Colva: People are supreme, while elected representatives, be it MLAs or panchayat members and even myself as a nominated member of the government, are duty-bound to serve the people, said governor P S Sreedharan Pillai on Saturday.He was speaking during the tour of Benaulim and Velim villages as part of his ‘Goa Sampurna Yatra’. During his visit, Pillai addressed citizens and the newly-elected panchayat members. Quoting Mahatma Gandhi who had said ‘Real India lives in villages’, Pillai said that through his yatra which began on September 17 last year, he has toured 60% of the villages in Goa. “While the post of the governor is nominated, I am committed to serve the people. Hence, I decided to use my discretionary funds for the benefit of the state, and not on foreign tours with my family,” he said.Since last year, Pillai has extended financial aid to 421 dialysis patients, besides visiting orphanages and old-aged homes in the state. In Benaulim, he handed over cheques to 14 dialysis patients.
MARGAO: With elections for the posts of sarpanch and deputy sarpanch for the panchayats which went to polls earlier this month to be held on Monday, hectic politicking is being witnessed in the rural areas with both the major political parties attempting to cobble up a majority and hold sway over the panchayat bodies. However, as the elections were not fought on party lines, the political affiliations of those who emerged victorious are unclear in most of the panchayat bodies. However, with the BJP having claimed its dominance on most of the panchayat bodies across the state, “independent” members have formed panels in most of the panchayats with a view to remaining independent by rotating the posts of sarpanch and deputy sarpanch after a specified time. Sources said that what has driven the members to form independent panels is the failure of any particular party or MLA to get their panels elected. In Velim constituency, no panel has staked claim for the top two posts in Sao Jose de Areal, Dramapur and Chinchinim panchayats so far, as the members have failed to arrive at a consensus over the choice of candidates. Ambiguity persists in Benaulim constituency as well. Of the seven panchayats of Benaulim, local MLA Venzy Viegas’ camp has claimed its dominance in three, though the picture is still unclear. In Navelim constituency, BJP MLA Ulhas Tuenkar is facing an acid test. BJP intends to form its body in Davorlim-Dicarpale, Aquem-Baixo and Rumdamol-Davorlim panchayats. For the first time in Navelim panchayat, BJP has been able to get victory in a couple of seats, and Tuyekar, it is learnt, is keen in getting this body under his belt as well. At Rumdamol panchayat, five members who got elected as “independents,” have claimed to have formed a panel ‘United for Rumdamol’ with the objective of ensuring smooth running of the panchayat.
Margao: With elections for the posts of sarpanch and deputy sarpanch for the panchayats which went to polls earlier this month to be held on Monday, hectic politicking is being witnessed in the rural areas with both the major political parties attempting to cobble up a majority and hold sway over the panchayat bodies.However, as the elections were not fought on party lines, the political affiliations of those who emerged victorious are unclear in most of the panchayat bodies. However, with the BJP having claimed its dominance on most of the panchayat bodies across the state, “independent” members have formed panels in most of the panchayats with a view to remaining independent by rotating the posts of sarpanch and deputy sarpanch after a specified time.Sources said that what has driven the members to form independent panels is the failure of any particular party or MLA to get their panels elected.In Velim constituency, no panel has staked claim for the top two posts in Sao Jose de Areal, Dramapur and Chinchinim panchayats so far, as the members have failed to arrive at a consensus over the choice of candidates.Ambiguity persists in Benaulim constituency as well. Of the seven panchayats of Benaulim, local MLA Venzy Viegas’ camp has claimed its dominance in three, though the picture is still unclear.In Navelim constituency, BJP MLA Ulhas Tuenkar is facing an acid test. BJP intends to form its body in Davorlim-Dicarpale, Aquem-Baixo and Rumdamol-Davorlim panchayats.For the first time in Navelim panchayat, BJP has been able to get victory in a couple of seats, and Tuyekar, it is learnt, is keen in getting this body under his belt as well.At Rumdamol panchayat, five members who got elected as “independents,” have claimed to have formed a panel ‘United for Rumdamol’ with the objective of ensuring smooth running of the panchayat.
