Civic News

Mopa likely to start ops from Jan 5, flyers will be informed by SMS
Times of India | 4 hours ago | |
Times of India
4 hours ago | |

New Delhi: The new international airport at Mopa is likely to become operational in the first week of January, possibly on the fifth, sources said.CM Pramod Sawant had said at the Times Now Summit last week that PM Narendra Modi could tentatively inaugurate it on December 11.“It takes about a month to make an airport operational after the inauguration,” sources said. “Airlines need to mark on tickets to and from Goa which airport the flight will operate from, Dabolim or Mopa. Also, CISF has to move in and take over security of the facility, which takes around 15 days. People who have bought tickets to and from Goa for the coming months will be informed by airlines via SMS in case their flights will now land at or depart from Mopa.” GMR Goa International Airport Limited (GGIAL), which will operate the airport, is looking at January 5 as Mopa’s opening date. On October 26, the directorate general of civil aviation had issued the aerodrome licence to the Airport after a series of checkposts, thus, the airport was certified to be safe for handling flights. Airlines like IndiGo have indicated that they will operate from both the existing Dabolim airport and the new one at Mopa.The Mopa airport is keenly awaited as Dabolim, a Naval airport, has limited slots for scheduled commercial flights. For years, this has meant flights during limited hours of the day — and hence high fares in peak travel season — for passengers. Being a 100% civilian airport, Mopa will allow more flights to Goa — at least doubling from current numbers.The airports economic regulatory authority (AERA) this August issued an ad hoc tariff order for the GMR-developed Mopa airport. For the first few years, second airports that will soon start opening in Indian cities/regions could be relatively more expensive than the single ones operating there so far. The reason: A majority of them will need to compete for traffic with the existing ones. When Bengaluru and Hyderabad got new airports in 2009 and 2008, respectively, the exiting ones — HAL and Begumpet — were closed for commercial flights. AERA’s ad hoc aeronautical charges tariff order for Mopa includes a user development fee (UDF) of Rs 450 and Rs 1,100 per departing domestic and international passenger respectively. The GMR group that has developed Mopa had proposed a UDF of Rs 980 and Rs 1,500. The authority felt “the proposal of the airport operator is on the higher side and needs to be moderated”. The authority has decided to allow GGIAL to charge the ad hoc tariff till March 31, 2023, or if the regular tariff order is issued before that.

Mopa likely to start ops from Jan 5, flyers will be informed by SMS
Centre permits manual extraction from sandbars & beach shacks in CRZ areas
Times of India | 4 hours ago | |
Times of India
4 hours ago | |

Panaji: The Union environment ministry (MoEFCC) has amended the CRZ notification, 2019, to allow activities like manual extraction of sand from sandbars in rivers and setting up of temporary structures, like beach shacks, in CRZ areas.The Centre has also given local authorities almost all powers to clear projects, except in case of those coming up in ecological sensitive areas and in water.A senior government officer said the amendments will be applicable only in states where the CZMP 2019 is notified and that, in the case of specific projects mentioned in the CRZ notification, 2019, approval will have to be sought from the MoEFCC.With reference to removal of sandbars in CRZ area, the MoEFCC’s CRZ amended notification, 2019, issued last week states: “The sandbars in intertidal areas shall be removed by traditional coastal communities only through non-mechanised manual method.”It further states that state governments and Union territory administration can permit removal of sand in specified quantity and in specified time period on the condition that the extraction is being carried out by registered persons from the local community. The notification also mandates annual renewal of the extraction registration.Various organisations and citizens have opposed amendments to the CRZ notification, 2019, related to oil and gas exploration, sand extraction from sandbars and retaining shacks on beaches during the monsoon, stating that the proposed changes will spell disaster for the environment and local communities.“For projects or activities also attracting the Environment Impact Assessment Notification, 2006, the Coastal Zone Management Authority shall forward its recommendations to the central government or state Environment Impact Assessment Authority for Category A and Category B projects, respectively, to enable a composite clearance,” the CRZ amendment states.For those projects not covered under the Environment Impact Assessment Notification, 2006, but attracting the CRZ amended notification, 2019, and located in CRZ-I or CRZ-IV areas, Coastal Zone Management Authority shall forward its recommendations to the Centre, the MoEFCC notification states.The Centre had received representations from different stakeholders — state governments and ministry of petroleum and natural gas — through the director of general of hydrocarbon for making certain amendments in the CRZ notification, 2019, inter-alia, for delegating the powers of giving Coastal Regulation Zone clearance to State Coastal Zone Management Authorities or state governments for small infrastructure projects located in CRZ-I and CRZ-IV areas, exempting exploratory drilling and associated facilities thereto except in CRZ-IA areas, including the provision of temporary beach shacks as already available in Coastal Regulation Zone notification, 2011, as amended and expanding the said provision to all coastal states, allowing removal of sand bars by traditional communities.“Projects or activities not covered in the Environment Impact Assessment Notification, 2006, but attracting this Notification and located in CRZ-II or CRZ-III areas or those projects or activities listed in sub-paragraph (ii) of paragraph 7 of this notification, shall be considered for clearance by the concerned Coastal Zone Management Authority within sixty days of the receipt of the complete proposal from the proponent,” the MoEFCC notification said.

