitats across the state — from thickly carpeted fields and sandy coastal areas to shrubs in midland and forests in the hinterland. Often, they would break into settlement areas. The squealing of piglings and cries of chickens would alert households rather late about their presence, as they swiftly escaped into the fields. Immortalised in mandos — Bannavlechea monte sokolo and its variant, Siolechea dongra sokolo rodtai kole, choi choi — the state had a good population of these animals. Deeply embedded in local folklore, tales of their wisdom, cunning, and swiftness excited the young and the old.As recently as four years ago, a jackal attacked two children in Bicholim, but forest officials attributed it to an act of aggression shown by a mother jackal to protect its puppies. Otherwise, jackals were known to be shy and elusive. “I have seen a few of them in villages near Bicholim town,” said Amrut Singh, an animal rescuer. The depletion of Goa’s jackal population has not been studied so far, but universally, factors range from the fragmentation of habitats due to a decline in agricultural traditions, to urbanisation, and reduction of food availability.“Even though jackals can adapt to changes in the land, these animals require natural sites free of human interference for denning purposes,” Malaika Mathew Chawla, a researcher, stated in her note on jackals. Her study with five others from a Margao-based college helped showcase the small population of these mesocarnivores along the Dramapur-Chinchinim belt in 2018.Jackals, like other scavenging animals, provide valuable ecosystem services. “But like other mesocarnivores, they are rarely appreciated for these services of waste removal and reducing the spread of disease,” Chawla said.Locals blame the construction of the Deussua-highway link road for traffic over the Orlim bridge from coastal Salcete and its recent expansion for majorly disturbing their movements, as a couple of roadkills have been reported in a year. “Just five years ago, we had a good jackal population. When the chapel bells tolled for the Angelus at dusk, a full pack would start howling. But recent roadkills are worrisome,” said Mabel Noronha, chairperson, Chinchinim BMC. “Animals become easy roadkills as they cannot negotiate engineered structures like roads,” said Manoj Borkar, senior academic and biologist.The conservation of jackal habitat is a sensitive subject for biodiversity managers. “If one species disappears, it brings stress to bear upon the other species, as the ecological balance will be disturbed. Hence, wildlife underpasses or corridors are important for their conservation,” Mabel said.Chawla agrees. “Panchayats should play a crucial role by avoiding mindless concretisation of bundhs, landfilling, hill cutting, and mangrove felling. The lack of awareness and will among planners, policy-makers, municipal and panchayat bodies, and in particular the BMCs, result in these bodies becoming mere tokenism,” she said.Borkar suggests a collective effort to reduce man-animal conflict. “The state has a focus on wildlife in its protected areas (PAs) but there is also an impressive diversity of animals and plants beyond the PAs that share space with us. The state agencies must collaborate with people to reduce the conflict with such species and help them to coexist,” Borkar said.

Once ubiquitous, the jackal is fading into silence
Busy Bardez sub-registrar’s office ready for expansion
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

Panaji: The bustling office of the Bardez sub-registrar, located in the vicinity of the Mapusa market, is being expanded. While the process to buy additional space in the same premises is presently under way, it will take a few months before the new area is ready for use. “We will execute the sale deed for the extra space this month, but renovation and work on the interiors will take a while,” a senior official at the registrar’s office said. The office caters to the entire taluka of Bardez and sees maximum property registrations as compared to other sub-registrar offices. Although it was moved to the premises it currently operates from less than a decade ago, its volume of work and citizen footfalls have increased manifold over the past five years. In fact, three sub-registrars have been deputed at the office to even out the workload. It is common to see people who visit the office for property registrations waiting outside due to lack of adequate waiting and seating spaces. “The additional office space will accommodate everybody,” the official said. Similarly, the sub-registrar offices at Pernem and Bicholim will shortly be moved to new premises.“We going to buy spaces for sub-registrar offices of both the talukas. The Pernem office functions from a government building but is on the second floor. There is no elevator to get there, which greatly inconveniences people, especially senior citizens,” the official said. The Bicholim office presently operates out of a rented premises. “We want to have our own assets rather than operating from rented premises,” the official said.

