Goa Calangute News

Rs 20 crore project will improve water supply to Calangute-Candolim: Lobo
Times of India | 3 days ago | |
Times of India
3 days ago | |

Calangute: The water shortage in the Calangute-Candolim beach belt will be resolved with the commissioning of the Rs 20 crore water treatment plant and pumping station projects, said Calangute MLA Michael Lobo recently.The water treatment plant, which is coming up at the Pilerne Industrial Estate, is nearing completion and the government has identified land at Calangute to set up the water pumping station. The pumping station will pump water from the Tillari project to the treatment plant. Land for the pump house has been identified at Boa Viagem at Calangute alongside Chogm road and is to be acquired from the Calangute comunidade. “We had a meeting with the comunidade. They had some issues which we will settle,” said WRD chief engineer Pramod Badami.Lobo said the comunidade demanded that the WRD first revive the redevelopment work of the Baga nullah starting at the ‘Fondyar’ water body at Khobrawaddo before they give an NOC for building the pumping station. “The Calangute comunidade wants the nullah work to start again because it’s in the interest of the village as water gets stagnated there. It is now being revived,” Lobo said.“The height of the reservoir at Pilerne is 80m. From here, the water will flow down to Calangute, Candolim and surrounding areas. The pressure will be more than enough. The water will go to all houses, hotels and we will have ample water,” Lobo said during an inspection of the proposed pumping station site.

Rs 20 crore project will improve water supply to Calangute-Candolim: Lobo
French Actor Claims She's Being Held Hostage In Goa Home Over Property Row
Ndtv | 3 days ago | |
Ndtv
3 days ago | |

Marianne Borgo alleged she is being held "hostage" in the house for the last three days. (File)Panaji: A 75-year-old French actor has alleged she is being held "hostage" in her house at Calangute in North Goa since earlier this week over a property dispute and finds herself in a "dangerous situation". The Goa police have expressed reluctance to intervene in the matter, saying the dispute related to the house is civil in nature and is being heard by a court.In a video released to the media on Thursday, actor Marianne Borgo has claimed she is in a "scary and dangerous situation" at her residence in Calangute, a beach town near Panaji which is popular with tourists.People staking claim to her property have disconnected electricity and water connections to her home and she has been forced to live in dark, she said.The actor alleged she is being held "hostage" in the house for the last three days.Ms Borgo said she had bought the house for "happiness, peace and for retirement", but the last few days had been horrendous.One of Ms Borgo's friends said the septuagenarian actor had filed a case for injunction in the trial court to support her legal claim to the house that she bought in 2008 from a lawyer, Francisco Sousa, who has since died.The main gate of the house has been blocked and no one except the maid is being allowed to enter the premises, she said.The actor's lawyer, Benny Nazarenth, said the matter is sub judice and pending before the civil court in Mapusa town.Meanwhile, the Calangute police have said they have a limited role to play in the matter as it is being heard by the court."Whenever she (Borgo) has called for help, police teams have rushed to the spot. But the police do not have any role to play in a matter which is essentially civil in nature," Inspector Dattaguru Sawant of the Calangute police station said.Trained at the Paris-based Centre d'Arte Dramatique and Conservatoire National d'Arte Dramatique (National Academy of Dramatic Arts), Ms Borgo has worked extensively in films, television and theatre across Europe and India.Her credits include the original "The Bourne Identity", "A Little Princess", and Franco-American rom-com/drama "Le Divorce" alongside Kate Hudson, Glenn Close and Stephen Fry.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comShe was a recurring character in the French thriller series "Profilage", and most recently led in the Indian production "Danny Goes Aum".(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)Featured Video Of The DayLollapalooza Artist Madeon Talks Eating Dosas, Listening To Prateek Kuhad

French Actor Claims She's Being Held Hostage In Goa Home Over Property Row
The weekend saw five rescues including one kayaker
Times of India | 4 days ago | |
Times of India
4 days ago | |

Five rescues were reported on Goa's coastal belt, including one involving a kayaker from Kolkata, who was rescued off Palolem beach, while a double rescue was reported off Calangute beach. Drishti lifesavers are stationed along the shoreline to ensure safety and security of beachgoers. Drishti lifesavers stationed at Calangute beach urged two male residents from Hyderabad, aged 23 and 30, to avoid going into the sea. Despite the lifesavers' efforts to warn them, the two were caught in a powerful rip current, endangering their lives. Siddhesh and Sujan, Drishti lifesavers, were alerted to the incident and rushed to their rescue. The duo was successfully carried back to shore with the help of a rescue tube and a surfboard. Palolem beach witnessed the rescue of a 30-year-old male from Kolkata. The person was kayaking when he lost control, leaving him in distress. Pandurang, a Drishti lifesaver on duty, seeing a sudden commotion in the sea and left the shore on a jetski to rescue the man.A 38-year-old male from Delhi found himself at the mercy of rough rip currents at Anjuna beach. The male was part of a group that ventured in the deeper sections of the water. The group began to separate as the current pulled them further away from each other. Krishna, the Drishti lifesaver on duty, rushed to ensure the situation was under control. The man was engulfed by a huge wave leaving him struggling to swim back to shore. A surfboard was used in this rescue.A 25-year-old female from Pune was found stranded on the rocky sections at Sinquerim beach. The incident was brought to the notice of the Drishti lifesavers at the time of beach closure. They noticed a woman signalling to them her unwillingness to swim back to shore from the rocky outcropping due to her fear of injury. Rameshwar, a Drishti rescuer, utilised a rescue tube to ensure the woman was safely returned to shore.a