Centre permits manual extraction from sandbars & beach shacks in CRZ areas
With Tillari dam shut, parts of Bardez reel under shortage
Times of India | 4 hours ago | |
Times of India
4 hours ago | |

Panaji: With Maharashtra shutting down the Tillari dam for maintenance, parts of Bardez taluka are struggling for water supply. Residents in some of the wards in Porvorim said they are facing a lot of inconvenience due to the erratic water supply. Public works department (PWD) and the water resources department (WRD) confirmed that Goa and Maharashtra agreed to shut supply of water from the Tillari dam from November 11 to December 10 to carry out the annual maintenance, including the Tillari project tributaries.“There is a severe shortage of water in some parts of Porvorim, such as Pundalik Nagar Housing Board, Journalists Colony and the tail end areas,” said a resident. “This has been happening for the last 15 days. PWD does not have sufficient water tankers to supply water.”PWD officials have urged residents to use water “judiciously” till the repairs are complete. “Maharashtra stopped releasing water on November 11 and the WRD has said that the work will go on for at least a month. The WRD officials have also conducted site visits to understand the condition of the canals. Since the Tillari infrastructure is several years old, there is a lot of seepage. The maintenance work is expected to be completed by December 10,” said a PWD chief engineer.To meet the needs of water in Porvorim and nearby areas, around 100 MLD is being pumped from the Amthane dam and the balance requirement is being taken from the barrage at Assonora.

With Tillari dam shut, parts of Bardez reel under shortage
Agasaim beach, a tranquil spot for rare birds, birders
Times of India | 1 day ago | |
Times of India
1 day ago | |

Panaji: A Goan birder’s rare luck in photographing a Crab Plover holding a crab in its beak at Agasaim beach piqued interest locally and abroad. Posted on a popular website, the pretty picture unveiled, once again, the quiet stretch as a paradise for rarely seen waders.The curving sandy beach with a wide intertidal zone on Zuari river mouth stretches in scenic isolation for about five kms. Verna-based birder, Justino Rebello’s photo – a click every birder would crave to take – evidently inspired Nathaniel Wander, a US painter and researcher, so much that he did a painting on it “in gouache and water colour pencil” and posted it on the same link. “For me, it was a shot of a life time – the wader holding a crab, its staple food and after which it has been named,” Rebello said.The waders mostly prefer a salt water environment - beaches and estuaries. Morjim, other estuaries and beach spots were hotspots for these birds in the past. But noisy footfalls, stray dogs, construction activity and other factors have turned into major stressors for avian biodiversity. In Agasaim, the desolate beach is an idyllic habitat for waders at low tide. Just a few fishermen or men walking their fighter buffaloes and birders are seen here.“The estuary of Zuari contains more mud than sand washed down from the hinterland along with the usual garbage - organic and plastic. The consequence is Agasaim beach is a mud flat with a spread of organic nutrients than a beach, which is good for birds and bad for tourists,” Savio Fonseca, chief naturalist with a tourism company, said. The Zuari and Mandovi estuaries have a few similarities, but the Zuari mouth is much wider and in terms of avian biodiversity, Agasaim largely hosts more rarely seen bird life than Miramar.“Beside birds, the (Agasaim) site is abundant with sand bubbler crabs and organisms which sadly the scientific community in Goa has largely ignored,” Fonseca said.Concurring with this view, Jalmesh Karapurkar, a member of Goa Bird Conservation Network stated that the rich diversity and amount of food attracts a lot of migratory birds with different feeding mechanisms. “Agasaim tidal mudflats exposed at the time of low tide are rich in nutrients and therefore you see crustaceans and molluscs flourishing here,” he said. The rare waders, though, other than hundreds of gulls visiting this hotspot may not be in huge numbers. “Among the many migratory birds that arrive here, the lesser spotted ones may be just one or two birds of a species. But a trip here is rewarding, as one may spot the Great knot, Sanderling, Eurasian oyster catcher, Indian skimmer, Curlew sandpiper and even a rarer Broad-billed sandpiper in this natural bird habitat,” Rebello said.Three passages, including a partly tarred road and a pathway lead to this southwestern tip of Tiswadi offering a stunning view of the surroundings. In the past, the area formed part of Goa’s ancient capital. “The vast expanse of intertidal zone once served as a bustling port and ship repair centre in pre-Portuguese era of trade with the Arabs. There is an appropriate need to conserve this area as a historical and heritage site as well as a site of biological importance,” Fonseca said.