Busy Bardez sub-registrar’s office ready for expansion
Govt to revise mining auction timelines
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

Panaji: The auction of the four mining blocks has drawn in a huge response from mining and steel companies prompting the directorate of mines and geology (DMG) to revise the timeline for the auctioning process so as to give it time to respond to all the queries. This could lead to a delay in the auctioning of the mining blocks. The last day for the state government to respond to the queries was Thursday.“The responses will be uploaded shortly on the e-auction portal and the revised timelines will be intimated shortly,” DMG said. A senior officer said that December 13 has been fixed as the date to announce the name of the successful bidder, but there will be changes in some dates related to the last date for sale of tender documents, bid due date and opening of technical bids, among others. The companies have raised queries on acquiring of private land outside and inside leases, pending litigations, and the auctioning of leases as virgin mines, among others. Over 24 mining companies have shown interest in participating in the e-auction. Major steel and iron ore mining companies from outside Goa have shown interest in operating mines in the state. The state government had put up four mining blocks for auction, including three in North Goa at Bicholim, Sirigao-Mayem and Monte de Sirigao, and one in South Goa at Kalay. This is for the first time that the state government is auctioning mining leases to carry out mining activities. It has taken SBI Cap on board to conduct the auction process.The four mineral blocks were operational before mining came to a halt. Most of these leases cover vast areas. Hitherto, the mines in Sirigao and Mayem were operated by Chowgules, in Sirigao by Rajaram Bandekar (Sirigao) Mines Pvt Ltd and in Bicholim by Vedanta Ltd. As per the directorate of mines and geology records, the lease for the Kalay mine was earlier in the name of N S Narvekar.The total concession area of the Sirigao-Mayem block is over 171 hectare, Kalay over 179 hectare, Bicholim over 478 hectare and Monte de Sirigao over 95 hectares. Mining in Goa came to a halt in March 2018 following the decision of the Supreme Court to quash the second renewal of 88 leases.

Govt to revise mining auction timelines
Goa: 24 mining firms interested in four blocks put up for auction
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

PANAJI: The state government’s attempt to auction four iron ore mining blocks has garnered interest from 24 mining companies, both from Goa and from other states, said director of mines Suresh Shanbhogue on Friday. Shanbhogue chaired a pre-bid meeting for representatives of the 24 companies to guide them through the bidding process, which will be held on the MSTC Ltd platform. The mining firms have also submitted written queries regarding the bidding process as well as about the four blocks that have been put up for mining, and the directorate of mines and geology will respond to the queries by November 3. “A total of 24 companies participated in the pre-bid meeting, and we made a presentation for the companies about the bid and the tender document,” said Shanbogue. On September 28, the state government put up four mining blocks for auction. These mining blocks include three in North Goa — Bicholim, Sirigao-Mayem and Monte de Sirigao — and one in South Goa — Kalay. This is the first time that the state government is auctioning mining leases to carry out mining activities in the state. The four mineral blocks were operational before mining came to a halt in the state. Most of the mining leases which have been put up for auctioning cover vast areas. “The pre-bid meeting is to help the companies run through the bid process, to make sure they understand the process and to address any questions before they put in their bids. There are Goan as well as companies from other states that have participated in the pre-bid meeting,” said Shanbogue. He said that the companies have submitted “hundreds” of written queries which need to be scrutinised and respond to. “We will go through them carefully and see what clarifications or changes have been sought,” said Shanbogue. MSDC, a government of India enterprise, will conduct the auctioning of mining leases in December on behalf of the state government. MSDC officials, who were present for the pre-bid meeting, gave the company representatives a presentation on how the auction process works. The companies were also given a chance to ask questions and seek clarifications. “The mines in Sirigao and Mayem were operated by Chowgules, the one in Sirigao was run by Rajaram Bandekar (Sirigao) Mines Pvt Ltd and Vedanta Ltd was running the mine at Bicholim. As per the directorate of mines and geology records, the lease for the Kalay mine was earlier in the name of N S Narvekar. The interested mining company has to purchase the tender document on or before November 15 and the last day to submit the technical bid is November 21. Mining in Goa came to a halt in March 2018 following the decision of the Supreme Court to quash the second renewal of 88 mining leases. Out of the 595 valid mining leases in Goa, the state government cancelled 252 of those lease-holders who had not applied during the first renewal in 1987 or the second renewal of the leases in 2007. In October 2013, 119 mining leases were cancelled and another 133 in November 2013. When the state government suspended mining activities in September 2012, 90 mining leases were operational out of the existing 343 mining leases.