The weekend saw five rescues including one kayaker
Dance bar owners sought stay on panchayat notice: Calangute sarpanch
Times of India | 2 weeks ago | |
Times of India
2 weeks ago | |

CALANGUTE: Attempts to shut down the alleged 19 dance bars in Calangute have been stalled as the owners have sought a stay from the director of panchayats against the panchayat decision to demolish the alleged illegal structures in the premises of the dance bars, Calangute sarpanch Joseph Sequeira said during a gram sabha on Sunday.“We sent demolition notices and also sent the file to the demolition squad. Now one of the owners has gone to the director of panchayats to maintain the status quo on the panchayat letter. But we’re going to fight it in the high court,” Sequeira said.The gram sabha adopted a resolution to shut down all the illegal dance bars in the village.A resolution was adopted to demand transfer of Calangute PI Dattaguru Sawant for his alleged failure toclamp down on dance bars.Further, the panchayat has decided to support watersports operators against the Goa Electronics Limited (GEL) plan to take over the booking operations of boat rides.A representative of watersports operators from Calangute said, “The government has never given us any subsidy and now they want to bring an outside party to give the tickets to tourists. Why should we allow them?” The sarpanch said panchayat members would take a resolution supporting their demand at their next general body meeting and send it to the government. Villagers also raised questions about action being taken against hotels and others releasing sewage into drains. Sequeira said they are in the process of closing some drains and added that they have identified land for a sewerage pumping station at Gauravaddo belonging to the communidade but the access road to the plot is through other properties and their owners are raising objections.The sewerage pipeline network in Calangute has been delayed for years due to objections to the pumping stations.Villagers also pointed out that the Baga river water has turned black because of the sewage being released into it and soon it will become unsafe to swim at Baga beach if steps are not taken to stop the release of sewage into the river.A resolution was adopted at the gram sabha to do a survey of the river and block hotels from releasing sewage into the river.

Dance bar owners sought stay on panchayat notice: Calangute sarpanch
Pilerne blaze pollutes wells in Saipem, ‘oily film’ seen on water
Times of India | 2 weeks ago | |
Times of India
2 weeks ago | |

Calangute: The Candolim panchayat has written to the Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) after a number of residents of Saipem ward in the village complained that their wells have become contaminated following the recent fire at a paint factory in the Pilerne Industrial Estate. Saipem sits at the bottom of the hillock atop which the Berger-Becker factory is located. “We have written to the GSPCB and the health authorities to test the air quality and the well water in the village. We are with the villagers and object to the existence of the paint factory. We are all demanding re-location of the company. Very soon we will meet both the Calangute and Saligao MLAs and hand over a memorandum to the chief minister,” Candolim sarpanch Fermino Fernandes said.He said most of the wells in Saipem and Orda wards have been contaminated since the past 10-15 years because of the industrial units in the Pilerne Estate and the recent fire tragedy has further aggravated the situation. Residents of Saipem were shocked when they noticed a thin layer of an oil-like substance floating in their well water, which had also turned darkish in colour. The villagers also found the water “frothy” with a typical “nail polish” like smell. “Till some days ago everything seemed fine. But suddenly on Friday evening the water that we pump from our well came with an unusual frothy flow and had a smell of nail polish. On Saturday morning we saw an oily film in the water and it the water a little darkish in colour,” a resident, Lydia Lasrado, said.“Many of my neighbours also use the water from my well. As it is, very few wells remain with good water in the village and this has cast further shadow on their survival,” she added.“We use the well water for washing and gardening. For drinking we use mineral water. This incident has further increased our travails,” another local Godwin Noronha said. “Almost 90% of the wells in Saipem and Orda areas in Candolim are contaminated. For the last 15 years we have been fighting against the company because of the water pollution in our area. This fire is the last nail in the coffin of the villagers. Our village existed before the factory set shop. We want the factory to be relocated to some other place,” said Assis Cardozo, a resident and a businessman of Saipem.“Such companies that use chemicals in the manufacturing process should not be given permission in residential areas. We are in the process of collecting signatures and submitting a memorandum to the CM,” panchayat member Dinesh Morajkar said.

