Canacona: After laying foundation stones to construct two houses in Cotigao and Gaondongrim, chief minister Pramod Sawant said that the people of Canacona will get all possible government assistance with the support of Canacona MLA Ramesh Tawadkar. Sawant said the two needy families of late Somnath Mirashi Of Ziltawadi, Gaondongrim and Kamlakar Gaonkar of Baddem in Cotigao will be given Rs 1 lakh each from the chief minister’s fund to construct their houses. The right to live is a basic right of every individual, wherein they should have electricity, water and two meals in a day. More importantly it is imperative that their children should study and this is our aim and concern, Sawant said. The chief minister said that even if there are 20 or more houses, each of these houses will get Rs 1 lakh from the CM Relief Fund. Sawant also laid the foundation stone for the construction of Shri Mallikarjun Vidyalaya, at Char-Rasta in Canacona.
Staff ReporterCanaconaGeneral secretary of Goa Pradesh Congress Committee Janardhan S. Bhandari and others, who are working together under ‘Mission Progressive Canacona’, have submitted a memorandum consisting 15 demands to the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, Chief Minister Dr. Pramod Sawant and other authorities including the chief engineer for quality control zone of the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, chairman for National Highways Authority of Goa (NHAI), South Goa Collector, principal chief engineer of PWD and others bringing to their attention the pathetic condition of the Margao-Polem highway.Bhandari, through the memorandum, has demanded checking of road feasibility, immediate hot-mix carpeting of old and new NH 66 (Margao to Canacona, Canacona to Pollem and Manohar Parrikar Bypass Road), installation of speed breakers, implementation of speed limit, displaying traffic signages, repairing of roadside shoulders, clearing trees from along the highway that are posing a threat to traffic, immediate installation of weighing machines to control evasion of taxes and to save government revenue, availability of heavy crane to clear accident spots, checking fitness of old bridges, provision of concrete drainage system, functioning of street lights from Margao to Polem, demand for a parking hub for heavy vehicles, blacklisting of erring PWD contractors and action on PWD engineers for misuse of power.Bhandari has also appealed to the Union and state ministers and all government authorities to take into consideration the plight of the common people especially from Canacona and try to resolve all problems related to the Margao-Polem Highway at the earliest by fulfilling all the 15 demands on a prioritybasis.
Margao: Janardhan Bhandari, general secretary, Goa Pradesh Congress Committee on Friday submitted a memorandum to Union minister for road transport and highway Nitin Gadkari, chief minister Pramod Sawant, PWD minister Nilesh Cabral, opposition leader Michael Lobo, and other authorities bringing to their attention the “pathetic” condition of the Margao-Polem highway. Bhandari, through the memorandum, has placed 15 demands to make the Margao-Canacona highway smooth for traffic. The memorandum demands for checking of road feasibility, immediate hot-mixing of old and new NH 66 (Margao to Canacona, Canacona to Polem and Manohar Parrikar bypass road), installation of speed breakers, implementation of speed limit, displaying of traffic signages, repair of roadside shoulders, clearing trees on the highways, ensuring functioning of street lights from Margao to Polem, parking hub for heavy vehicles, among others.
Canacona: People are supreme in democracy, and the real life of people is witnessed in the villages, said governor P S Sreedharan PillaiHe was speaking during his visit to Canacona taluka along with first lady Reetha Pillai on Thursday as part of the ‘Sampurna Goa Yatra’. During his visit at Shristhal, the governor disbursed financial assistance of Rs 25,000 each to 15 dialysis patients of Canacona taluka. Speaker of Goa Legislative Assembly and Canacona MLA Ramesh Tawadkar accompanied the governor during his day-long visit. The governor said that one can see the hard work, commitment to the society and enthusiasm in villages. “Mahatma Gandhiji said self-reliant villages will make India a fully developed country. Villages should also be developed, and not just cities,” he said. “We are trying to make Raj Bhavan people-oriented. Goa is a beautiful gift on earth and the temples, churches and mosques in this state are also a gift of fine architecture and cultural tradition. Whenever I visit temples and churches - unity and diversity among the people is felt by everyone. People from different religions maintain good relations in Goa, which is their unique identity,” the governor said. Pillai assured local elected representatives full assistance in their future endeavours after the sarpanchs of various panchayats presented a brief report of the development activities in their areas. Earlier in the day, the governor and first lady also visited Shree Mallikarjun Temple at Shristhal and invoked the blessings of the deity. Pillai was received by Tawadkar and president of Shree Mallikarjun Temple, Rajendra Desai and Vithoba Desai. Later in the evening, Pillai also visited Shree Parshuram Temple at Poinguinim and offered prayers to the deity.