Goa: 24 mining firms interested in four blocks put up for auction
24 mining firms interested in four blocks put up for auction
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

Panaji: The state government’s attempt to auction four iron ore mining blocks has garnered interest from 24 mining companies, both from Goa and from other states, said director of mines Suresh Shanbhogue on Friday. Shanbhogue chaired a pre-bid meeting for representatives of the 24 companies to guide them through the bidding process, which will be held on the MSTC Ltd platform.The mining firms have also submitted written queries regarding the bidding process as well as about the four blocks that have been put up for mining, and the directorate of mines and geology will respond to the queries by November 3.“A total of 24 companies participated in the pre-bid meeting, and we made a presentation for the companies about the bid and the tender document,” said Shanbogue. On September 28, the state government put up four mining blocks for auction. These mining blocks include three in North Goa — Bicholim, Sirigao-Mayem and Monte de Sirigao — and one in South Goa — Kalay.This is the first time that the state government is auctioning mining leases to carry out mining activities in the state. The four mineral blocks were operational before mining came to a halt in the state. Most of the mining leases which have been put up for auctioning cover vast areas. “The pre-bid meeting is to help the companies run through the bid process, to make sure they understand the process and to address any questions before they put in their bids. There are Goan as well as companies from other states that have participated in the pre-bid meeting,” said Shanbogue. He said that the companies have submitted “hundreds” of written queries which need to be scrutinised and respond to. “We will go through them carefully and see what clarifications or changes have been sought,” said Shanbogue.MSDC, a government of India enterprise, will conduct the auctioning of mining leases in December on behalf of the state government. MSDC officials, who were present for the pre-bid meeting, gave the company representatives a presentation on how the auction process works. The companies were also given a chance to ask questions and seek clarifications. “The mines in Sirigao and Mayem were operated by Chowgules, the one in Sirigao was run by Rajaram Bandekar (Sirigao) Mines Pvt Ltd and Vedanta Ltd was running the mine at Bicholim. As per the directorate of mines and geology records, the lease for the Kalay mine was earlier in the name of N S Narvekar.The interested mining company has to purchase the tender document on or before November 15 and the last day to submit the technical bid is November 21.Mining in Goa came to a halt in March 2018 following the decision of the Supreme Court to quash the second renewal of 88 mining leases.Out of the 595 valid mining leases in Goa, the state government cancelled 252 of those lease-holders who had not applied during the first renewal in 1987 or the second renewal of the leases in 2007. In October 2013, 119 mining leases were cancelled and another 133 in November 2013.When the state government suspended mining activities in September 2012, 90 mining leases were operational out of the existing 343 mining leases.

24 mining firms interested in four blocks put up for auction
A village named after its lamp makers, a ‘lit’ island show etymological connect with diyas
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

Keri: Turning the chapters of history reveals Goa’s intimate connection with ‘diyas’ or ‘deepaks’, the oil lamps so central to the festival of Diwali. Giving a peek, are the etymology behind several village names in Goa, besides several other historical evidences.For one, lamps made from stone have been found in some of the rock-cut caves in the state with evidence to show that oil extracted from the seeds of wild fruits was used to light them. Bicholim town is also known as Divchali locally, a name earned from the famous copper and bronze lamps made by the Kansar artisans here. Also, the lamp at the centre of the state’s emblem, ‘Vriksha deep’ or lamp tree, is the well-known traditional lamp of Bicholim that symbolises enlightenment through knowledge.When copper came to Goa from Karnataka and other parts, the coppersmiths, known as Kansars, started creating artistic lamps from the metal. Later, copper’s alloy, bronze, came to be used in making lamps. The Hiregutti copper plates of Asankitavarman refer to the gift of Sundarika village in Deepak Vishaya to a Buddhist vihara. Historian V R Mitragotri has identified Bicholim as the ‘Deepak’ from the inscription and Sundarpeth ward as Sundarika and the Buddhist vihara as the Buddhist cave of Lamgaon in Bicholim.Also interestingly, the ancient name of the estuarine island Divar in the Mandovi was ‘Deepavati’ meaning ‘row of lamps’. Today, the villages of Navelim, Goltim, Malar and Naroa constitute the island, where once numerous Hindu temples of Saptakoteshwar, Mahaganapati , Ravalnath, Santeri and other deities along with the pilgrimage centre of Porne Tirtha were situated.At night, lamps would be lit in all these temples earning the island the name of first Deepavati and later Diwadi and Divar.While the etymology of Divchali and Diwadi clearly indicate the importance of lamps in Goa’s socio-cultural and religious space, Sarojani Gaonkar, a folklorist from Surla, Sattari, points to the intimate bond Goans have shared with illuminated lamps through the ages by pointing to the tradition of decorating houses with a row of lit lamps and rangolis using flour, sand and clay to mark Diwali festivities.