Colva: In the seven coastal villages of Salcete taluka women have captured 47.36% of the wards. In as many as four villages women out-number their male counterparts. Betalbatim, Colva, Benaulim, Varca, Orlim, Carmona and Cavelossim constitute coastal villages of Salcete.In the seven wards of Betalbatim panchayat, three women have emerged victorious. This includes Viola, wife of former tourism minister Francisco ‘Mickky’ Pacheco. Ilma Dias was declared successful in the general category ward by defeating ex-sarpanch Costancio Miranda. The post of deputy sarpanch is reserved for women.Husband and wife duo Maria Filomena Rato also won along with her husband ex-deputy sarpanch. The fourth woman to win in Betalbatim was Nazima RebelloIn Benaulim panchayat, eight women claimed victory in the 11 wards thereby reducing the men to a minority.While four women won in general category wards, four others were declared winners from wards reser ved for women.Ex-sarpanchs Ezlina Fernandes and Diella Fernandes, Felicia Noronha, Glyda Rodrigues e Fernandes contested in the general category to claim success, while ex-sarpanch Vencila Rodrigues, Gencia Colaco, Resica Fernandes and Rini Mascarenhas contested from wards reserved for women.Husband and wife duos — Xavier Pereira and Diella and David Fernandes and Vencila Rodrigues — will continue in the Benaulim panchayat for a second term as couples.Felicia Noronha, who was a panchayat member during the last term, defeated ex-deputy sarpanch Nilesh Prabhudessai who tried his luck in her ward as his was reserved for women.Four women — Sandra Fernandes, Lavita Pinto, Vailona Fernandes and Neslyn Jorge will dominate the seven-member panchayat in Carmona. Vailona won in the general category ward.In Orlim also, four women will hold sway in the seven-member panchayat. Tamica Rosa, who completed her five-year term as sarpanch, claimed her victory by contesting from general category ward.Husband-wife duo Simon Pereira and Zeetta set the record in the village as being the first couple to enter the panchayat body. Cosma Martins is the wife of ex-panch Keizar Martins. The fourth successful contestant is Nascimenta Fernandes.In the nine-member Varca panchayat, four women made it to the local governing body. Sharon D’Costa, daughter of former chief minister Churchill Alemao, Nora Dias e Rodrigues and Salesiana Fernandes won from wards reserved for women. Flavia Baretto battled it out in the general category to claim victory. Even though men have a majority, the post of the sarpanch is reserved for women.In Cavelossim panchayat with seven wards, three women Swizel Barreto, Delfina Luis and Rinku Lobo claimed victories from reserved wards.Colva panchayat which is made-up of nine wards, is also reserved for woman sarpanch. Even though six men have been elected, the three women — Edna Serrao, Teresa Silva and ex-sarpanch Suzie Fernandes — will hold sway over the functioning of the local body.
Porvorim: Instead of emulating the Bengaluru or Hyderabad IT model, the state aims to create a niche for Goa as a workation destination, for which three co-working spaces will come up at Caranzalem, Benaulim and Morjim, said IT minister Rohan Khaunte. Khaunte also said that the department aims to digitise the functioning of all government departments by introducing an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to manage files. Khaunte said this will not only improve the ease of doing business for IT investors but also provide opportunities for local startups. “We are not trying to compete with Bangalore or Telangana. We are not trying to become Silicon Valley. We want to target niche technologies,” said Khaunte. “We are getting co-working spaces on the beach, at Morjim, Benaulim and Caranzalem. You can work, do watersports, chill and come back and work.” He also said that Goa Electronics Limited (GEL) has been asked to prepare a Geographic Information System-based map for the entire state with different layers of information. “We are going to create layers for PWD, tourism, education. Once the GIS system is created with all the layers and we get all the departments on board, we will need a Geo Spatial Act. This Geo-Spatial act will also come in soon,” said Khaunte. The minister also said that two Wi-Fi hotspots will be set up in each constituency and asked each MLA to recommend the locations for each constituency. “We have already taken up 18 locations as a pilot basis and in 15 days, these locations will be approved. He also informed the House that GEL will be given the responsibility of creating and maintaining websites of all the government departments and agencies.
Colva: An Ukrainian national, Dmytro Gurov, 49, was found dead in his rented villa, near Benaulim beach, on Wednesday afternoon. Police said that they received the information from the villa’s caretakers. PI Melson Colaco said that Gurov had come to Goa in December. A case of unnatural death has been registered and they are awaiting the autopsy report, he said.
Staff ReporterMargaoSix diocesan priests celebrated 25 years of their priesthood this month.Each held their silver jubilee celebration with masses at various churches in the state.Fr. Jeronimo D’Silva was ordained in Panaji on April 28, 1997 and celebrated his silver jubilee at Holy Spirit Church, Margao.The theme he took up on the ordination day and carries through his priestly life is ‘Jesus is the Light to my steps.’He is currently vice-principal of the Rosary College, Navelim.Fr. Albano Fernandes was ordained a priest in Benaulim on May 2, 1997, and held his silver jubilee celebration at St. John the Baptist Church, Benaulim. He is currently serving as the director of the Diocesan Family Service Centre, Margao and his priestly theme is ‘To serve with love’.Fr. Edmund Barretto, who is currently the parish priest of the Our Lady of Health Church, Cuncolim, was ordained a priest on May 8, 1997 with the theme ‘Witness to Jesus through service’ at Sadolxem, and celebrated his silver jubilee at the Our Lady of Rosary Church, Sadolxem.Parish priest of St. Francis Xavier Church, Borim Fr. Victor Ferrao was ordained as a priest on May 10, 1997 at Chinchinim. He celebrated his silver jubilee at St. Francis Xavier Church, Borim and his priestly theme is ‘Thy will bedone’.Fr. Freddy Braganca, who was ordained a priest on May 12, 1997 at Ponda, celebrated his silver jubilee at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Chapel, Ponda.He is currently in-charge of the Apostolate for Pastoral Care of Tourism, Panaji.His priestly theme is ‘For people, from among the people, for the service of humanity, on behalf of God’.Fr. Geraldo John Diniz, who is currently serving as the parish priest of the St. Stephen Church, Santo Estevao, was ordained a priest on May 15, 1997 at Tilamola with the theme ‘I place my hands into your hands, Oh Lord!’