Agasaim beach, a tranquil spot for rare birds, birders
Newly-launched water taxi to start service between Belapur and Mandwa tomorrow
The Indian Express | 2 days ago | |
The Indian Express
2 days ago | |

The newly-launched water taxi Nayan XI in Mumbai will begin weekend-only services between Belapur and Mandwa starting Saturday, November 26.According to the operator, Nayantara Shipping Private Limited, the water taxi will depart from Belapur at 8 am and arrive at Mandwa at 9.15 am. The service from Mandwa will be at 6 pm and it will arrive at Belapur at 7:45 pm via the Domestic Cruise Terminal (DCW) ferry wharf. The ticket price will be Rs 300 for executive class and Rs 400 for business class.When Nayan XI began services earlier this month, it was running ferries only from DCT to Mandwa. However, it has now decided to cater to more available routes to draw footfall and generate revenue.The Nayan XI vessel from Goa is completely air-conditioned, with two washrooms on the upper and four on the lower deck. It has a seating capacity of 140 on the lower deck and 60 on the upper/ business class deck. It is the first high-speed double-deck steady catamaran of its size in Mumbai that is capable of cruising across the ocean. The newly launched vessel’s speed can go up to 22 knots and it sails at 15 knots between South Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.Water taxi services began in Mumbai in February this year. However, Nayan XI is the first and only service from the domestic cruise terminal. Currently, other operators are running to and fro rides between Belapur, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) and Elephanta Caves.The return journey ticket from Belapur to Elephanta costs Rs 750 per person. The cost is Rs 500 between Belapur and JNPT. The operators are witnessing 70 to 80 per cent occupancy on each trip on these two routes.According to Mumbai Port Authority (MbPA), the high cost of Rs 1,210 is also another deterrent for passengers wishing to travel from Ferry Wharf to Belapur. There is also a demand from authorities to the state government to subsidise ticket rates to make water transport affordable for commuters.

Newly-launched water taxi to start service between Belapur and Mandwa tomorrow
  • Newly-launched water taxi to start service between Belapur and Mandwa this weekend
  • The Indian Express

    The newly-launched water taxi Nayan XI in Mumbai will begin weekend-only services between Belapur and Mandwa starting Saturday, November 26.According to the operator, Nayantara Shipping Private Limited, the water taxi will depart from Belapur at 8 am and arrive at Mandwa at 9.15 am. The service from Mandwa will be at 6 pm and it will arrive at Belapur at 7:45 pm via the Domestic Cruise Terminal (DCW) ferry wharf. The ticket price will be Rs 300 for executive class and Rs 400 for business class.When Nayan XI began services earlier this month, it was running ferries only from DCT to Mandwa. However, it has now decided to cater to more available routes to draw footfall and generate revenue.The Nayan XI vessel from Goa is completely air-conditioned, with two washrooms on the upper and four on the lower deck. It has a seating capacity of 140 on the lower deck and 60 on the upper/ business class deck. It is the first high-speed double-deck steady catamaran of its size in Mumbai that is capable of cruising across the ocean. The newly launched vessel’s speed can go up to 22 knots and it sails at 15 knots between South Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.Water taxi services began in Mumbai in February this year. However, Nayan XI is the first and only service from the domestic cruise terminal. Currently, other operators are running to and fro rides between Belapur, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) and Elephanta Caves.The return journey ticket from Belapur to Elephanta costs Rs 750 per person. The cost is Rs 500 between Belapur and JNPT. The operators are witnessing 70 to 80 per cent occupancy on each trip on these two routes.According to Mumbai Port Authority (MbPA), the high cost of Rs 1,210 is also another deterrent for passengers wishing to travel from Ferry Wharf to Belapur. There is also a demand from authorities to the state government to subsidise ticket rates to make water transport affordable for commuters.

Police charge juvenile driver with homicide
Times of India | 2 days ago | |
Times of India
2 days ago | |

Vasco: Vasco police on Saturday registered an offence of culpable homicide not amounting to murder against the juvenile car driver involved in the Chicalim fatal accident case. A woman scooterist, Rina Fernandes, was killed on the spot while her nephew, Vellin Fernandes was grievously injured in a car collision that occured near the St Anthony Cross at Chicalim on Friday afternoon. “Looking at the gravity of the offence committed by the juvenile/child in conflict with law, Vasco police have moved a letter to the principal magistrate, Juvenile Justice Board (South), Apna Ghar Merces and judicial magistrate first class, Vasco with the intimation about addition of Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code in the case,” Vasco PI Kapil Nayak stated. Nayak said that a letter has been also moved to the assistant director of transport, Mapusa to initiate necessary action under Section 199 (A), sub section 4 and 5 of the Motor Vehicle Act against the car owner and the juvenile driver, which will lead to cancellation of the vehicle registration for a period of 12 months. Also, the offence will prevent the issuance of driving or learner’s licence to the juvenile driver until he attains the age of 25 years, Nayak said.“Presently, the child in conflict with law is lodged at Apna Ghar, Merces and will be produced before the Juvenile Justice Board on November 29,” the Vasco PI said. tnn

Police charge juvenile driver with homicide
Goa University first Indian varsity to sign MoU with Bangladesh maritime University
Times of India | 2 days ago | |
Times of India
2 days ago | |