A village named after its lamp makers, a ‘lit’ island show etymological connect with diyas
Steel and mining cos outside state keen on mining blocks
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

Panaji: Major steel and iron ore mining companies from outside Goa have shown interest in operating mines in the state. Representatives of companies have started conducting field visits at four mining blocks that have been put up for auctioning.Last month, the state government had put up four mining blocks for auction including three in North Goa at Bicholim, Sirigao-Mayem and Monte de Sirigao and one in south Goa at Kalay.This is for the first time that the state government is auctioning mining leases to carry out mining activities. It has taken the SBI Cap on board in order to conduct the auction process.The four mineral blocks were operational before mining came to a halt. Most of these leases are spread over vast areas.Hitherto, the mines in Sirigao and Mayem were operated by Chowgules, in Sirigao by Rajaram Bandekar (Sirigao) Mines Pvt Ltd and in Bicholim by Vedanta Ltd. As per the directorate of mines and geology records, the lease for the Kalay mine was earlier in the name of N S Narvekar.The total concession area of the Sirigao-Mayem block is over 171 hectare, Kalay (over 179 hectare), Bicholim (over 478 hectare) and the Monte de Sirigao block (over 95 hectares).The state government had invited bidders for granting mining leases for iron ore. The interested mining company will have to purchase the tender document on or before November 15, while the last day to submit the technical bid is November 21.Recently, former leaseholders — whose leases have been put up for auction — urged the state to withdraw the auction notice, failing which they will approach the court. Mining in Goa came to a halt in March 2018 following the decision of the Supreme Court to quash the second renewal of 88 leases.

Steel and mining cos outside state keen on mining blocks
Goa: Mines auction plan faces hurdle as companies threaten to move court
Times of India | 2 months ago | |
Times of India
2 months ago | |

PANAJI: The state’s decision to auction four mining block to restart the industry is likely to hit a roadblock, as former leaseholders — whose leases have been put up for auction — urged the state to withdraw the auction notice, failing which they will go to court. N S Narvekar of Kalay Mines, in a letter to the directorate of mines and geology, said that the government’s September 30 decision was premature and is “a clear attempt on your part to overreach the judicial process, and borders on interference with the administration of justice”. “We call upon you to withdraw the notice inviting tender within seven days from the date of receipt of this representation, or in the alternative, defer the date for submission of bids till the final adjudication of civil appeals pending before the Supreme Court in the Goa abolition matters, and till the high court renders its decision, failing which we will be constrained to issue public notice putting the prospective tender document purchaser or prospective bidder to notice, and also move the high court and bring your conduct and actions to its notice, and pray for appropriate action against you”. The mining companies had challenged the decision of the DMG, to vacate the mining leases, in the high court. “The high court, being seized of the matter and after having heard elaborate arguments, has reserved the matter for pronouncement of judgment, your attempt to offer our leases for auction demonstrates scant respect for the judicial process and undue haste,” Narvekar said. A senior government official said that they have also received a letter from Rajaram Bandekar (Sirigao) Mine Pvt Ltd. TOI was first to report on Friday that four mineral blocks will be up for auction — Bicholim, Sirigao-Mayem and Monte de Sirigao in North Goa, and Kalay in South Goa. As per the state government records, the lessee of the Monte de Sirigao mine was Rajarm Bandekar (Sirigao) Mine Pvt Ltd, while Sesa Mining Corporation was the lessee of Bicholim mines, N S Narvekar of the Kalay block and Chowgule & Co Pvt Ltd of the Sirigao-Mayem block. The total concession area of the Sirigao-Mayem block is over 171 hectare, the Kalay block is over 179 hectare, the Bicholim block over 478 hectare and the Monte de Sirigao block over 95 hectares.