Pilerne blaze pollutes wells in Saipem, ‘oily film’ seen on water
  • Pilerne flames doused, fire department probes cause of blaze
  • Times of India

    PANAJI: With the blaze doused at the Berger Becker Coatings factory, the fire department has now turned its attention to the possible cause of the fire and has opened an investigation into the incident that occurred on Tuesday. Goa’s directorate for fire and emergency services has asked officials of the factory for records of all the stock, safety measures that were in place and other details to try and piece together the origins of the inferno.On Thursday, firefighters, who battled the fire for two days, were still sifting through the debris at the paint factory to quell minor fires that were still simmering in the basement. The intense heat of the inferno had caused the building’s slab to collapse into the basement, making it difficult for firefighters to access the area.“The fire has been put out and fire personnel withdrew around 6pm. As a precaution, one fire tender and a crew of four to five personnel will be stationed tonight at the site,” said Ajit Kamat, assistant divisional officer, north zone.What was once a factory for heat-resistant paints and coatings now resembles a dump yard for mangled metal, industrial debris and noxious soot. “We can’t make out what is underneath the debris and in the basement. As we shift the debris, smoke emerges. There is no fire but we are still pumping water to reduce the heat that is trapped underneath,” said a senior fire fighter at the site.Aside from the large cargo truck that was instantly burnt in the incident, the charred remains of a car and two-wheelers of the employees remain a grim reminder of the losses. The fire department and Berger Becker Coatings have yet to quantify the financial loss.“We have asked the company for all documents and records. We are waiting for the records on the stock at the factory. The investigations are on,” said Kamat.On the day of the fire, over 100 fire fighters were on site to battle the blaze. Along with the firemen, personnel from the Mormugao Port Authority, Indian Navy and the Indian Army also joined the firefighting efforts. On Thursday morning, 30 to 40 fire personnel were on site to search for possible breakout fires and inflammable items that could reignite.Goa Industrial Development Corporation chairman Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco told TOI that the industry body will prepare a report on the incident and submit it to the government. When asked if a special team or sub-committee has been constituted to draft the report, Lourenco responded in the negative.

Expansion of Goa’s Nerul bundh in violation of Environment Protection Act
Times of India | 3 weeks ago | |
Times of India
3 weeks ago | |

Calangute: The Calangute Constituency Forum (CCF) claimed that the ongoing work of strengthening and renovating the 3.5m-wide old bundh from Nerul bridge to Caculo house at Candolim by the water resources department (WRD) is in violation of the Environment Protection Act. “It is noted that existing 3.5m width of the bundh has been expanded to 6-8m by land-filling and destroying the mangroves and biodiversity of the water bodies,” CCF stated in a recent complaint to the state chief secretary, member secretary of Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA), and other authorities.Though the complaint was filed on December 21, CCF members said they have not received any reply yet. On Friday, they visited the GCZMA office and met senior WRD officials. The CCF said, “The Goa State Biodiversity Board has made it very clear that the mangroves and biodiversity along the riverside will not be destroyed.”It added, “Despite the fact that such rules exist in protection of biodiversity, the WRD and their contractors have done blatant violation of Environment Protection Act and destroyed the river biodiversity by cutting mangroves and using concrete for retaining wall. The land filling has been done by covering water bodies to make a way to expand the width of the existing bundh for vehicular movement and in the interest of the builder lobby. It also visible that the expansion of road towards the western side of the property is done in the interest of the developer who has a project passed without proper access in a private property.”

Expansion of Goa’s Nerul bundh in violation of Environment Protection Act
  • Expansion of Nerul bundh in violation of Environment Protection Act
  • Times of India

    Calangute: The Calangute Constituency Forum (CCF) claimed that the ongoing work of strengthening and renovating the 3.5m-wide old bundh from Nerul bridge to Caculo house at Candolim by the water resources department (WRD) is in violation of the Environment Protection Act. “It is noted that existing 3.5m width of the bundh has been expanded to 6-8m by land-filling and destroying the mangroves and biodiversity of the water bodies,” CCF stated in a recent complaint to the state chief secretary, member secretary of Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA), and other authorities.Though the complaint was filed on December 21, CCF members said they have not received any reply yet. On Friday, they visited the GCZMA office and met senior WRD officials. The CCF said, “The Goa State Biodiversity Board has made it very clear that the mangroves and biodiversity along the riverside will not be destroyed.”It added, “Despite the fact that such rules exist in protection of biodiversity, the WRD and their contractors have done blatant violation of Environment Protection Act and destroyed the river biodiversity by cutting mangroves and using concrete for retaining wall. The land filling has been done by covering water bodies to make a way to expand the width of the existing bundh for vehicular movement and in the interest of the builder lobby. It also visible that the expansion of road towards the western side of the property is done in the interest of the developer who has a project passed without proper access in a private property.”

A long wait ends: Mopa takes off today as first flight set to land
Times of India | 3 weeks ago | |
Times of India
3 weeks ago | |