Canacona: Governor P. S. Sreedharan Pillai and First Lady Rita Sreedharan along with their grandson visited the Shree Mallikarjun Temple at Shristal in Canacona and sought blessings of the temple deity.Accompanied by the Speaker of Goa legislative assembly and Canacona MLA Ramesh Tawadkar, the temple committee briefed the Governor and other dignitaries about the history of the temple.The Governor said that Goa’s true identity and culture is alive in the rural areas. The handicrafts at the Shri Mallikarjun Temple at Shristhal are captivating, he said.Later at a programme held at Shristhal panchayat hall, cheques were handed over to 15 patients undergoing dialysis by the Governor. Secretary to the Governor Mihir Vardhan, Additional Collector Surendra Naik, deputy collector Uday Prabhudesai, Zilla Parishad member Shanu Velip, sarpanch Dhillon Naik, sarpanch of Khola Purna Nayak, sarpanch of Agonda Barsat Naik Gaonkar, panch Devendra Naik, Vidya Naik, Ganesh Gaonkar, Rajesh Velip and others were also present.Later during the visit, the Canacona Congress block committee submitted a memorandum on Canacona highways and requested the Governor to look into the issue of bad condition of the highway in Canacona.
Panaji: Congress workers on Tuesday gheraoed PWD chief engineer Dinesh Gupta demanding that the Margao-Canacona highway contractor be blacklisted for not starting work despite the order being issued in October 2021. Canacona locals and party workers led by Congress general secretary Janardhan Bhandari demanded that the road be hotmixed without further delay. Bhandari said that the department’s response to their demands so far has been poor and that is what compelled them to come to Panaji to place their demands before the chief engineer. “We have met all the PWD officers concerned. None told us when the work will be completed,” he said. He demanded that all pending road works on NH 66 be taken up without further delay. Accidents on the Margao-Canacona road, Bhandari said, have become a daily feature. “We want PWD to declare the Margao-Canacona road unsafe for motorists.”
Staff ReporterPanajiCongress party workers along with people of Canacona on Tuesday ‘slept’ on the floor in the cabin of the office of Chief Engineer of the Public Works Department, in protest against the dilapidated condition of Canacona-Margao highway stretch.Congress workers mostly from Canacona led by GPCC general secretary Janardhan Bhandari gheraoed the chief engineer D. C. Gupta (National Highway Goa) and questioned as to why his department has failed to complete the work of Margao-Canacona highway.The department had reportedly issued the work order to a contractor in October 2021, but the work has not commenced till date.Bhandari demanded that all pending works of National Highway-66, including of the newly-built Manohar Parrikar Canacona bypass be started at the earliest and also asked the chief engineer to blacklist the contractor who was awarded the said work.According to Bhandari, commuters particularly those travelling from Canacona to Margao and Canacona to Verna for work are facing hardships due to the bad condition of the highway.The Congress workers rolled out mats on the floor in the chief engineer’s office cabin, and slept. They even peeled vegetables including potatoes and onions which they carried, with intent to cook food and stay overnight to get their demands fulfilled.The chief engineer then reportedly assured the Congress workers that he will look into the matter.and consider all their demands, and moved out from hiscabin.