Goa: Mines auction plan faces hurdle as companies threaten to move court
Former minister Pandurang Raut passes away
Times of India | 2 months ago | |
Times of India
2 months ago | |

Bicholim: Former minister Pandurang Raut, 76, passed away in a private hospital on Monday morning following a brief illness.He was cremated at Sal in Bicholim. Prior to the final rites, Raut’s body was kept at his residence at Karaswada, Mapusa for citizens to pay their last respects.Chief minister Pramod Sawant, BJP state president Sadanand Tanawade, former Union minister Ramakant Khalap, MLAs Digambar Kamat, Joshua D’Souza, Chandrakant Shetye, former speaker Rajesh Patnekar, former chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar and others were present.Leader of opposition Yuri Alemao along with Congress state president Amit Patkar visited Raut’s family. Sawant said that Raut was a sincere MLA who initiated various schemes. Raut was elected twice from Bicholim on the MGP ticket. In 2009, he had contested the parliamentary polls.

Former minister Pandurang Raut passes away
  • Former Goa Minister Pandurang Raut Dies
  • Ndtv

    Pandurang Raut served as a Cabinet minister between February 1991 and April 1994. (File)Panaji: Former Goa transport minister Pandurang Raut passed away on Monday after a brief illness, sources close to his family said. He was 76.Raut was not keeping good health for some time. He passed away at his residence in Bicholim in North Goa on Monday morning.The former Bicholim MLA was an active member of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party till he formed the Goa Praja Party in 2017.He was elected as an MLA for the first time in 1989 on the MGP ticket from Bicholim and once again in 1999.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comHe served as a Cabinet minister between February 1991 and April 1994.Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and state Health Minister Vishwajit Rane expressed condolences. "Saddened by the demise of Former Goa Minister Shri Pandurang Raut. His contribution to the Development of Goa and his service to the people will always be remembered. My deepest condolences to the family. May God bestow sadgati to the departed soul. Om Shanti," the chief minister tweeted.Saddened by the demise of Former Goa Minister Shri Pandurang Raut. His contribution in Development of Goa and his service to the people will always be remembered.My deepest condolences to the family. May God bestow sadgati to the departed soul. Om Shanti. pic.twitter.com/Cm9DtFD2vM— Dr. Pramod Sawant (@DrPramodPSawant) October 3, 2022

Goa fixes 25% minimum reserve price of iron ore rate for mines auction
Times of India | 2 months ago | |
Times of India
2 months ago | |

PANAJI: For the first time in Goa’s history, the state government will make a windfall from the auctioning of the mining blocks, as it has fixed 25% as the minimum reserve price of the iron ore rate for bids to the three North Goa blocks, while it is 15% for the South Goa mine. The iron ore price per tonne will be decided by the Indian Bureau of Mines and will depend on the market rate. For instance, if the bureau of mines fixes Rs 100 per tonne for a North Goa mine as per the prevailing market rate, and a bidder succeeds to get the mine at the base price of 25%, the successful bidder will have to pay Rs 25 per tonne to the state government for the ore exported. This is in addition to other taxes and royalty. A senior government official said if there is an average bid of 40% for the four blocks, and mining companies export iron ore worth Rs 10,000 crore, the state government will earn revenue of Rs 4,000 crore. “The mining blocks are auctioned on a revenue-sharing model,” he said. TOI was first to report on Friday that four mineral blocks will be up for auction — Bicholim, Sirigao-Mayem and Monte de Sirigao in North Goa, and Kalay in South Goa. The state has estimated iron ore resources at the Monte-de-Sirigao mineral block at over 9 million tonne, Sirigao-Mayem mining block at over 23 million tonne, Kalay mineral block at over 20 million tonne, and Bicholim mineral block at over 85 million tonne. “We will put auctioning of mining leases on the fast-track. We will auction all the remaining leases as and when the documents are ready,” chief minister Pramod Sawant said. The state government has set a target to select the successful bidder by December 21. Before commencing activities, any successful bidder has to obtain a range of approvals—forest clearance for the leased area, wildlife clearance (sanctuary, reserve, or special zone clearances), environmental clearance, consent to establish, explosive licence, permission for mine opening, permission of installation or trial operation of equipment, groundwater clearance (centre/state), gram sabha consent, consent to operate, approval of mine plan from IBM, among others. As per the state government records, the lessee of the Monte de Sirigao mine was Rajaram Bandekar (Sirigao) Mine Pvt Ltd, while Sesa Mining Corporation was the lessee of Bicholim mines, N S Narvekar of the Kalay block and Chowgule & Co Pvt Ltd of the Sirigao-Mayem block. The total concession area of the Sirigao-Mayem block is over 171 hectare, the Kalay block is over 179 hectare, the Bicholim block over 478 hectare and the Monte de Sirigao block over 95 hectare. MSTC Ltd, a central government enterprise, will conduct the auctioning of the mining leases for the state government. The state government appointed MSTC to save time, ensure transparency. Mining in Goa came to a halt in March 2018, following the decision of the Supreme Court to quash the second renewal of 88 mining leases.