PANAJI: The long wait for Goa’s second international airport to start operations ends on Thursday, as the first commercial flight is all set to touch down at the Manohar International Airport, bringing passengers from Hyderabad. The Indigo flight 6E 6145 will land at 9am, followed by flights from Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune, and Chennai. Go First will also commence flights on Thursday, bringing in passengers from Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Jaipur, and Mumbai.The first flight will be welcomed with a traditional water gun salute to mark the historic occasion. However, taxi operators from Pernem could mar the aviation milestone. Developed at a cost of around Rs 2,870 crore, the GMR Group will operate the Mopa airport through its subsidiary, GMR Goa International Airport Limited (GGIAL).“We are fully prepared to commence domestic operations at the Manohar International Airport and Indigo and Go First will be commencing flights on the first day. We are fully geared up to welcome the passengers that are coming and those who will be departing from here,” said Ranganathan Venkata Sheshan, the president and chief executive officer of GGIAL.GGIAL plans to roll out the red carpet on the first day, offering live music and a tour of the airport to the first fliers. “As an airport operator, we have done all that is required to ensure that the passengers have a pleasant experience. Besides this, our airline partners, Indigo and Go First, are making sure that all requisite things are in place to give the passengers a good experience,” said Sheshan. Low-cost carrier IndiGo was the first to announce flights from Mopa, with 12 daily and a total of 168 weekly flights to eight major cities in the country. Mopa will be IndiGo’s largest ever new station launch, a move that aims to cater to the increasing demand for flights to Goa. The existing Goa International Airport at Dabolim will continue to operate, and IndiGo said it will continue to offer flights to Dabolim. Inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi on December 11, Mopa will provide direct connectivity to North Goa’s tourist belt and the state’s buzzing nightlife. However, concerns about connectivity with the airport, which is at least an hour away from Calangute, Panaji, and even more from Margao, persist. Taxi operators from Pernem have been protesting for the past few days, demanding a yellow-black taxi counter and objecting to the Goa taxi app introduced by the Pramod Sawant government.Kadamba Transport Corporation Limited (KTCL) has said that it will operate electric buses to ferry passengers from Mopa (GOX) to Margao via Panaji. Starting from 8am, a 49-seater electric bus will depart from the new airport, while buses to the airport will commence as early as 4am from Margao. KTCL will also operate buses from Sinquerim and Calangute to ferry tourists to the airport. “All the arriving passengers will be given a red carpet welcome on arrival with music and band. All passengers who are about to board and who are arriving will be given an opportunity to see the airport and will then be given connecting transport,” said Sheshan.Flights to Ahmedabad, Jaipur, and Chandigarh will start from Friday.Centre nod to airport name:The Union cabinet has given a ex-post facto approval for naming of Goa’s second International Airport at Mopa, as ‘Manohar International Airport – Mopa, Goa’, as a mark of tribute to late Manohar Parrikar, former defence minister and four-time Goa chief minister.

A long wait ends: Mopa takes off today as first flight set to land
  • Commercial flight from Hyd to be first to land at Mopa
  • Times of India

    Panaji: Goa’s second international airport, the Manohar International Airport at Mopa, is all set to commence operations on Thursday with an IndiGo flight from Hyderabad. It will be the first commercial flight to touch down at the airport.While domestic operations will start from January 5, international flights will commence in the following month, said officials of the airport, which is operated by GMR Goa International Airport Ltd (GGIAL). However, GGIAL said it will announce details about international flights “in due course of time.” Thursday will see 11 domestic flights land at Mopa. “Indigo Flight 6E 6145 from Hyderabad is the first flight scheduled to arrive at Manohar International Airport at 9am,” said a GGIAL official. IndiGo will also operate three flights from Delhi the same day.IndiGo, Go First, Vistara and Akasa Air are expected to operate flights from the greenfield airport that is spread over 2,133 acres and which can handle 44 lakh passengers in the current phase I.The GGIAL spokesperson said, “IndiGo, Go First, Vistara and Akasa Air are in the process of setting up ticketing counters at the passenger terminal building.” The terminal is currently capable of handling 1,000 passengers per hour.Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the greenfield airport on December 11, which is expected to relieve pressure on the existing Goa International Airport at Dabolim.

Over 90 mobiles recovered, 60 thieves held in North beach belt
Times of India | 4 weeks ago | |
Times of India
4 weeks ago | |

PANAJI/CALANGUTE: As revellers thronged to the North Goa beach belt to ring in the New Year, almost 90 stolen mobile handsets — some worth over Rs 1 lakh each — were recovered by police. North Goa SP Nidhin Valsan said that around 60 thieves in all have been arrested over three days in the run-up to the New Year.A doctor’s phone worth Rs 1.40 lakh was also stolen while he attended a concert at Bambolim.The gang of thieves were found largely prowling on unsuspecting tourists in the crowded Calangute and Anjuna beach areas. Valsan said that besides the thefts, the New Year’s eve was largely free of any major incidents, and no loss of lives due to drunk driving were also reported.On the night of December 31, Chandrakant Narvekar, 27, from Durbhat, Ponda, was injured after his bike was hit at Parra by an unknown driver, driving in a rash and negligent manner. The driver fled from the scene.In another accident, on the Chogm Road, a vehicle from Karnataka was involved in a self-accident, after the driver lost control of the car and hit it against an electric pole.Mapusa SDPO Jivba Dalvi said that many mobiles were also stolen from the EDM venue at Vagator.As the complainants were mostly tourists, they did not wish to register FIRs. The tourists only took missing certificates so they could obtain new SIM cards and left the police stations with a request to recover their mobile phones.“The Anjuna police therefore registered an FIR on the behalf of the state, saying that from December 28 onwards at the Sunburn festival venue at Vagator unknown accused committed theft of mobile phones belonging to event attendees. During investigation, it was learnt that gangs of thieves were operating at Sunburn. Accordingly, various teams were formed under PI Prashal Dessai,” Dalvi said.Siraj Ahmed Shaikh, 38, from, Thana, Mumbai, was arrested and nine mobile phones of different brands were recovered from him.The accused confessed that he had purchased tickets to enter Sunburn venue to carry out thefts.This took the total number of mobile phones recovered from Anjuna ahead of the New Year to 40. Earlier, a mobile theft gang of 18 were arrested and are presently in police custody.“We will contact the mobile phone owners and return the handsets,” Dalvi said.Similarly, at Calangute, 12 persons suspected of having stolen mobile phones from tourists and others were arrested on New Year’s night, and 55 mobile phones worth around Rs 15 lakh were recovered from them.This brings to 29 the total number of mobile thieves arrested by Calangute police in the last few days.Calangute PI Dattaguru Sawant said that the 12 persons were found moving suspiciously on New Year’s night and were rounded up. “On questioning, they could not give satisfactory answers regarding their presence in the vicinity and also they could not justify the possession of mobile phones with them. They were placed under arrest and further inquiry is in progress,” he said. The suspects have been identified as Adil Malik Kazim, 30, and Mohammad Shabaz Manjuri, 27, both from Delhi, Arvind Gaikwad, 37, Ajay Jadhav, 40, Mumbai, Rehman Jalauddin Ansari, 21, Nasir Shaikh, 34, all from Mumbai, Murli Singh, 19, from Uttar Pradesh, Rashid Mulla, 21, a resident of Assagao, Mazid Miah, 29, Meneraf Mulla, 19, Kharijun Islam Mulla, 34, Santu Mulla, 22, all residents of Calangute, and natives of West Bengal.Earlier, on Friday five persons from Karnataka had been arrested by Calangute police and mobile phones worth Rs 5 lakh recovered from them, one day after a 12-member gang from Maharashtra had been busted and phones and two cars worth Rs 45 lakh recovered from them.Also, scooter thefts on December 29 and 30 were reported in Canacona, Margao, Mapusa and Pernem.