Canacona: As many as 36 temporary structures, including mobile kiosks along the highway from Bendurdem near Paddi to Polem border in Canacona, have been served eviction notices by the public works department (PWD) as the government plans to take up four-laning of this stretch. PWD (highways sub division II) has given another three days grace period from Wednesday to clear their structures. The notices issued by PWD on Tuesday last week cite unauthorised occupation on highway land. Assistant engineer (NH66), Rajesh Gaude said that necessary action would be initiated if the owners do not comply with the order within the next three days. Some of these structures fall in Loliem-Polem panchayat area, while others are located within Poinguinim panchayat jurisdiction. Loliem-Polem sarpanch Sachin Naik said the panchayat had given around 20 permissions to operate the movable kiosks for self-employment, and many of these gaddas are known to operate across the highway road at Maxem, Dapot, Madditollop and Polem. “Some of these kiosks have been operating for around 15-20 years,” he said.
Porvorim: Canacona MLA Ramesh Tawadkar was on Tuesday elected as speaker of the Goa legislative assembly. A former sports minister, he is now Goa’s first speaker from the tribal community. While he received 24 votes, opposition candidate, Nuvem MLA Aleixo Sequeira, got 15. Tawadkar thanked the members of the House for electing him as speaker. “We should work towards protecting Goa,” Tawadkar said. A school teacher by profession, Tawadkar served in former CM Manohar Parrikar’s cabinet in 2012. He was first elected in the 2005 byelection from Poinguinim. He was re-elected in 2007. Post delimitation in 2012, he got elected from Canacona and was made minister. Tawadkar had contested as an independent in 2017 after he was denied the BJP ticket, but lost. In 2019, he rejoined the party with the assurance that he would be given the ticket to contest the 2022 assembly election. In the recently-concluded election, BJP denied its ticket to sitting MLA Isidore Fernandes and gave it to Tawadkar. Chief minister Pramod Sawant congratulated Tawadkar for being elected as speaker. Sequeira, meanwhile, urged the new speaker to give the opposition a fair share when the situation allows it in the assembly. Minister Mauvin Godinho said that the Speaker should allow a high standard of debate in the assembly. Marcaim MLA Ramkrishna ‘Sudin’ Dhavalikar said that Tawadkar comes from a poor family and he is from the education field. Dhavalikar said that when he was sports minister, he did justice to that portfolio and was always cooperative with the MLAs. Dhavalikar said that Tawadkar will give justice to the chair and try to solve the issues of members of the House. Another minister, Vishwajit Rane, said that Tawadkar is dedicated to his work. He also said that with his confidence and experience, he would give justice to all members whether from opposition or governing camps. Calangute MLA Michael Lobo said that when Tawadkar was minister, he always helped the MLAs. “You will give equal opportunity to the members of the House whether it is on calling attention or on other issues,” Lobo said. Lobo said that during the last assembly, there was very little time to speak, but this time, he should give more opportunity to members to speak. Fatorda MLA Vijai Sardesai said that the speaker should note down the issues raised by the opposition as 75% of the members are new. Sardesai said that there is always a question on the neutrality of the speaker. Margao MLA Digambar Kamat said that the speaker should see that he gives justice to the opposition.