Panaji: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has said that it will hear the application before it on the Western Bypass now only after the conclusion of the proceedings of a PIL in the high court of Bombay at Goa over the same issue. Passing an order at this stage may lead to conflicting orders by the high court and NGT, the Tribunal has said. “The applicant has raised this issue of detriment to the environment because of construction of highway before the high court…In view of above, we do not find it appropriate to proceed with the hearing without conclusion of the above PIL proceedings before the high court because that may lead to passing of conflicting orders by this Tribunal. In view of that, put up this matter only after conclusion of the proceedings in PIL,” NGT stated, during its recent hearing. The applicant, Royla Fernandes has said that PWD and the contractor M Venkata Rao Infra Projects have not obtained the required permissions from Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority, Goa State Environmental Impact Authority, town and country planning department and Benaulim panchayat before constructing the Western Bypass. The 2.75km-long Western Bypass is being constructed from the wholesale fish market road Seraulim to Varca road. Royla has told the NGT that the National Highway Western Bypass has already been constructed from Nuvem village up to Seraulim fish market through the khazan lands, wetlands and agricultural lands. “As of now, the project is fully on earthen embankments with one railway overbridge and three underpasses and nine box culverts, passing through khazan lands, paddy fields, water bodies, through villages of Verna, Nuvem, Seraulim, Benaulim, Navelim and Telaulim, besides a very small portion in Margao municipal area by illegally filling the said agricultural lands and water bodies and wetlands/khazan lands,” Royla has told NGT. The residents of Seraulim and Benaulim, she said, have demanded the Western Bypass be constructed on stilts to prevent flooding of homes in the area. “The residents of Seraulim and Benaulim vehemently objected to the construction of the Margao National Highway Western Bypass on earthen embankments as the said construction would lead to water stagnation, resulting in flooding and inundation of houses located in and around the vicinity,” she said.
Margao: Residents of Benaulim have through a memorandum sought the intervention of the Governor P. S. Sreedharan Pillai to fulfill their demand for the Western Bypass passing through their village to be on stilts. A delegation of villagers along with the local MLA Venzy Viegas called on the Governor and informed him of the need to have the bypass on stilts so as help prevent flooding and destruction of environment.The memorandum brought to the notice of the Governor that the bypass was being built on embankments by reclaiming the catchment area. This will aggravate the situation destroying the agricultural fields in the area which act as catchment area, it said.The issue of destruction of the area’s rich biodiversity was also raised saying that the wetlands which are habitat to migratory birds will be lost. The farmers with paddy fields will be denied their livelihood due to flooding and the rotting of the sown paddy, it was highlighted.Residents of the village of Benaulim have been taking up several steps including a signature campaign to the PMO with their demands to push for stilts.The WRD in a report to an NGT formed ten-member committee suggested the elevated structure for Mungul-Seraulim but not for Benaulim.
Considering the footfall, stakeholders hopeful of better season next timeMargao: Though officially the tourism season winds up on May 30, many stakeholders in Salcete including shack owners, water sports operators and hoteliers are shutting shop early.The effects of COVID on the tourism industry over the past two years had many worried things with fears that tourism may not get back on track. However, this season, stakeholders say that things have improved slightly and the industry may see smooth operations next season.This year, many stakeholders started operations later than usual as they waited to see the trend of tourists during the peak season of November-January. Unlike the 2020-21 season, this season saw mostly domestic tourists flock to Salcete beaches, with Colva and Benaulim being popular ones especially during the Christmas-New Year holiday season.A handful of foreign tourists had made their way to the beaches of Colva, Benaulim, Varca and Cavleossim but with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the state’s major chunk of foreign Russian tourists failed to turn up this season. Many said that Russian tourists who had come to the state had to leave after a few days.Cavelossim shack owner and president of the Shack Owners Welfare Society, Goa Cruz Cardozo said, “A Russian couple who had come to my shack but after two days, I learnt that they had to return to their home country because of the war. Once the war started, we couldn’t see Russian tourists. It was mainly the Indian tourists who visited the state this season.”Along the Salcete coast, shack owners had started dismantling the structures as early as the beginning of May and the majority by mid- May. Bigger, popular shacks mostly in Colva and Benaulim however are waiting for the end of the month to wrap up.Goa Small and Medium Hoteliers Association president Serafin Cotta meanwhile is also hopeful and is looking to the next season. “Right now, the way forward looks to be good. We are hoping that with Russian tourists’ arrival collapsing, we can somehow get the English tourists to the state. This year, we mainly saw domestic tourists but we didn’t get as much business since many tourists were staying in unregistered rooms,” he said.Water sports operators too are hopeful as they have also seen a steady rise in domestic tourists. “We usually receive domestic tourists using water sports activities like banana boat rides, jet and water ski rides and parasailing. Since COVID, this year we are slowly seeing improvement. Compared to last season, we had a much better season this time,” said Colva-based water sport operator Menino Fernandes.However, there is a unanimous call for support and assistance from the government to further help the stakeholders stay afloat.“Shack owners are happy that permissions were given in time this season, but we have appealed to the government to give a one – or two-year extension to the holding of the shack allotment process which is due this year since last year many had not put up their shacks because of the pandemic. We have written to the tourism department already and hope that our request is considered,” said Cardozo.The problem of unregistered rooms has been troubling the small and medium hoteliers with constant calls to the state government to crack down on such practices as it was causing a loss to the state’s exchequer.“The new tourism minister seems to be interested in addressing our issues. We just hope the issue of unregistered rooms is resolved since around 80% of the tourists are staying in unregistered rooms, which is a loss to the state,” said Cotta.Subsidies and incentives, say stakeholders, could also help ease the burden. “It would come as a welcome relief to water sports operators if the government could provide us with some subsidies along the lines of the fisheries department either in providing a fuel subsidy or an incentive to help us buy new boats or equipment,” said Fernandes.