Goa fixes 25% minimum reserve price of iron ore rate for mines auction
After 4.5 years, Goa mining may restart as 4 blocks up for auction
Times of India | 2 months ago | |
Times of India
2 months ago | |

Panaji: In a major development which will boost Goa’s economy, the state government on Thursday put up four mining blocks for auction. These mining blocks include three in North Goa — Bicholim, Sirigao-Mayem and Monte de Sirigao — and one in South Goa — Kalay.This is the first time that the state government is auctioning mining leases to carry out mining activities in the state.“We have put up four big mining leases for auctioning,” chief minister Pramod Sawant told TOI.Director of mines Suresh Shanbhogue kicked off the process of e-auctioning the mining leases and issued the tender for the same.The four mineral blocks were operational before mining came to a halt in the state. Most of the mining leases which have been put up for auctioning cover vast areas.Earlier, the mines in Sirigao and Mayem were operated by Chowgules, the one in Sirigao was run by Rajaram Bandekar (Sirigao) Mines Pvt Ltd and Vedanta Ltd was running the mine at Bicholim. As per the directorate of mines and geology records, the lease for the Kalay mine was earlier in the name of N S Narvekar.The state government has invited bidders for granting mining leases for iron ore. The interested mining company has to purchase the tender document on or before November 15 and the last day to submit the technical bid is November 21.The government has identified four mineral blocks under Section 10 (B) of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 and in accordance with the Mineral (Auction) Rules, 2015.The MSTC Ltd, a government of India enterprise, will conduct the auctioning of mining leases for the state government. The state government appointed the MSTC Ltd to save time, ensure transparency and avoid conflict of interest during the auctioning.Mining in Goa came to a halt in March 2018 following the decision of the Supreme Court to quash the second renewal of 88 mining leases.During the Portuguese period, Goa had 806 mining concessions, and in 1987, after concessions were abolished and converted into leases, the number had reduced to 595 leases. In 1987-88 and in 2000, 438 leaseholders had applied for the first renewal of the leases. Subsequently 413 leaseholders had applied for a second renewal in 2006.Out of the 595 valid mining leases in Goa, the state government cancelled 252 of those lease-holders who had not applied during the first renewal in 1987 or the second renewal of the leases in 2007. In October 2013, 119 mining leases were cancelled and another 133 in November 2013.When the state government suspended mining activities in September 2012, 90 mining leases were operational out of the existing 343 mining leases.In May, the state government had initiated the process to take over 88 mining leases from lessees whose second renewal was quashed by the Supreme Court in February 2018. The directorate of mines and geology has issued notice to all 88 mining companies to vacate the leases within a month.