Staff ReporterPanajiBharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Canacona MLA Ramesh Tawadkar has been elected as Speaker of the Goa Legislative Assembly.Tawadkar defeated Congress nominee, Nuvem MLA Aleixo Sequeira, by 24-15 votes in the election to the post, which was held on Tuesday in the Assembly complex in Porvorim.The pro-tem Speaker, Ganesh Gaonkar, conducted the election on the very first day of the first Assembly session of the eighth legislative Assembly.Goa Forward Party, Revolutionary Goans Party and Aam Aadmi Party supported the Congress candidate and voted in favour of Sequeira.Tawadkar, a fourth-time MLA, has earlier served as the Sports, Tribal Welfare, Animal Husbandry and Agriculture Minister of the state from 2012 to 2017. He is one of the prominent tribal leaders of the state. Tawadkar is also the first MLA from Canacona to become the Speaker of the State Legislative Assembly.The ruling and the Opposition sides congratulated Tawadkar after he was elected to the post of the Speaker. Congratulating the Speaker, the Chief Minister, Pramod Sawant, said Tawadkar has set an example with his work for the youth. “I am sure that you will do justice to everybody in the House,” he said.Opposition MLAs Digambar Kamat, Michael Lobo, Vijai Sardesai, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) leader Ramakrishna ‘Sudin’ Dhavalikar and others urged the new Speaker to give equal opportunity to all the members of the House to raise people’s issues in the Assembly.Tawadkar thanked all the MLAs for electing him as the Speaker of the House. Later, addressing the media, he said that while conducting business in the state Assembly, he will work to protect the dignity and sanctity of the august House.“Hailing from a farmer family and coming from a rural area, I feel proud to have been elected to the post of the Speaker. It is one of the highest constitutional posts. I will also make use of this particular position to give benefits to the people of rural Goa,” he said.Meanwhile, the Sanguem MLA, Subhash Phaldesai, BJP candidate, and the Independent MLA, Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco, BJP-supported candidate, on Tuesday filed their nomination papers for the post of Deputy Speaker of the State Legislative Assembly, the election for which will be held on Wednesday.Saligao MLA Kedar Naik filed his nomination papers for the post as a candidate on behalf of the Congress party.The nomination papers were submitted by them in person to the legislature secretary, Namrata Ulman, at the Assembly complex.Phaldesai is a two-time MLA and has also served as chairman of the Entertainment Society of Goa.Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco, a seasoned politician, who is a four-time MLA, has extended support to the Pramod Sawant-led BJP government.Kedar Naikis a first-time MLA. He was sarpanch of the Reis Magos village panchayat.
PANAJI: BJP Canacona MLA Ramesh Tawadkar on Sunday filed his nomination for the post of speaker, the election to which is scheduled on Tuesday. The last day for nominations is Monday. Tawadkar, who is from the BJP cadre and a school teacher, by profession, filed three sets of nominations. He was accompanied by CM-designate Pramod Sawant, Curtorim MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco, Shiroda MLA Subhash Shirodkar, Sanguem MLA Subhash Phal Desai and others. Sawant said that on behalf of BJP, Tawadkar, who has been elected thrice, filed his nomination for the post of speaker. Sawant said that Tawadkar will get elected with a thumping majority. “We have 25 MLAs in the assembly and there is a possibility that two more MLAs may support Tawadkar in getting elected,” he said. Tawadkar, a school teacher, was sport ministers in former CM Manohar Parrikar’s government in 2012. Tawadkar was first elected in the 2005 byelection from Poinguinim. He was re-elected in 2007. Post delimitation in 2012, he got elected from Canacona and was made minister. Tawadkar contested as an independent in 2017 after he was denied the BJP ticket. In 2019, he rejoined the party with the assurance that he would be given the ticket to contest the 2022 assembly election. In the recently-concluded election, BJP denied its ticket to sitting MLA Isidore Fernandes and gave it to Tawadkar, who is from the ST community. Police to deploy 2,000 personnel for swearing-in security Panaji: Goa police will deploy around 2,000 personnel to provide security to VVIPs attending the swearing-in ceremony of the new state government headed by Pramod Sawant on Monday, and efforts have been made for zero error in security. Speaking to TOI, DGP Indra Dev Shukla said that it is “a very big deployment” for the ceremony.