Colva: The carcasses of two Olive Ridley turtles washed ashore at Benaulim on Monday afternoon. Fisherman Pele Fernandes said he was on the beach around 2.30pm when he noticed a dead turtle washed ashore, followed by a second one a little later. He said it is surprising because water sports have been stopped for the last fortnight due to rough sea conditions and also fishing canoes have not ventured into the sea. Locals said they fear that tar balls could be the reason behind these fatalities. TNN
Staff ReporterMargaoA delegation of villagers, including the Benaulim MLA, on Wednesday met and discussed the issue of the Western Bypass with the executive engineer of the Water Resources Department (WRD) and called for a consultant to prepare a report on the flood fears.The delegation consisted of members of a specially formed committee of villagers to assist the panchayat, MLA Venzy Viegas and panch members who met WRD executive engineer Ankush Gaunker.During the discussion, the delegation pointed out flaws in the department’s report based on which the ten-member NGT committee did not recommend stilts for the bypass stretch in Benaulim.Among the several flaws, Viegas said there was a difference in the value of the average rainfall intensity. “The average intensity of rainfall which was calculated in the WRD report was 10 mm per hour. However, in another report by the WRD itself, the value was kept at 12 mm per hour for the same area. It means there are two reports for the same area showing different values. The report uses non-reliable values. We will document the discussion of today’s meeting and move ahead with the demand for stilts,” he said.The NGT committee, which included representatives of the GCZMA, PWD, GSBB, GSPCB, WRD and the Deputy Collector (South), had rejected the idea of having the entire 2.75-kilometre stretch between Seraulim and Benaulim on stilts.It has only agreed to 0.98-km stretch of the 2.75 kms between Seraulim and Mungul to be an elevated road. Based on calculations by the PWD and WRD, the NGT panel had stated that an elevated structure for the entire stretch would not make much change to the water retention height but that it would lead to an escalation of cost.Viegas after Wednesday’s meeting however said that the calculations and topography maps that were prepared for the NGT committee were not done properly.“The study report says there would not be flooding if it was filled with mud. The topography map was marked using a manual method with a pencil and the calculations were based on this method. This is not the correct way of doing this especially since it is regarding people’s lives,” he said.He added, “A consultant must be appointed to generate proper values using digital means. This report has to be done again with the help of an approved consultant.”Gaunker, however, said it was the department’s call to make any changes. “During our meeting today, we discussed the Western Bypass issue with the MLA and others and explained the way we worked out the study. The values and calculations used as well as other aspects of flooding in the area were also explained. We had already submitted the study which was approved and given to the NGT committee. If there is any change, it has to be the department to take the final call,” he said.
Colva: Principal district and sessions Judge, South Goa, Irshad Agha acquitted two accused for murder, granting them a benefit of doubt. The duo — Basilio Rato from Benaulim and Xavier D’Souza from Navelim — of murdering a tourist, Madan J, from Tamil Nadu, in 2013. Madan had gone to a restaurant at Colva at midnight with a friend where the accused, who worked as security bouncers, in a bid to drive them away, had allegedly assaulted them with a wooden stick and a sharp weapon. The accused were arrested two days later. Rato had escaped from custody two days after he was arrested, but was nabbed in April 2014.
Staff ReporterMargaoThe village of Benaulim during an extraordinary gram sabha held on Thursday adopted multiple resolutions on two of its burning issues: the western bypass and the release of effluent treated sewage water into the River Sal.Villagers took to discuss both issues in the presence of the 11 panch members including the sarpanch and deputy sarpanch, village panchayat secretary, local MLA Venzy Viegas and ZP member Hanzel Fernandes.On the issue of the demand for the western bypass passing through Benaulim to be on stilts, after discussions, resolutions were taken to hire a hydrologist to study the low lying, field areas where the bypass will be passing through as well as to form a special committee consisting of panch members and locals to assist the panchayat and to keep the people informed of developments in the case.Citing the report of the ten member NGT committee which recommended stilts for the Seraulim- Mungul stretch but not for Benaulim, discussions were held and decision was taken to show concerned departments including the WRD that its calculations showing no significant rise in water level in the village was flawed.Speaking to the villagers, Viegas also added that he would provide assistance from his side. “In addition to the hydrological study and the committee, I will also work to holding meetings with the WRD, PWD and other departments as well as with the Chief Minister and other department ministers to present the demands of the people,” he said.It was also decided to take up the demand for stilts to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Union Minister for Transport by means of a signature campaign with the aim to collect and submit at least 10,000 signatures including adults and children.On the issue of the laying and release of effluent treatment pipeline from the Colva STP to be released into the River Sal at Benaulim, gram sabha members made a unanimous call to oppose the idea in totality. While there were suggestions to keep a check on the quality of the water being released, Viegas said, “The main aim is to make sure that the water does not get discharged at all in the River Sal or in any water body. I have already given written suggestions to the department to come up with alternative means to use the treated water instead of releasing it into the river. We will now have to look for a new advocate and stress on the fact that this water cannot be released in the river,” he said.