Over 90 mobiles recovered, 60 thieves held in North beach belt
Calangute shack owners hope for uptick in biz
Times of India | 4 weeks ago | |
Times of India
4 weeks ago | |

Calangute: While business is running well for many beach shacks at the main Calangute beach entrance and at Baga, it’s turning out to be a disappointing season for most of the other shacks in the Calangute-Candolim tourism hub which comprises more than half of all the beach shacks in the state. Stakeholders said the main reasons for lack of business are low charter tourist arrivals and the 10pm ban on sound, but are hoping business picks up next month with an uptick in British charter arrivals. Stakeholders also said that hotels are mostly full as the year-end crowd were mostly headed for the Sunburn festival. “They’re all going to Vagator so there’s no business for us in Calangute-Candolim,” some shack owners said. “Domestic tourists don’t like to come out in the sun. They come to the beach at night, but the 10pm sound ban means they go to discos with indoor music. So those customers are also not there. Every night after 10pm, the police come to check and ensure that there is no music being played,” Gino Lopes, a veteran shack owner in Candolim, said. “Business is slow. They said charters are coming, but there are hardly any charter tourists. Now they’re saying British charters are coming next month, so maybe things will improve,” Lopes said. However, others were skeptical about British charters landing in large numbers due to the delay in resolving the e-visa issue. “The messages I’ve got from my friends in the UK is that they might come to Goa during the next season. They do their bookings early and they’re saying that now they are heading to Turkey this season. It depends on people who are doing last-minute bookings, and if they get good discounts they might come. But it does not look like it will be good,” John Lobo, general secretary of the shacks owners’ welfare society (SOWS), said.

Calangute shack owners hope for uptick in biz
Move over Vindaloo, Butter chicken rules the roost at Goan shacks
Times of India | 4 weeks ago | |
Times of India
4 weeks ago | |