After 4.5 years, Goa mining may restart as 4 blocks up for auction
  • Goa CM Pramod Sawant’s govt completes six months today, no sign of mining resumption
  • Times of India

    PANAJI: Even as the BJP government has completed six months in office, it is yet to resume mining activities as promised in its party election manifesto ahead of the 2022 assembly elections. Chief minister Pramod Sawant was sworn in with eight cabinet ministers on March 28. The government completes six months on Wednesday. Goa Mining People's Front (GMPF) president Puti Gaonkar said that this government has taken the people for granted as they always stood with BJP in elections. "We have to wait now to see when mining resumes in the state," Gaonkar said. Mining in Goa came to a halt in March 2018 following the decision of the Supreme Court to quash the second renewal of 88 mining leases. In January, Union home minister Amit Shah had said that BJP would resume mining activities in Goa within six months of forming the government. "I want to say that after the election, through e-auctioning in a transparent manner, Goa's mining industry will function with double force," Shah had said, addressing a public meeting in the mining belt constituency of Sanvordem. The BJP manifesto also mentioned that "within six months of returning to office, we will start mining in the state through the Goa Mineral Development Corporation (GMDC) and auction of iron ore blocks through transparent leasing and by following the due process of law". The GMDC, which was formed to restart mining activities, is yet to become fully functional even as the Act for its formation was passed a year ago during the monsoon session. The Act was passed by the assembly on July 30, 2021, and the governor granted his assent in September. That same month, the corporation was formed, but till date, there is no official order of appointment for its chairman and board of directors. As per the Act, the chief minister is the chairman of the corporation. The government is also yet to frame rules for the corporation's functioning. In December, the BJP government granted approval to a new policy for handling of mining dumps outside and inside leases through auctioning by the state government, and allowing lessees to handle dumps to restart mining activities. However, this has not yet been implemented.

  • Sawant’s govt completes six months today, no sign of mining resumption
  • Times of India

    Panaji: Even as the BJP government has completed six months in office, it is yet to resume mining activities as promised in its party election manifesto ahead of the 2022 assembly elections.Chief minister Pramod Sawant was sworn in with eight cabinet ministers on March 28. The government completes six months on Wednesday.Goa Mining People’s Front (GMPF) president Puti Gaonkar said that this government has taken the people for granted as they always stood with BJP in elections. “We have to wait now to see when mining resumes in the state,” Gaonkar said.Mining in Goa came to a halt in March 2018 following the decision of the Supreme Court to quash the second renewal of 88 mining leases.In January, Union home minister Amit Shah had said that BJP would resume mining activities in Goa within six months of forming the government.“I want to say that after the election, through e-auctioning in a transparent manner, Goa’s mining industry will function with double force,” Shah had said, addressing a public meeting in the mining belt constituency of Sanvordem.The BJP manifesto also mentioned that “within six months of returning to office, we will start mining in the state through the Goa Mineral Development Corporation (GMDC) and auction of iron ore blocks through transparent leasing and by following the due process of law”.The GMDC, which was formed to restart mining activities, is yet to become fully functional even as the Act for its formation was passed a year ago during the monsoon session.The Act was passed by the assembly on July 30, 2021, and the governor granted his assent in September.That same month, the corporation was formed, but till date, there is no official order of appointment for its chairman and board of directors. As per the Act, the chief minister is the chairman of the corporation. The government is also yet to frame rules for the corporation’s functioning.In December, the BJP government granted approval to a new policy for handling of mining dumps outside and inside leases through auctioning by the state government, and allowing lessees to handle dumps to restart mining activities. However, this has not yet been implemented.

Goa: At Navratri, Bicholim locals pay ode to their ‘beloved Shantadurga’
Times of India | 2 months ago | |
Times of India
2 months ago | |

KERI: The nine nights of the festival of Navratri during the Ashwin month has immense religious significance in the town of Bicholim and vicinity where various religious and cultural activities mark the 10-day celebration. Bicholim attained a lot of significance in commercial and economical context not only during the medieval, but also during the ancient period, as the river was connected to Mandovi's navigable route through a small port situated at Bandirwada, a few metres away from the temple of goddess Shantadurga. The popular seven sisters' folk deities, that connect with Goans irrespective of caste, tribe and religion, along with their brother Khetoba, came from the upper ghat region on elephant back to the presiding deity of Bicholim, goddess Shantadurga. As per folk belief, she granted them permission to establish their sway in the seven different villages of Goa. Tradition says that goddess Shantadurga has been the presiding deity of the town for over 600 years. Before the onset of mining activities, Bicholim was known for its rich agro-horticultural biodiversity and the villagers have been reaping bumper yields with the blessings of goddess. She is worshipped in the form of the ant-hill and that is the reason, from the first day after worshipping the sacred pitcher, various religious and cultural activities like bhajans and kirtans have been organised. Similarly, from the fifth to the ninth day, the idol is seated on a decorated swing known as the Makharotsav. Temple committee member Shamu Gaonkar told TOI, "Shantadurga is responsible for happiness and prosperity of the town since the past. During Navratri, locals participate wholeheartedly in all the festivities with utmost devotion as a mark of gratitude to the mother. The 10-day festival concludes on the day of Vijayadashami by taking the insignia (Tarangas) of deities Ravalnath and Bhutnath in procession till the border of Bicholim town. For the nine days, nine idols representing nine forms of goddess Durga are worshipped and then immersed in water on the night of the ninth day."