Staff ReporterMargaoTaxi drivers associated with hotels and resorts along the coastal belt of Salcete met with the DySP along with the local MLA to give a representation against the practice of Goa Miles vehicles collectinghotel guests.Benaulim MLA Venzy Viegas, speaking to media persons after meeting with the DySP said the issue had been causing problems for local taxi drivers who depend on fares from guests at hotels and resorts.“The issue of Goa Miles is still a problem because they come to drop the guest outside the hotel and then wait outside to get another fare. This is being done illegally and had been going on for a while and has started again. Today we spoke with the DySP and the team of police from Colva police station and the traffic cell. We are now putting an application asking for a stop to this practice.We don’t want a law and order situation and we wanted the police to be aware of what is happening illegally. We don’t want Goa Miles to come and take the businessfrom the local taxi drivers. We will not remain quiet but we will take the legal course to ensure we protect the livelihood of the taxi drivers,”said Viegas.A local taxi driver Chuntan Vernekar added, “We will follow and will be with the MLA, we don’t’ want any problem but we want a stop to this practice of pick-up system by the Goa Miles. This sort of pick-up system from the coastal area of Benaulim constituency is not acceptable. The village taxi people are facing problems and will not tolerate any more illegalities like this.”
Panaji/Bicholim: Thursday night’s thundershowers, accompanied by heavy winds, brought down trees which fell on power lines, roads and houses. Several areas in North Goa suffered power interruptions. It took around 12 hours and more to restore power in some areas. “Most of the work was carried out at night and the rest was completed on Friday morning. There were many cases of trees and branches touching the lines and falling on lines and bringing down poles,” an electricity department engineer said. Students at the GMC girls’ hostel took to Twitter to complain about power outages for 18 hours and more, stating that they were struggling to prepare for their examinations the next day. Chief electrical engineer Stephen Fernandes told TOI that most areas which still have overhead lines were affected and will continue to be affected by the cyclonic rains. “Please implement underground electricity cabling in Mapusa. It is the dire need of this city. Almost every thunderstorm causes a blackout in the city…” a consumer tweeted, tagging the power minister and Goa chief minister. Coconut trees fell on houses near Maria Hall in Benaulim and at Kharebhand, Margao. Fire services reported no casualties. “Areas in Colva, Varca, Benaulim, Sanquelim, Valpoi, Vasco and Cortalim were affected. These are not normal rains but cyclonic rains too,” he said. Around a dozen poles fell on Thursday evening, he said. The electricity department’s 24x7 helpline 1912 and 2490800 were unavailable to consumers for hours, with the department attributing the problem to the BSNL line getting affected. Consumers then took their frustration to Twitter where the department’s official handle has been providing regular updates on power restoration work. “@GoaElectricity no Electricity in Vagator feo@ last 14 hours. Please help,” one consumer tweeted. However, NetflixIndia’s Twitter handle complimented the department’s efforts to keep consumers informed over Twitter. “Sending love to the @GoaElectricity admin. Your honest tweets lit up our day. Heart. A true Power Ranger”. The department stated that there was delay in restoring power as it received many fuse-off calls due to conductors snapping and staff was spread out at different locations trying to sort out multiple issues. Trees and branches fell on low tension lines at Nirankal, on Sesa Goa feeder at Vasco, at Bambolim. To a consumer’s suggestion that the health of wayside trees be checked periodically and roots be strengthened to stop such disasters, the department replied that the department concerned and house owner should ensure this. Agriculture in areas like Amona Kudne, Mayem, Mulgaon, Shirgaon, Navelim, Pale and surrounding areas were severely affected due to the rain. Subhash Malik, a farmer, said they have suffered huge losses and are worried as the ready crops have been destroyed.
Colva: Benaulim MLA Venzy Viegas on Tuesday demanded the presence of doctors round-the-clock at the health two sub-centres in his constituency. He made the demand during a visit to his office by Dr Geeta Kakodkar, director of health services, and Dr Rajnanda Desai, officer on special duty to health minister Vishwajit Rane. The two officers were meeting Viegas to discuss improvement and upgradation of the health infrastructure in the constituency. The medical team along with the MLA also visited the health sub-centres at Benaulim and Carmona. During his interaction with Kakodkar and Desai, Viegas made suggestions to improve the quality of treatment.