Goa, a hub for several domestic to international cuisines – Lebanese, Japanese, Burmese– has now interestingly shifted focus to North Indian cuisine, specifically the combo of Butter Chicken, with naan or tandoori roti! The 3-kilometre Calangute-Baga beach stretch, especially, has over 100 restaurants that serve these North Indian and pure vegetarian food items.Increase in domestic tourists over international onesWith an increase in the domestic tourists since the Pandemic, Goan restaurants are invariably changing strategies to cater to the Indian palates. “The entire Calangute-Baga stretch has restaurants and dhabas with huge signs, selling pure-veg and North Indian cuisine. Sadly, the very few restaurants, which serve Goan cuisines now, have also started serving north Indian food,” says John Lobo, who runs a shack on the Calangute-Baga beach.Even the sarpanch of Calangute, Joseph Sequeira, has taken note of this change. “Earlier many restaurants catered to foreign tourists but now there are more domestic tourists. Also, most restaurants now employ chefs from UP and Bihar, and they don’t know how to cook Goan food. So you’ll find very few Goans visiting these places and more tourists,” says Sequeira.Bihari and Punjabi staffers everywhereWith over 90% of clientele comprising North Indian tourists at any given lunch and dinner, Butter Chicken with naan or tandoori roti is one of the most common combinations that are ordered along this tourist belt. “These are the hottest selling items on the menu card. 50-60% of our orders consist of Butter Chicken daily, more on weekends. Since most sell North Indian food, the crowd gets distributed,” says Karan Singh, the manager of a restaurant. He adds that having a tandoori counter helps his business, as Indian tourists love to eat their gravies with naans.Gajendra and Vikran Singh who manage a vegetarian restaurant in Calangute have improvised upon their working styles to suit the dominant palate. “Our business was hit post-COVID, so we changed our strategy: hiring more chefs and staff, adding a tandoori kitchen, we also do deliveries now, with the kitchen running 24/7. The most appreciated item on our menu is the Paneer Tikka and Paneer Masala. People also prefer the Dal Makhni/Tadka and Aloo Mattar; we also keep different types of lassis. For breakfast we serve South Indian items like Idli, Masala Dosa, along with Samosas. Since we are open all day, we make sure that tourists get what they want. We hired chefs from Bihar and Punjab to cater to the domestic tourists, who generally come from that region.”Other Goan restaurants, like the one run by John, have hopped onto the trend. “We have a tandoor, where we make naan, Tandoori Chicken, and Tandoori Fish. Our guests want the tandoori flavour, and most want to try the fish instead of chicken. Our menu has other cuisines too, but over the last two years we have been catering mostly to domestic tourists,” says John.The best butter chicken I have eaten, says a Delhi resident“Butter chicken calms my soul,” said a newly-wed Kaustubh Sharma from Noida, who came here for his honeymoon and gorged on prawns for the first few days of his stay. “Parkitna prawns kha sakte hai? So, I went back to my butter chicken. As a matter of fact, Goa mein Butter Chicken is even tastier than what you get in Delhi! I’ve eaten the best Butter Chicken here!” says Kaustubh. And since his wife, Shivani, preferred vegetarian food, they would hit all the north Indian restaurants in the locality. “I was sceptical about the food here, as I thought ki Goa mein kidhar veg khaana milega? But there are so many options here, though I stick to safer ones like Paneer Tikka, Aloo Paneer and paratha or naan,” adds Shivani.Niti and Niraj Chauhan, who celebrated their wedding anniversary in Goa, came here with their daughter and another couple from Delhi. “The first day we ate a little fish, but mazzaa nahi aya. Daru ke saat Chicken Tikka hi acha lagta hai,” says Niti. “With children around, it’s better to stick to what they prefer instead of experimenting with new dishes. Our food for the last few days consisted of Chicken Tikka, Butter Chicken, Chicken Masala, and Jeera Rice and Biryani,” adds Niraj.Speaking about the cost, a Chhattisgarh honeymooning couple says there’s not much of a difference as compared to a Delhi or Noida. “Comparatively, Goa is a bit expensive – around Rs 80-100 more, but we have come here on a holiday, so we don’t mind spending. The food however, is tasty and fresh, and we only visit restaurants that were recommended by our friends.”

Move over Vindaloo, Butter chicken rules the roost at Goan shacks
9 Russians, among 14 persons rescued over Christmas weekend
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

Nine Russian tourists were rescued off Mandrem and Morjim beaches, even as five other persons were rescued along Goa’s beaches, which saw tourists visit the state’s coastline by the droves over the Christmas weekend. At Mandrem, two Russian nationals, aged 67 years and 41 years respectively, were overcome by a rough current. The mother and daughter were pushed apart by powerful waves and were struggling to swim back to shore. On noticing the struggle, Drishti lifesavers, Karan and Rohit rushed to their rescue with the help of rescue tubes. The lifesavers brought the individuals back to shore and conducted a few medical tests before releasing them. Another Russian national aged 28 years was also caught in a rip current on the same beach and needed rescuing by Drishti lifesavers Rahul and Akshan, with the help of a jetski and a rescue tube.Morjim beach accounted for three double rescues involving Russian nationals. Lifesavers Amon and Pramod, came to the aid of a male and female, aged 38 years and 18 years, who found themselves in a difficult situation in the waters after being hit by rough tide. The Christmas weekend also saw five other rescues across the coastal belt of Goa. Morjim, Vagator and Mandrem accounted for most of the rescue incidents.Additional lifeguards were deputed to popular beaches and midnight shifts for lifeguards had been introduced by Drishti Marine last week, as a strategic measure to safeguard lives at Goa's beaches and other water bodies, keeping in mind the additional footfall of visitors during the festive period. In addition to the rescues, Drishti lifesavers were responsible for the recovery of six missing children and one adult on the beaches of Calangute, Mandrem, Colva and Baga.At Calangute beach, there was a double rescue involving residents of Mumbai and Bengaluru, between the ages of 25 years and 27 years. Vagator beach reported one rescue of an individual from Rajasthan who was caught in a rough rip current, while Colva and Palolem both reported a rescue each on the respective beaches.Drishti lifesavers assisted in the recovery of six missing children, the youngest of whom was a two-year-old and the oldest was nine-years-old. Each operation involved a jeep, with announcements made over the PA system. A male resident of Jaipur, aged 24 years, was reported missing on Baga beach by friends from his group. Upon receiving the information, Drishti lifesavers set out to look for the individual. The search operation was carried out at sea using jet skis and on land with the assistance of a jeep. The 24-year-old was later discovered in a shack on the shore after a thorough search of the area.