Goa: At Navratri, Bicholim locals pay ode to their ‘beloved Shantadurga’
  • At Navratri, Bicholim locals pay ode to their ‘beloved Shantadurga’
  • Times of India

    Keri: The nine nights of the festival of Navratri during the Ashwin month has immense religious significance in the town of Bicholim and vicinity where various religious and cultural activities mark the 10-day celebration. Bicholim attained a lot of significance in commercial and economical context not only during the medieval, but also during the ancient period, as the river was connected to Mandovi’s navigable route through a small port situated at Bandirwada, a few metres away from the temple of goddess Shantadurga.The popular seven sisters’ folk deities, that connect with Goans irrespective of caste, tribe and religion, along with their brother Khetoba, came from the upper ghat region on elephant back to the presiding deity of Bicholim, goddess Shantadurga. As per folk belief, she granted them permission to establish their sway in the seven different villages of Goa. Tradition says that goddess Shantadurga has been the presiding deity of the town for over 600 years.Before the onset of mining activities, Bicholim was known for its rich agro-horticultural biodiversity and the villagers have been reaping bumper yields with the blessings of goddess. She is worshipped in the form of the ant-hill and that is the reason, from the first day after worshipping the sacred pitcher, various religious and cultural activities like bhajans and kirtans have been organised. Similarly, from the fifth to the ninth day, the idol is seated on a decorated swing known as the Makharotsav.Temple committee member Shamu Gaonkar told TOI, “Shantadurga is responsible for happiness and prosperity of the town since the past. During Navratri, locals participate wholeheartedly in all the festivities with utmost devotion as a mark of gratitude to the mother. The 10-day festival concludes on the day of Vijayadashami by taking the insignia (Tarangas) of deities Ravalnath and Bhutnath in procession till the border of Bicholim town. For the nine days, nine idols representing nine forms of goddess Durga are worshipped and then immersed in water on the night of the ninth day.”

Home restriction order against 5 Bangladesh nationals in Goa
Times of India | 2 months ago | |
Times of India
2 months ago | |

PANAJI: The Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) in Goa has issued a home restriction order to five Bangladesh nationals, who have been staying at Bicholim for the past five years without valid documents. All five persons are involved in the collection of scrap, and have been staying in Goa for almost 10 years, including five years in Valpoi. A senior police officer said that during intelligence gathering, the anti-terrorist squad (ATS) of Goa police, including police inspector Vilesh Durbhatkar, suspected that five persons are Bangladesh nationals. After keeping a watch on them for a few days, ATS sleuths approached them. During inquiry, police confirmed that they are from Bangladesh. Police said that they had moved to Goa from Bengaluru. The five persons who are placed under home restriction are M D Anoar Akhon, Hilal Akhon, Hasan Miyn, Noor Jahan Begum and Raja Akhon. ATS has been keeping continuous vigil to identify Bangladesh nationals living in the state. The FRRO officer said that the home restriction will be renewed every month and that Bicholim police will keep an eye on them. In case they are not traceable during the renewal, then a first information report (FIR) will be filed against them. Details such as address in Bangladesh and the address of the local police station in that country will be obtained, and the ministry of external affairs will contact the high commission of Bangladesh to issue the family emergency travel documents as these persons don’t have passports and visas, the officer said. Once that is done, custody of the family will be handed over to the Border Security Force to deport them.

Home restriction order against 5 Bangladesh nationals in Goa