Staff ReporterMargaoFishermen have raised objection to the plan to set up a floating jetty at the Benaulim beach “as it will be detrimental” to the sources of livelihood of the people involved in traditional occupations in the area including shack owners, taxi drivers and water sports operators.Earlier last week, fishermen operating off the Benaulim-Vadi beach were surprised to find CRZ officials along with representatives of the Drishti company inspecting and demarcating an area on the beach.“We are traditional fishermen operating along this entire beach stretch. Drishti company along with CRZ officials came to inspect and marked the area to have a floating jetty. The plan is to ferry guests who land directly at the Vasco airport to the coastal belt via Baina beach. For this they want to build a jetty, but it will be bad for all the people on the coastal stretch who are doing traditional occupations,” said fisherman Pele Fernandes.He further said that taxi drivers who are already facing issues will be completely destroyed if hotels use the floating jetty to ferry guests instead of their vehicles. Similarly, he said, traditional fishermen or ramponkars will have little to no space to catch fish in the sea, park their boats or even dry their nets.“We want the tourism minister and the chief minister to scrap this plan, if not we will take to the streets along with the taxi drivers, fishermen, shack owners and water sports to oppose it,” said Fernandes.Foreign tourists visiting the beach also said a floating jetty would go against the touristic experience they currently come to the state for.“There is so much tradition and authenticity here in Goa and it is in itself an asset. These are things that are still nice to see and have to be maintained. We like the typical authentic way of life and we love to live among the traditional fishermen. The jetty will destroy all this authentic life,” said a Brazilian tourist visiting the beach.
The Heritage Home Concert series by Sounds from Goa endeavours to give you an intimate feel of Goa’s music, dance, and Indo- Portuguese culture at the palatial Solar Loiola Pereira in BenaulimCHRISTINE MACHADO | NT BUZZThere is something about the music of one’s homeland that feels like being enveloped in a warm hug. Indeed, no matter where one is, this music never fails to bring joy.Now imagine listening to this melodious music live in a grand old Goan mansion while snacking on authentic Goan eats and beverages. This is what the Heritage Home Concert series by Sounds from Goa is all about.Produced by Schubert Fernandes and Omar de Loiola Pereira, the first concert in this series was held on April 9 and saw music by the group Entre Nos consisting of Pereira (vocals and acoustic guitar), Selwyn Menezes (violin/ mandolin), and Nadia Rebello (vocals) accompanied by Domingos (Tony) Godinho (ghumot). Enlivening the show were dance performances by Marilyn da Veiga and Wonodolf da Costa (Curtorcares) with food by TheGoan Kitchen.The idea for these home concerts, says Pereira, had been brewing in his mind for a while now. “Our family home is a traditional Goan home and most of my rehearsals took place here. I always dreamed one day of transitioning from rehearsals to actual performances in the house,” he says. With the pandemic bringing live music to a halt, Pereira and co began getting requests to do a few online shows. “But instead of doing those from our apartment or a studio, we chose to do it in the hall of the old house. And given that a good part of the repertoire for these shows was in Konkani and Portuguese, this significantly changed the perspective of our online shows,” he says.Pereira sent a video of one of these online shows to Schubert Fernandes to request his help on this idea and this led to the conception of Sounds from Goa. The first project under Sounds from Goa was the #NostalgiaSessions which saw ‘Entre Nos’ performing on much-loved tunes like ‘Cu Cu Ru Cu Cu’ and ‘Marça de Fontainhas’ much to the delight of the viewers of these online shows the world over. The Heritage Home Concerts is the second project. “After the #NostalgiaSessions we began thinking of how we could package folk and traditional music from Goa in a much better way so that it could reach more people. We thought that the best way to consume this music was in a more intimate setting where you don’t only hear the music but you also touch and feel it, where you learn about the history where this music came from and everything else,” says Fernandes, adding that while this kind of concept has perhaps been done before, it has not been done consistently. “So what we have for the heritage home concerts is an element of music, element of dance, an element of cuisine, and an element of a heritage home,” says Fernandes.While the idea is to have these concerts once a week or once in two weeks, for the time being, these will be at the same location, that is, at the Loiola Pereira residence in Benaulim. “We want this location to be on the to-do list for visitors where they can experience folk and traditional sound in the best form possible when in Goa,” says Fernandes.“Over the last few years, we have realised that there is a lot of interest from non-Goans in knowing more about our culture. So we are hoping that we can play at least a small part in spreading the celebration of our heritage beyond the geographical borders of Goa,” says Pereira, adding that our heritage is our identity. “My strong belief is that each one of us has to do our part in preserving and celebrating our heritage to the best of our abilities,” says Pereira.But opening up his home for these concerts was no easy decission, he admits. “Welcoming people into our very own private living space was a big step for the family. So everytime we have a concert we have to be conscious and careful as to how much of the house is accessible to others. It’s still a new experience for us, one that we hope to adjust to in the weeks and months ahead,” says Pereira.Going forward, the organisers hope to take these concerts across Goa to other venues. “We might pull in a few more people, add in a few more instruments and expand the repertoire,” says Fernandes. “In future concerts we will also be talking about the culture and heritage in Goa, explaining not only the dance but also the costumes that the dancers wear. We will be talking a little more in detail about each of these folk and traditional songs that you would probably not get on Google,” says Fernandes, adding that they also want to do a lot more including producing a documentary and doing online classes.(The next Heritage Home Concert will be held on April 30, 5 p.m. at Solar Loiola Pereira, Benaulim)
Panaji: Margao and Benaulim MLAs conducted a joint inspection of the Sal along with water resources department (WRD) engineers on Monday. The MLAs asked WRD to take necessary steps to prevent flooding during the monsoon. Margao MLA Digambar Kamat said that the inspection was held prior to the monsoons to ensure that there was no flooding during the rains. “We have asked WRD to dredge some areas, desilt the nullahs on urgent basis and to build retaining walls where existing ones are on the verge of collapse,” he said. “If there’s flooding tomorrow, it will affect Margao, and that’s why we called for this joint inspection. Precautions have to be taken before the monsoons,” Kamat said. Benaulim MLA Venzy Viegas made an “open appeal” to residents to contact their offices if the nullahs aren’t cleared and if there are weeds, mud and water hyacinth which require to be cleaned before the monsoons. “Inform our offices before the monsoons if there’s any work required to be done. The desilting of the Sal has been tendered along with maintenance which has already been paid for, so the maintenance has to be carried out. I appeal to all the people of Benaulim, Varca and other areas to inform us if they find that maintenance is not taking place,” he said. This will not be the first inspection, Viegas said. The whole idea of the inspection is to save the Sal and to ensure that the Comba area doesn’t get flooded during the monsoons. Another issue would be to ensure that sewage doesn’t enter the river, he said.