PANAJI: The Goa University has signed a MoU with Bangladesh’s Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Maritime University (BSMRMU) for cooperation in the maritime fields. Goa University has become the first varsity in the country to forge ties with the university. “This is the first time that any university in India has signed a MoU with this university. Thus GU has become a leader,” said Goa University vice-chancellor Harilal B Menon. He was in Dhaka last week to attend an international seminar on ‘UN Decade of Oceans’ organised by BSMRMU, where the MoU was signed. “The MoU was signed between GU and BSMRMU for cooperation in the maritime fields, extending support for education, research, training, student and faculty exchange and joint research in areas of mutual interest. The study involves both fundamental and applied research leading to conceptualisation of various sensors and equipment for a sustainable usage of blue water,” Goa University announced. Menon and RAdm Khaled Iqbal (retd), VC of BSMRMU, signed the MoU. Menon was at the international seminar to speak on the issue of ‘Reversing the Planetary Crisis of Climate Change by Ocean Science’, while Dr Narsinh Thakur from the National Institute of Oceanography spoke about ‘Linking Marine Chemical Ecology with Bio Prospecting’. Later, earlier this week, Goa University also had talks of collaboration with French institutions. On November 23, a delegation from the French Embassy in India headed by Emmanuel Lebrun-Damiens, counsellor for education, science and culture, visited Goa University and met Menon to discuss collaborations and opportunities for higher education in France in multiple disciplines. The delegates met the faculty from the Discipline of French and Francophone Studies and visited the Goa University library.

Goa University first Indian varsity to sign MoU with Bangladesh maritime University
Mopa airport will be inaugurated soon: PM
Times of India | 4 days ago | |
Times of India
4 days ago | |

Panaji: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the Mopa airport will be inaugurated soon.He made the announcement during his virtual address at the Rojgaar Melava organised by the state government at Raj Bhavan. The event saw the government distributing joining letters to 1,250 candidates for jobs in the police department, directorate of fire and emergency services, agriculture department, and in the directorate of planning, statistics and evaluation.“The new greenfield international airport at Mopa, constructed at a cost of over Rs 3,000 crore, will be inaugurated shortly. During the construction of the airport, a lot of people have got employment. Similarly, ongoing connectivity and infrastructure projects will also generate employment for the people of the state,” the PM said, while pointing out that in the last eight years, the Centre has invested thousands of crores of rupees in the development of Goa.He commended the state government for taking the right steps in providing employment to the people of the state. With as many as 900 joining letters given to candidates by the Goa Police alone at Thursday’s Rojaar Melava, the PM said it would not only strengthen the department, but would also help in keeping Goans and tourists safe.“I congratulate the youth who have received joining letters, and their parents,” Modi told the candidates during his virtual address. “Now, you have to see to Goa’s development and have to work to achieve the goal of making a New India by 2047.”The PM said that the Swayampurna Goa vision has not only improved basic infrastructure but is also improving other infrastructure in the state. “Through the Goa tourism masterplan and policy, the state government has created an account for Goa’s development, too. This will not only attract huge investment in the tourism sector but will also increase possibilities for employment generation,” he said.Stating that the government has also taken steps to provide financial stability to villages and to generate employment by engaging people through traditional farming, Modi said that farmers involved in fruit processing and the production of paddy, coconut, jute and spices are being linked to self-help groups. “These efforts are creating many new opportunities for employment and self-employment in Goa,” he said.

Mopa airport will be inaugurated soon: PM
  • Mopa international airport in Goa to be inaugurated soon: PM Narendra Modi
  • Times of India

    PANAJI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the Mopa airport will be inaugurated soon. He made the announcement during his virtual address at the Rojgar Melava organised by the state government at Raj Bhavan. The event saw the government offering joining letters to 1,250 candidates for jobs in the police department, directorate of fire and emergency services, agriculture department, and in the directorate of planning, statistics and evaluation. “The new greenfield international airport at Mopa, constructed at a cost of over Rs 3000 crore, will be inaugurated shortly. During the construction of the airport, a lot of people have got employment. Similarly, ongoing connectivity and infrastructure projects will also generate employment for the people of the state,” the PM said while pointing out that in the last eight years, the Centre has invested thousands of crores of rupees in the development of Goa. He commended the state government for taking the right steps in providing employment to the people of the state. With as many as 900 joining letters given to candidates by the Goa Police alone at Thursday’s Rojgar Melava, the PM said it would not only strengthen the department, but would also help in keeping Goans and tourists safe.

‘Don’t create unnecessary controversies’: Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai to Maharashtra CM on border row
The Indian Express | 4 days ago | |
The Indian Express
4 days ago | |