9 Russians, among 14 persons rescued over Christmas weekend
We have peace of mind, says locals after the 10 pm music shut down
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

With no loud music post 10pm, locals from around Calangute seem to be happy with the welcome change. “We are finally at peace now; I remember calling the restaurants around my house to shut off the music, but they wouldn’t do anything about it, despite promising us that they would turn off the music in after 15 minutes. Now they have to switch it off on time,” says Abigail from Calangute.Mario Fernandes, a local from Arpora, says, “The sound during Christmas and New Year’s would be unbearable. If not Hindi Bollywood, there was always be some techno music. This extended partying would invariably lead to people getting drunk, some of whom would be found sleeping on our footpaths or doorsteps. Also after the parties are over, people don’t realise that there are houses here and should avoid honking in the dead of the night. This rule has always been there, but it’s just being strictly implemented now.”A police official from the capital city says that the ban has given them more time to focus on curbing crimes instead of asking party hoppers to lower the volumes. “We used to get around 2-3 calls on a weekday, more on weekends, with regard to loud music. We would resolve those first, now we can actually focus on our job of preventing and solving crimes. The ban has been a blessing in disguise. Since this order has come from the high court, people are getting cautious, and they turn off the music by 10.” Another police personnel from the tourist belt would get around 6-8 calls every day, but the ruling has brought the calls to almost none

We have peace of mind, says locals after the 10 pm music shut down
12 gang members held for theft of phones, 41 mobiles worth Rs 30 lakh seized in Goa
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

PANAJI: Goa police on Thursday busted an inter-state gang of mobile phone thieves and arrested 12 persons, and seized 41 phones worth Rs 30 lakh from the accused. Narcotic substances have also been seized from the accused.During interrogation, the accused confirmed that there were more persons involved in the crime, following which a police team left to other states to trace the other accused.“A team of Calangute police arrested an inter-state gang of 12 persons from Maharashtra. They had come to Goa two-three days ago with the sole intention of targeting tourists at the Sunburn music festival as well as to take advantage of the rush of visitors in the state. It is a large gang, so we are trying to find out about their antecedents through our records,” North Goa superintendent of police (SP) Nidhin Valsan said. “Their main target was to steal branded mobile phones. We have recovered 41 such phones, the maximum of which comprise iPhones. We have also seized the vehicle in which the accused had travelled to Goa. We are also finding out whether they are involved in any other crime. When we interrogated them, we also recovered eight grams of MDMA,” he said.The North Goa SP said that the accused have revealed that they attempted to sneak into the Sunburn festival venue by purchasing tickets from others. Police said that the accused were staying at two hotels in Baga. “We received information through intelligence about their whereabouts. Thereafter, we analysed CCTV footage and tracked their movements, and with further efforts, we were able to apprehend them from the Baga-based hotels,” Valsan said.“Since the police have also recovered drugs, we assume that they might be also involved in drug peddling. They are actually a criminal gang, so they are into mobile robbery and drug peddling as well,” Valsan said. Police had received a complaint from Jitesh Mehta, a resident of Pune, Maharashtra stating that his mobile phone had been snatched by an unknown person. Acting upon the complaint, Calangute police personnel proceeded in search of the person, and upon verifying CCTV footage, the accused was traced at Calangute. The mobile phone of the complainant was also recovered from the accused who were arrested.

12 gang members held for theft of phones, 41 mobiles worth Rs 30 lakh seized in Goa
Months after suspending them, TCP department re-notifies three ODPs
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

PANAJI: After making “alterations and modifications”, the town and country planning (TCP) department has notified the outline development plans (ODP) for Calangute-Candolim, Vasco, and Arpora-Nagoa-Parra. The North Goa Planning and Development Authority (NGPDA) and the Mormugao Planning and Development Authority issued simultaneous notifications on Thursday reactivating the ODPs, which were suspended in April by TCP minister Vishwajit Rane. Meanwhile, the NGPDA has been asked to “re-notify” the draft ODP-2031 for Panaji, which was earlier notified by the Greater Panaji Planning and Development Authority in October 2021. TCP chief town planner Rajesh Naik said that NGPDA will provide a 30-day period for objections to be submitted. “As the same ODP for Panaji Planning Area as notified by Greater Panaji Planning and Development Authority will be re-notified by NGPDA, the authority shall bring it to the notice of the public that the objections received earlier need not be filed again as they are already on record,” said Naik in the notification. Naik said that low-lying paddy fields, water bodies, khazan lands, flood-prone areas, land having slopes more than 25%, forest land including private forests, land falling in the buffer zone of wildlife sanctuaries and tenanted agricultural land shall not be considered for change of zone. Immediately after being appointed as the TCP minister, Rane had suspended the ODPs for over three months and launched an investigation into alleged irregularities. Rane had alleged that over 3.5 lakh sqm eco-sensitive land spread over 434 properties in the Arpora-Nagoa-Parra, Calangute-Candolim and Vasco ODPs were converted to settlement when Calangute MLA Michael Lobo was the NGPDA chairman. Rane said all the illegalities and irregularities in the ODPs have been “removed”, paving the way for notification of the suspended plans. NGPDA member secretary R K Pandita issued the notification for Calangute-Candolim Planning Area – 2025 as well as for the Arpora-Nagoa-Parra Planning Area-2030. The TCP board met on October 14 to consider and approve the alterations and modifications in the three ODPs, and also gave the go-ahead for the development plans to be operationalised. All permissions granted under the notified ODPs will have to adhere to provisions of the Goa Land Development and Building Construction Regulations, 2010.