Theme adopted to preserve villageMargao: In an effort to make it self-sufficient, the village panchayat of Benaulim on Sunday adopted a related theme apart from also deciding to preserve the village for posterity.A special gram was held in Benaulim following directives by the directorate of panchayats to discuss and suggest themes under the United Nations Sustainable Goals to be adopted for the villages in the state.Villagers used the special gram sabha platform to also take up the issues of the Western Bypass and the release of treated sewage into River Sal through a pipeline.A total of nine themes were discussed at the gram sabha, which was chaired by the Benaulim sarpanch Vencila Fernandes and the panchayat secretary Arjun Velip. Other panch members were also present at the meet. After the discussions, three themes were adopted for the village including preserving the village for future generations, making the village self-sufficient and monitoring that the rights for the survival, development and protection of the village reach the full potential.Under the theme of creating a clean future for the children, the release of treated sewage into the River Sal was discussed as a part of the villagers’ demand to stop further destruction of the river. “River Sal has many fish breeding sites. If this water, treated with chemicals, is released into the river, it will affect these fish breeding sites. The treated sewage from the sewage treatment plant should not be discharged into Sal.”“We as well as the panchayat should work to stop this,” said a villager Royla Fernandes, while discussing the issue.She also said that as a part of making the cities and villages sustainable, Benaulim should be made self-sufficient in the field of agriculture and pointed out to the need for demanding that the stretch of the Western Bypass passing through the village be built on stilts.“The area where the bypass is coming up is a wetland. These lands serve as carbon sinks and absorb the heat that is generated. If the low-lying lands are filled with mud and then tar, they will turn into carbon emitters and there will be no wetland to absorb the heat. If the Western Bypass is built on stilts, there will still be heat, but a balance of the heat and the wetland carbon sink will be created,” said Fernandes.Other concerns like making the village self-sufficient by availing various schemes of the government and ensuring that the farmers and fishermen are benefitted were also discussed. Demands were also made to ensure that open spaces are brought under the panchayat control so as to have space for walking, gardens and recreational areas for senior citizens and children.Locals also called for conserving water by using rainwater harvesting methods so as to renew the groundwater table. Demands were also made to protect the low-lying areas that serve as water reservoirs. Suggestions were made at the gram sabha to improve governance and service delivery at the panchayat level through e-governance measures.
Staff ReporterPanaji/MargaoThe High Court of Bombay at Goa slammed the sarpanch of Cana-Benaulim panchayat over a stop-work notice issued to the project of laying of pipeline to connect the Colva sewage treatment plant (STP) to the river Sal.The High Court observed that this STP is in the larger public interest and issued a contempt of court notice to the sarpanch. The High Court has adjourned the hearing to next week.An intervention petition has also been filed in the High Court on the same issue, seeking an order restraining the authorities from discharging the treated sewage from the Colva STP into the river Sal and to consider alternative use for the treated water generated from the STP.The petitioners stated that there was no objection to the STP but the concern was regarding the treated water from the STP that would be discharged into the river Sal which is already polluted.They also stated that villagers of Benaulim, Orlim, Assolna, Varca, Carmona and Cavelossim were dependent on the river for fishing and agricultural activities and if the pollution level increases due to the discharge from the STP pipeline, there would hardly be any fish left in the river which would then cause loss of livelihood to the fishermen of these villages.It was also pointed that instead of laying the pipeline to connect the STP to the river Sal, the treated water could be used for alternative purposes like farming through drip irrigation on agricultural land, landscaping, gardening in hotels and other establishments around Colva and Benaulim beaches, for toilet flushing.Meanwhile, work began on the laying of the pipeline on Wednesday, a day after the panchayat issued a stop-work notice.