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said on Tuesday that Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde should not “create unnecessary controversies” and “intensify the row among the two states” after the latter’s statement promising pension to freedom fighters of Belagavi and other parts of Karnataka.The remarks by the two chief ministers have reignited a long-standing dispute between the two states over the rights to several villages along their shared border.Talking to reporters near his house in Bengaluru, Bommai said that the Border Development Authority has decided to release special grants for the development of Kannada schools in Maharashtra. Besides, he added, details will be collected of those who fought during the unification movement, freedom struggle and Goa Vimochan agitation, and were settled in Maharashtra, to give them a monthly pension.Jat taluka in Maharashtra’s Sangli district was facing a severe drinking water crisis due to drought and the government of Karnataka has evolved schemes to help people by providing water, Bommai added. All Gram Panchayats in Jat taluka have adopted a unanimous resolution saying the taluk should be included in Karnataka. “The state government is seriously considering it,” Bommai said.“There is harmony between the two states and we treat all language-speaking people equally. It is our duty to protect the interests of the Kannadigas who are settled in large numbers in Maharashtra,” Bommai added.While Congress leader and former chief minister Siddaramaiah demanded an all-party meeting to discuss the state’s strategy, Bommai said that a strong team of advocates has been formed to resolve border issues.“Letters will be sent to leaders of Opposition in both Houses regarding the steps taken by the government in this regard. We are fully prepared to argue our case in the Supreme Court,” he said, earlier this week.Bommai’s statement follows a meeting held by Maharashtra CM Shinde to draw up a detailed plan to resolve the border dispute. On Wednesday, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, “We will contest our stand within the legal framework in the Supreme Court. Our government is committed to acquiring the Marathi-speaking villages along the Karnataka-Maharashtra border.”Bommai said the border row has become a political tool in Maharashtra and any party which is in power will raise this issue for political purposes, “but they have not been successful yet”. “We are capable of protecting the borders of Karnataka and have taken steps also. We have worked together when it comes to the land, language and water of Karnataka and have fought jointly. No one has the right to change the States Reorganisation Act,” he added.Bommai also referred to a pending case in the Supreme Court on the border dispute and said the application filed by the Maharashtra government has not been considered. “Discussion is going on regarding its maintainability. The apex court has not considered the main case and it may not be maintainable,” he said.

‘Don’t create unnecessary controversies’: Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai to Maharashtra CM on border row
Goa: Even if Mopa opens mid-December, ‘flights may not take off so soon’
Times of India | 4 days ago | |
Times of India
4 days ago | |

PANAJI: Even as the new international airport at Mopa is expected to be inaugurated by mid-December, the airport itself will not be operationalised immediately, said officials. Official sources said that it would take at least a month before the first commercial flight lands at Mopa. While chief minister Pramod Sawant has said that PM Narendra Modi is likely to inaugurate the airport on December 11, the airport is not ready to handle commercial flights and the passengers that will arrive on the flights. "The inauguration is likely to be held soon, but the airport will be operational later, because a lot of preparation is left, and other stakeholders also need to complete certain processes," said the official, who did not wish to be named. One of the key tasks pending is the operational readiness and airport transfer (ORAT), a process of turning a newly-constructed airport into an operational facility by operationalising everything from commercial spaces and parking spaces to training of staff and management. The airport staff, who are still being recruited, need to go through a training and familiarisation programme, along with security measures and customer-centric services. Services such as the automated baggage conveyors, flight information display systems, access control doors, and fire safety equipment also need to be tested. The PMO is yet to confirm the date, but minister of state for ports Shripad Naik said that Modi will attend the 9th World Ayurveda Congress and Arogya Expo hosted in Goa from December 8 to 11. While five international airlines and all domestic carriers have approached GMR Goa International Airport Limited (GGIAL) to operate out of the yet-to-be-commissioned airport, Oman Air is the only airline to official announce that it will commence operations from January. Domestic airlines have sought 100 landing and take-off slots, but the director general of civil aviation has yet to approve the requests. There is already a Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) team at Mopa, but the risk assessment and mitigation audit is yet to be completed. The GMR Group, which operates the Delhi and Hyderabad airports, is working with contractors and sub-contractors to get the passenger terminal building ready in time for the inauguration, while the other aspects of the airport will be completed post the inauguration. "Only after the inauguration will airlines officially start selling tickets. Airlines will keep a lead time of at least a fortnight before flights actually land. Their staff have to be trained and deployed with all their systems in place," said the source. GGIAL has already received the aerodrome licence, and passenger airliners and private executive jets have already started landing as part of the testing phase.

Goa: Even if Mopa opens mid-December, ‘flights may not take off so soon’
Cabinet approves transfer of land for kunbi craft village in Sanguem
Times of India | 5 days ago | |
Times of India
5 days ago | |

Panaji: The state government on Wednesday granted approval to transfer land belonging to the water resources department (WRD) to the department of handicrafts, textile and coir for setting up of the ‘Kunbi Handloom Craft Village’ at Sanguem.The land parcel measuring 16,000 sqm will be transferred following payment of over Rs 20,000 to WRD.The Centre has sanctioned Rs 10 crore for the project, and an equal share will be borne by the state government. The state cabinet also granted approval for transfer of WRD land, measuring 3,000 sqm at Uguem, to the department of animal husbandry and veterinary services on payment of over Rs 8,000 to WRD.The cabinet granted additional funds of over Rs 73 crore to complete the sewerage scheme for Porvorim. The cabinet has decided to direct M/s Ayyappa Infra Projects Pvt Ltd, Hyderabad to commence work immediately and complete the project.The cabinet has also approved the immediate handover of the centrally sponsored scheme ‘Census of minor irrigation and census of water bodies’, a component of ‘Rationalisation of Minor Irrigation Statistics (RMIS) of the centrally sponsored scheme irrigation census’ from the department of planning, statistics and evaluation to the department of water resources.It has granted approval to simplify the procedure for procurement of land for government utility. Further, it has made changes in the policy on procurement of land under Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 for direct procurement of land to set up public purposes projects on priority basis.