Months after suspending them, TCP department re-notifies three ODPs
  • Months after suspending them, TCP dept re-notifies three ODPs
  • Times of India

    Panaji: After making “alterations and modifications”, the town and country planning (TCP) department has notified the outline development plans (ODP) for Calangute-Candolim, Vasco, and Arpora-Nagoa-Parra.The North Goa Planning and Development Authority (NGPDA) and the Mormugao Planning and Development Authority issued simultaneous notifications on Thursday reactivating the ODPs, which were suspended in April by TCP minister Vishwajit Rane.Meanwhile, the NGPDA has been asked to “re-notify” the draft ODP-2031 for Panaji, which was earlier notified by the Greater Panaji Planning and Development Authority in October 2021.TCP chief town planner Rajesh Naik said that NGPDA will provide a 30-day period for objections to be submitted.“As the same ODP for Panaji Planning Area as notified by Greater Panaji Planning and Development Authority will be re-notified by NGPDA, the authority shall bring it to the notice of the public that the objections received earlier need not be filed again as they are already on record,” said Naik in the notification.Naik said that low-lying paddy fields, water bodies, khazan lands, flood-prone areas, land having slopes more than 25%, forest land including private forests, land falling in the buffer zone of wildlife sanctuaries and tenanted agricultural land shall not be considered for change of zone.Immediately after being appointed as the TCP minister, Rane had suspended the ODPs for over three months and launched an investigation into alleged irregularities. Rane had alleged that over 3.5 lakh sqm eco-sensitive land spread over 434 properties in the Arpora-Nagoa-Parra, Calangute-Candolim and Vasco ODPs were converted to settlement when Calangute MLA Michael Lobo was the NGPDA chairman.Rane said all the illegalities and irregularities in the ODPs have been “removed”, paving the way for notification of the suspended plans.NGPDA member secretary R K Pandita issued the notification for Calangute-Candolim Planning Area – 2025 as well as for the Arpora-Nagoa-Parra Planning Area-2030.The TCP board met on October 14 to consider and approve the alterations and modifications in the three ODPs, and also gave the go-ahead for the development plans to be operationalised. All permissions granted under the notified ODPs will have to adhere to provisions of the Goa Land Development and Building Construction Regulations, 2010.

Depts must work unitedly to address tourism issues, says Khaunte
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

Panaji: To efficiently address issues plaguing the tourism sector, including the illegalities occurring along the coastal belt, government departments need to step up and work together, said tourism minister Rohan Khaunte. He said that a meeting is likely to be held this week with chief minister Pramod Sawant to delegate responsibilities and fix accountability for the illegalities.“I think this week we may have a meeting with the chief minister to fix responsibility on those officers to ensure that the beaches are clean,” said Khaunte. “I have been asking for action against touts and once again I will be speaking to the chief minister to continue action against the touts. The home department has a role to play. If we want to stop illegal touts, hawkers, massages and other things then we need the help of the police.”The minister also expressed satisfaction that the Calangute panchayat, locals and activists have begun to act against illegal dance bars, massage parlours and touts. “I am very happy that Calangute panchayat and locals have been raising this issue (about dance bars) as I know that this issue can be a problem for tourism,” said Khaunte. Admitting that traffic congestion has increased, Khaunte said that Goa police’s traffic cell needs to ensure proper flow of vehicles while each panchayat must enforce proper parking.“I admit that there is a traffic issue, but this is due to the high influx of tourists in the state. Things need to be put in place. The panchayats also need to cooperate and ensure that parking is maintained,” he said.

Depts must work unitedly to address tourism issues, says Khaunte
Kadamba Transport Corporation Limited deciding routes, timings for Mopa shuttle
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

PANAJI: GMR Goa International Airport Limited (GGIAL) has written to Kadamba Transport Corporation Limited (KTC) asking for Kadamba buses to be deployed for fliers and staff movement. GGIAL and KTC are now deliberating on passenger demand and the possible routes for the shuttle service that will link the new airport with Mapusa, Panaji and Calangute. In the absence of local public transport and proper taxi services, Kadamba’s airport shuttle bus will be the only convenient and inexpensive option for fliers arriving and departing from the greenfield airport. While the discussions are still in the early stage, KTC has conveyed to the GMR subsidiary that it cannot provide buses for employees of the airport, airlines and third party vendors for every shift. Each shift will have around 1,000 staff working at the airport. “GMR has written to us asking for our buses, but nothing has been finalised. The file is in process and we are in discussion about the routes,” a senior KTCL officer said. KTC intends to deploy electric buses for the shuttle service to Mopa, but has yet to decide when the service will start. KTC’s website shows that it operates only two buses per day on the Panaji-Mopa route for locals. Currently, KTC operates a shuttle service to and from Dabolim airport at an affordable fee of Rs 200 with per person. KTC offers three round trips from Calangute and Panaji. “We have other requests. There is a demand for 200 buses. We need another 100 plus buses for other routes. We don’t have buses. Things are at the pre-final stage, so we cannot say for certain about deploying buses,” the senior KTC officer said. “We don’t even know how many passengers will come. We will see how the demand is and then maybe we can start from the next day after the airport begins operations or by January 10,” a senior KTC official said.

Kadamba Transport Corporation Limited deciding routes, timings for Mopa shuttle