GADDO 4.0 will be held on April 24 at Umiya Mercado Mall,Benaulim. NT BUZZ detailsGRISELLE AFONSOGet ready to empty your wallets as GADDO 4.0 returns. Featuring a melee of items right from funky apparel, quirky jewellery, home decor items, and more, the pop up bazaar, which is in its fourth edition promises to be all about fun.Organised by Classy Eventz, the one-day event will be held on April 24 at Umiya Mercado Mall, Benaulim and will also see an array of sumptuous food and live music.“GADDO (kiosk) in common parlance, at least in Goa, denotes a start-up. The idea is to provide a common platform for young budding entrepreneurs besides also providing new platforms to old and established setups,” says Tiburcio Gonsalves, event manager, Classy Eventz, who started this initiative.Gonsalves adds that motivated by the success of the three previous editions, this time around every effort is being made to take the concept to every mall besides other potential event venues to ensure maximum visibility and exposure to new as well as existing brands andentrepreneurs.For some participants, GADDO is a must-do on their calendars. Glitter Magic Store, a brand which sells fashion jewellery and accessories for instance, has been participating in the event right from its inception.“We first exhibited in 2018 and the response was impressive. We are looking forward to a much better experience for the GADDO 4.0,”says Sheryl Barbosa and Karen Lobo, owners of Glitter Magic Store.There are also a lot of entrepreneurs who will be putting up their stalls for the first time and are all excited to promote their brand.“I feel that GADDO is an event where in people can showcase their talents and promote their brand. I am hoping for a good crowd and a good exposure,” says Ida Dmello, a first-time participant.Dmello makes homemade wines and sells it to various places. She also makes pickles and sells it in aid of special children.“The fact that most of the participants in GADDO 4.0 previously participated in the first three editions proves that my humble initiative resonates perfectly with start-ups,” Gonsalves adds.
Staff ReporterMargaoThe Benaulim panchayat on Tuesday issued stop work notices to several state agencies, including the sewage corporation, to halt the work on laying a pipeline for releasing the treated sewage into theSal river.The notices come in the light of the persistent pressure from villagers, who have been demanding a halt to work on the pipeline laying for releasing treated sewage into the already severely polluted Sal.
Signature campaign for the demand gets positive responseMargao: The push for the Western Bypass on stilts has received a shot in the arm as a signature campaign in pursuance of the demand fetched 1,128 signatures in Benaulim.In an effort to step up their demand that the Western Bypass passing through the village be built on stilts, Benaulim villagers collected a total of 1,128 signatures under the campaign to press for a special gram sabha on the issue.A series of meetings were held over the past several weeks to decide on the course of action the village should take over the ambitious infrastructure project, which has been a bone of contention for the villagers.The villagers decided to start a signature campaign to demand a special gram sabha of the panchayat to discuss the push for constructing the bypass on stilts.On Saturday, the campaign received 1,128 signatures, and the list containing them was submitted to the Benaulim panchayat office.It was also decided to prod the panchayat to work on the same line.It is pertinent to note here that the village panchayat had several weeks ago roped in a lawyer to take up the matter in the High Court of Bombay at Goa. The bypass stretch from Mungul to Seraulim has already been approved to be constructed at an elevated level, but the Benaulim stretch has not been. This decision on the Mungul-Seraulim stretch was taken as per the recommendation of the ten-member committee constituted by the National Green Tribunal. The villagers from Benaulim, including farmers, have stressed on the need for the stretch in the village to be built on stilts due to fears of rising water levels and flooding.
The youth are the present and future of the church. During Holy Week, they have been actively participating in various activities of the churchGRISELLE AFONSODespite the many worldly distractions all around, the Catholic youth in Goa are actively involving themselves with the church. In fact, during the days leading up to Holy Week, churches and chapels in Goa saw a large number of teens and young people lending a helping hand. From the preparation of the liturgy to other arrangements of the Holy Eucharist, different duties were carried out by youngsters.“Our parish youth were given various responsibilities such as helping out with the chair arrangements for Maundy Thursday, Holy Saturday, volunteering during the procession, etc. The youth are a part of the church; they are the future of the parish. It’s better to give them duties so that they get used to various activities of the church and learn to handle things properly in the future,” says Joanira Niasso, a resident of Dramapur.Lent is a season with a lot of traditions, customs, and rituals. Apart from these, a lot of learning too takes place, adds Allson Dias, a resident of Vasco. “I feel it is important to educate the youth about the different aspects of Lent and prepare them to help out in the church in the future.”One can also trust the youth in terms of getting the work done with new and beautiful ideas. Noah Rodrigues, a resident of Chinchinim, believes that the youth have a different and vibrant way of looking at things. “So, when it comes to ideas and discussions regarding the day, they tend to be very expressive and innovative. Whatever the task, the youth are ever ready to do it.”However, sometimes the youth may shy away from helping out in the church. “As youth, sometimes our laziness, fear, or busy schedules hold us back from participating in various church activities. However, when responsibilities are handed to us, we are left with no other option but to do it. And while we do it, we realise that coming to church has helped us reflect on various parts of our lives. I believe that such small responsibilities can make a big difference,” says Jazielle Rodrigues from Benaulim.A major concern today is that youngsters are going away from the church. This has been further impacted by the pandemic. It is the various activities in the church that can help draw the youth closer to God and carry on the baton passed down from the previous generation. “There is a need to bring them closer to Christ to spread the love for the Church because the youth are the now of God,” says Fr Jason Coelho, Salesian of Don Bosco, Benaulim.The youth are the present and the future, says Br Sheldon Fernandes of Don Bosco, Odxel. “They are responsible to carry on the legacy. They need to know, understand, experience and share the faith that has been handed over and Lent is an important time to do so.”