Cabinet approves transfer of land for kunbi craft village in Sanguem
Two shacks gutted at Calangute, loss of Rs 50 lakh
Times of India | 5 days ago | |
Times of India
5 days ago | |

CALANGUTE: Two shacks were gutted in a fire at Calangute beach in the early hours of Tuesday, resulting in a loss of around Rs 50 lakh. No injuries were reported in the incident. Achal Naik, co-owner of one of the shacks located at the entrance to the beach in Umtavaddo, said that the fire broke out at around 2.30am in an adjacent shack and quickly spread to his structure. The shackswere reduced to ashes within minutes, he said. Benedict Rodrigues, owner of the shack where the fire broke out, said that he is uncertain if the blaze was caused due to a short circuit. “The workers were sleeping inside after closing the shack. They awoke when the fire started with the noise,” he said. The blaze destroyed fridges and other equipment such as sound systems, generators, furniture, food and beverage stock as well as gas cylinders. Shacks beside these two structures had a miraculous escape as staff began dousing water while the wind slackened, workers said. Pilerne fire station officials said they received a call at around 2.42am and reached the spot at 2.55am. Fire fighting operations lasted until 6am. They said they would be rebuilding the shacks and open for business in about a week. Calangute MLA Michael Lobo said it was a “natural disaster”, and he would be asking the CM to provide immediate relief to the affected shack owners. Shack owners called for increasing the space between shacks during demarcation to prevent such incidents in future.

Two shacks gutted at Calangute, loss of Rs 50 lakh
  • Two shacks gutted at Calangute, loss of Rs 50L
  • Times of India

    Calangute: Two shacks were gutted in a fire at Calangute beach in the early hours of Tuesday, resulting in a loss of around Rs 50 lakh. No injuries were reported in the incident. Achal Naik, co-owner of one of the shacks located at the entrance to the beach in Umtavaddo, said that the fire broke out at around 2.30am in an adjacent shack and quickly spread to his structure. The shackswere reduced to ashes within minutes, he said.Benedict Rodrigues, owner of the shack where the fire broke out, said that he is uncertain if the blaze was caused due to a short circuit.“The workers were sleeping inside after closing the shack. They awoke when the fire started with the noise,” he said.The blaze destroyed fridges and other equipment such as sound systems, generators, furniture, food and beverage stock as well as gas cylinders.Shacks beside these two structures had a miraculous escape as staff began dousing water while the wind slackened, workers said.Pilerne fire station officials said they received a call at around 2.42am and reached the spot at 2.55am. Fire fighting operations lasted until 6am. They said they would be rebuilding the shacks and open for business in about a week.Calangute MLA Michael Lobo said it was a “natural disaster”, and he would be asking the CM to provide immediate relief to the affected shack owners.Shack owners called for increasing the space between shacks during demarcation to prevent such incidents in future.

Modi expected to attend Ayurveda Congress: Shripad
Times of India | 6 days ago | |
Times of India
6 days ago | |

Panaji: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to attend the World Ayurveda Congress that will be held in the state from December 8 to 11. Union Minister of State of ports, shipping and waterways and tourism Shripad Naik who made the announcement on Tuesday also said that during the visit the Prime Minister will also inaugurate the new greenfield airport at Mopa, the All India Institute of Ayurveda at Pernem and one lane of the new Zuari bridge.“The World Ayurveda Congress is held once every two years in India and this year it will be held in Goa. There are two more programmes for which the PM will come to Goa. The PM has not finalised the date, but he has given a tentative date,” Naik said.Naik said that the All India Institute of Ayurveda is ready. It will have two colleges, including one post graduate college, while the Ayurveda hospital will have 150 beds, a research centre and out patient department (OPD).Stating that the work of constructing a cruise terminal at Mormugao Port Authority is in progress, the Union minister said, “We will provide facilities for cruise ships to arrive in Goa. Lots of tourists want to come to Goa and cruise tourism will get a boost in the state.”Last week, chief minister Pramod Sawant had said that December 11 is the tentative date finalised by the state for the inauguration of the Mopa airport, but that Modi is yet to confirm the date. Sawant said that once the PM confirms the date, it will be officially announced.Under the Rozgar Mela, Naik handed over 64 appointment letters to recruits in Goa. Addressing the new recruits, Naik said that the Rozgar Mela is a step towards fulfilling the commitment made by the government to accord the highest priority to employment generation.