Aleixo Sequeira is the Oppn’s candidate for the post; election to be held tomorrowPanaji: Three-time Canacona MLA from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Ramesh Tawadkar, filed his nomination papers on Sunday to contest as a candidate for the post of Speaker of the Goa legislative assembly.Election for electing the new Speaker will be held on March 29.With BJP having 20 MLAs in the 40-member state assembly, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and Independent MLAs are likely to vote in favour of Tawadkar.Chief Minister-designate Pramod Sawant, BJP state president Sadanand Tanawade, Sanguem MLA Subhash Faldessai and Independent MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco were present when Tawadkar handed over his nomination papers to the legislature secretary,Namrata Ulman.“We have filed three nomination forms of Ramesh Tawadkar for the post of Speaker of the Goa legislative assembly. His name was proposed and seconded by five MLAs – Jennifer Monserrate, Aleixo Reginaldo, Subhash Shirodkar, Subhash Faldessai and Nilkant Halarnkar. The election for choosing the Speaker is due on Tuesday,” said Sawant after the filing of Tawadkar’s nomination papers.Stating that Tawadkar is likely to get additional votes, Sawant said, “We have the support of 20 BJP, 2 MGP and 3 Independent MLAs. You never know, we may even get 2-3 more votes from either side. You will come to know on the day of the Speaker’s election,”he said.Nuvem MLA and former minister Aleixo Sequeira has been unanimously declared as the Opposition’s candidate for the post of Speaker. The last day for filing of nomination is Monday.Meanwhile, Sawant, who led the BJP to victory in the recently concluded state assembly elections, will be sworn in as the state’s chief minister on Monday in the presence of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other dignitaries, an official said on Sunday.The swearing-in ceremony will be held at Dr Syama Prasad Mukherjee stadium at Bambolimat 11 a.m.Apart from the Prime Minister, the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will also be present at the function. Many people are expected to attend the event at the stadium.The BJP has so far been silent on the number of cabinet ministers to be sworn in on Monday. Sawant said, “You will come to know about it tomorrow. Right now, I don’t know how many ministers would be sworn in.”Besides the chief minister, the Goa cabinet can have 11 more ministers. This will be the second time that the state’s chief minister will be sworn in outside the Raj Bhavan premises.Governor P. S. Sreedharan Pillai has summoned a two-day session of the new assembly from March 29 when Sawant will have to seek a vote of confidence, officials said.The new Speaker will also be elected during the session, which is expected to complete a range of legislative business.
CANACONA: General secretary of Goa Pradesh Congress Committee Janardan Bhandari has demanded that the government should organise a Shigmotsav parade in Canacona. Making the demand, Bhandari has written to the chief secretary, arts and culture department, tourism department and local MLA Ramesh Tawadkar. He said that although Shigmo Chitrarath processions were being organised at Panaji, Margao, Mapusa and Ponda, due to various reasons, it is not possible for artistes from Canacona to visit these places and showcase their skills. Bhandari said that by not organising Shigmo in Canacona taluka, the state government has done injustice to local artistes. “Canacona region has produced well-known artistes who are world renowned for their talents and skills. Artistes living in remote areas of Goa have been neglected by the government. These artistes have kept Goa’s tradition and culture alive. In fact, there is a need to provide a platform for such artistes,” Bhandari has stated. He also said that tourism will also benefit as Canacona witnesses a large number of national and international visitors.
Panaji: The food and drugs administration (FDA) has imposed fines on stalls and shops at KTC bus stand, Panaji, and the Quepem municipal area of Tilamol, Curchorem and Canacona which were found selling food items like samosas, sandwiches, bakery items and Indian sweets without carrying adequate details of the manufacturer and the best before date. At the KTC bus stand, Panaji, the FDA fined 12 food business operators with spot fines, under Section 69 of the Food Safety and Standard Act 2006. Four units were also served improvement notices in view of non-compliance to hygiene conditions. At Quepem,Tilamol and Curchorem, the FDA team carried out the drive on various sweetmarts, bakeries, street food vendors. Apart from non-compliance of hygiene standards, it was also found that they were not displaying the use by date and details of the supplier on ready-to-eat foods and sweets. The FDA also found newspaper was being used for wrapping food items. Around 30 units were inspected by the team till late Saturday evening. A similar inspection was carried out at the Canacona bus stand and notices issued to food operators there. “The FDA shall continue with its drives in all other areas and food business opeartors at bus stands, super markets, grocery shops, restaurants and sweet marts selling ready-to-eat item and fines will be imposed on violators,” FDA director Jyoti Sardesai said. “Food business operators must ensure strict compliance with all norms. They should watch out for informative advertisements released by the FDA in the newspapers to keep themselves updated with the latest developments of law,” she said. The FDA has recently received complaints from a consumer organisation that ready-to-eat food items which are semi packaged or kept in trays for sale, do not carry information like use-by date and details of the manufacturer. Suchitems with short shelf life should ideally carrythe use by date and manufacturer details on the package or on the tray in whichthey are displayed, and shall not be wrapped to newspaper.