Modi expected to attend Ayurveda Congress: Shripad
Karnataka seeks economic valuation of Kali Tiger Reserve by national authority
The Indian Express | 6 days ago | |
The Indian Express
6 days ago | |

Karnataka’s principal chief conservator of forest (wildlife) has requested the National Tiger Conservation Authority (Project Tiger Division) to include the Kali Tiger Reserve in the phase III of the economic valuation of tiger reserves in India. The move by Vijaykumar Gogi followed a request made by wildlife conservationist Giridhar Kulkarni, who sent a detailed explanation to the forest officials and the national authority in July on why the reserve in Uttara Kannada should be included in the list of tiger reserves that would be taken up for phase III of the economic valuation. The letter sent to the authority by Gogi read, “Giridhar Kulkarni has informed that the Kali Tiger Reserve is representing great diversity in terms of tiger landscape, ecosystems and socio-economic conditions and therefore appears to be a fit case to select the tiger reserve for its economic valuation. The same has also been examined by this office and hence, it is requested to include Kali Tiger Reserve in the Economic Valuation of Tiger Reserves in India-Phase-III, which is likely to be taken up in 2023.” Major ecosystem services from tiger reserves such as employment generation, fishing, agriculture, fuel wood, fodder, timber are identified and their economic values are estimated in the study. In his letter to the national authority and the state forest department, Kulkarni stated, “While the tiger reserves are being established with the primary objective of conserving the tiger and associated biodiversity values at ecosystem level, these reserves also offer a wide range of ecosystem services having social, cultural and economic benefits to society. However, these ecosystem-service benefits at various scales like local, regional, national and global were not quantified so far.”A pilot study was commissioned by the authority and phase I of the study was taken up in 2015 focusing on six tiger reserves: Corbett, Kanha, Kaziranga, Periyar, Ranthambore and Sundarbans Tiger Reserves. Phase II, taken up in 2019, involved 10 tiger reserves: Anamalai, Bandipur, Dudhwa, Melghat, Nagarjunsagar Srisailam, Pakke, Palamau, Panna, Similipal and Valmiki. The findings of the study highlight the importance of conserving tiger reserves and the need for continued investment in their protection.“I request you to include Kali Tiger Reserve, Karnataka, in Phase-III Study. Kali Tiger Reserve (KTR) in Karnataka is located in the biologically sensitive Western Ghats and a UNESCO world heritage site and a global biodiversity hotspot. KTR is home to tiger, leopard, wild dog, elephant, Indian gaur, great Indian hornbill, Castlerock night frog and many other charismatic species of endangered and endemic flora and fauna. KTR is also part of the Western Ghats tiger landscape and adjoining forest areas form an important tiger corridor of the central Western Ghats connecting the tiger habitats in Karnataka, Goa and southern Maharashtra. Further, the reserve is the place of origin and catchment basin for the Kali river apart from a number of streams, thereby providing water security not just for wild animals but for thousands of people in the region for agriculture, tourism and many other purposes,” Kulkarni wrote. Citing the need for the conservation of tiger reserves, the authority explains on its website, “Tiger is an unique animal which plays a pivotal role in the health and diversity of an ecosystem. It is a top predator being at the apex of the food chain and is vital in regulating and perpetuating ecological processes and systems. Therefore the presence of tigers in the forest is an indicator of the well-being of the ecosystem. Protection of tigers in forests also protects habitats of several other species. In addition, indirect benefits of tiger conservation include protection of rivers and other water sources, prevention of soil erosion and improvement of ecosystem services such as pollination, water table retention and a range of other services which benefit mankind.”

Karnataka seeks economic valuation of Kali Tiger Reserve by national authority
Congress’ Bharat Jodo Yatra is meant to divide India, says BJP chief Nadda
The Indian Express | 6 days ago | |
The Indian Express
6 days ago | |

Launching a scathing attack on the Congress’ cross-country march ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ led by Rahul Gandhi, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president J P Nadda Tuesday termed it a facade for its ‘Bharat Todo’ (translated as Dividing India) agenda as the party had sided with those who chanted slogans against the execution of Afzal Guru and India. Nadda also called the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) a party of “banners” that would “lose election deposits in all 67 seats of Himachal Pradesh and also in Gujarat” in the Assembly polls.BJP candidate Jetha Ahir, who is also the deputy Speaker of the Gujarat Assembly, said that the BJP would “send a naked Kejriwal back to Delhi”.Speaking at an election rally at Shehra in Gujarat’s Panchmahal district where Ahir is the candidate, Nadda took a dig at the Congress party for organising a ‘Bharat Jodo’ rally after being part of an alleged anti-India sloganeering on Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus.Nadda alleged that when Congress did not respect former deputy prime minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who united the nation, it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who gave due respect to the leader by building his statue.“Now I am told Rahul Gandhi has finally arrived to campaign in Gujarat. Better late than never. But only the Congress knows if it is doing a ‘Bharat Jodo’ or ‘Bharat Todo,” he said.He reminded the gathering about the prolonged delay in hanging Afzal Guru, the mastermind in the 2001 Parliament attack, in February 2012 when the Congress was in power. Nadda said, “They (Congress) are people who say ‘Afzal hum sharminda hain tere kaatil zinda hain’, (translated as Afzal we are ashamed your killers are alive). They rue the hanging of Afzal, who was given capital punishment by the Supreme Court, and whose clemency petition was rejected by the then President Pranab Mukherjee.”The university had witnessed protests in the campus in protest against the death sentence awarded to Afzal Guru.“Rahul Gandhi stands with such people in JNU and in that same event there were also slogans that said ‘Bharat tere honge tukde tukde inshallah inshallah’ (translated as ‘India, you will be chopped into pieces’). He (Rahul) should first piece together his own party and then go out to unite the country.”Nadda came down heavily on Rahul Gandhi for walking along with Medha Patkar, Narmada Bachao Andolan activist. “Who is he (Gandhi) roaming with? Medha Patkar? Do you know who she is? She is the one who stood against Gujarat and delayed the completion of the Sardar Sarovar project for 15 years by orchestrating mindless protests. Instead of protecting the rights of the poor, she created obstacles in the raising of the height of the dam,” the BJP president said.Nadda said that today the dam is complete and the water reaches Saurashtra and fills up 115 dams and provides water round the clock to the people there. “After Modi became the Prime Minister, in 17 days, he gave permission to raise the dam by 17 metres. Do you want to vote for people who suppress the voice of Gujarat and are opposed to development?” he asked.The Gujarat assembly elections are slated to be held in two phases on December 1 and 5. The results of the Himachal Pradesh assembly elections held on November 12 would be announced on December 8.Nadda lashed out at the Congress for “shedding crocodile tears” for the issues related to tribals and the Other Backward Communities (OBC). “There are tribal people and OBCs in this audience today. Which other party has thought about tribals and OBC other than the BJP? Many will shed crocodile tears but the one who has tried to change your fate on the ground is the BJP under the leadership of Modiji. Why didn’t anyone from the tribal community ever sit in the seat of the President for so many years?”Nadda heaped praises on PM Modi, who first made a Dalit sit on the President’s chair, and then made a tribal woman – Draupadi Murmu – the President. He has given the tribal community respect in the world, he said while criticising the Congress for never holding an annual tribal day.He lauded the PM for taking measures to set up a tribal welfare institute, document the contribution of the tribals in the freedom struggle, and do research on the contribution of tribals to nation-building.Nadda said that the Congress “played” with the OBC community for years in the name of creating commissions. “It is Modiji who turned the Commission into a national body – the National OBC Commission and gave the respect that OBCs deserve.”Without naming Kejriwal, Nadda also attacked the Aam Aadmi Party, saying that in Uttar Pradesh, the AAP contested in 350 seats and lost their deposit in 349. “In Uttarakhand, they lost their deposit in 68 seats and their CM candidate switched over to the BJP. During the Goa elections, when I landed in Goa, I was stunned to see the number of banners they had put up there – the face of the same leader (Kejriwal) and the locals were so hopeful saying, ‘See the results when they come’. I said, let’s wait. And what happened? They lost their deposit in 35 of the 39 seats They are a banner-based party, we are a cadre-based party,” he criticised.Nadda also hailed various development schemes under the leadership of PM Modi such as Ayushman Bharat scheme, Indira Awas Yojana, Ujjwala Yojana and the Covid-19 vaccines. Nadda said that during his tenure as MLA, many people approached seeking medical aid for expensive surgeries. “Poor people would come to ask for a grant of Rs 2 lakh and I would have to tell them that I can give you Rs 1 lakh but it was as good as giving nothing because how can you save someone’s life by giving only half the amount needed for the treatment? So when I became the union health minister, Modiji gave me a huge responsibility and told me to make healthcare free for all poor,” Nadda said, recalling the measures taken by the then government which paved way for Ayushman Bharat scheme under which poor persons can avail of medical treatment up to Rs 5 lakh per year.Regarding Covid-19 vaccines developed in India, Nadda said that while it took decades for India to get vaccinations for other illnesses in the past, India produced two Covid-19 vaccines within nine months due to “the leadership of Modiji”.The former minister said that it took 25 years for a TB dose to reach India, 28 years for Tetanus vaccine to be available in India and a century to have a vaccine against Japanese Flu. “The vaccine had been ready in 1906 in Japan but came to India in 2006. But look at when Covid-19 struck the world in 2020 Modiji had formed a task force immediately. And within nine months, we had not one but two vaccines,” he said.At a time when Europe has not been able to come out of Covid, Nadda said that India has been able to thwart Covid. “No one is wearing a mask and people are sitting so close. This is the protective shield of Modiji’s vaccine given to the 19 crore people. The United States has not been able to finish its vaccination programme. We have given vaccines to 100 countries, out of which 48 have received our vaccination for free. We are not a country who takes, but a country who gives,” the BJP president pointed out.Nadda asked the audience to “protect” Jetha Ahir until December 5, so that he could “protect you after December 8”. “It is your duty to make Jetha win. It is your contribution to nation building and development,” he said.Five-term MLA Ahir, who also addressed the crowd, said that the party workers in Shehra had set a “target of 1 lakh victory margin”. “Like Arjun only saw the fish eye in Mahabharata, you only have to see the button of the ‘Kamal’ (BJP symbol of lotus) in the voting booth. Our workers have fixed a target that we are going to win Shehra by 1 lakh votes. There is no doubt that the BJP is going to form the government in Gujarat,” Ahir said while adding that Kejriwal’s promise of freebies is not going to work as “Modiji has been giving us free benefits for a long time”. The people of Gujarat trust the BJP, Ahir said. 

Congress’ Bharat Jodo Yatra is meant to divide India, says BJP chief Nadda