Staff ReporterPanajiRaising doubts over the findings of a report of a joint committee on beach resort structures at Cola in Canacona taluka, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has maintained that there were prima facie violations in the form of cutting of the hill and building of the structures.The appellant Inacio Pereira had approached the tribunal challenging the legality of structures of Dwarka Eco Beach Resort in Cola village of Canacona, which were allegedly built by cutting the hills, destroying mangroves and filling creek/backwaters in forest area in no-development zone, in violation of the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 2011.Taking cognisance of the case, the tribunal constituted a joint committee asking it to visit the site and file an action taken report.The team consisted of the South Goa district collector, member secretary of the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA), the chief conservator of forest, and member secretary of the Goa State Pollution Control Board.“We find it difficult to accept the report as final. There appear to be prima facie violations in the form of cutting of the hill as well as raising structures. However, conclusive finding cannot be recorded so as to reject the report and issue directions sought in the application,” said the order of the five-member NGT bench headed by chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel.According to the report of the joint panel and the project proponent, there is no substantial CRZviolation.The report stated that there is no cutting of mangroves and filling of water body. With respect to the grievance of hill cutting, the committee found the steps on the hill provides access to the huts.The tribunal observed that the applicant in person pointed out that the hill cutting is clearly done to provide access to the huts. But in the joint committee report, the structures are shown as ‘temporary’, which is against the facts.The green court therefore considered it fair to give opportunity to the applicant to place any further tangible material in support of his case before the GCZMA, in the first instance, for further consideration.
Keri: The spring festival of Shigmo is more than just about celebrating colours and float parades. For the tribal communities who are mostly involved in agriculture, this is an opportunity to forget their day-to-day manual work in the fields and turn folk artists and display their singing, dancing talents before the community. Varied folklore have been interwoven with Shigmo rituals, making the festival a way of following and zealously guarding folk traditions and culture. In fact, the villagers consider Shigmo performances to be necessary for their well-being, thus ensuring that these rituals have been zealously followed through the generations. “Shigmo celebration is marked by legends, performances of folk songs and folk dances as well as deep-rooted beliefs that are passed down from generation to generation. This has helped in the enrichment of Goa’s rich and varied folklore,” said Devendra Tavadkar from Amona, Poinguinim, in Canacona taluka. Throughout the state, one can witness varied facets of Shigmo festival, displayed by the rural communities with utmost devotion. In Canacona’s Khola area, though Laxmi Narayan are the main village deities, the festivities of Shigmo on the full moon day revolve around the temple of Betal, fondly called as Betubab by the locals. Tribal and non-tribal communities from Canacona’s Soliye, Unas, Matav, Malode and Vaghon areas invoke the village deities while participating in folk dances to the tune of folk music. The local deities and spirits are invoked for blessing and protection of the community. The Tonyamel and Taalgadi dances performed during the festivities provide a platform for folk artists to display their skills. The celebration culminates on the full moon day with a procession of devotees holding insignias of the deities. The procession sees participation of unmarried girls holding lit lamps known as ‘divaza’ while unmarried boys hold artistically carved sticks of the Leea microfolia plant. In the village that houses the historic Cabo da Rama fort, devotees come in huge numbers to witness the colourful ceremony. Meanwhile, in Ponda taluka’s Panchwadi area, villagers assemble before the presiding deity with percussion instruments. They offer salutations, singing devotional songs which express their gratitude and urge the deities to take part in the festival along with them.
Canacona: Lack of proper signage and absence of regular maintenance of traffic boards to ensure safe commuting along the Canacona highway as well as internal roads is affecting road safety, resulting in accidents. Locals point to signage at the beginning of Galgibaga bridge on the Mashem side where no proper traffic boards exist. A local, Paul Colaco said that the no-entry signboard erected at the end of Galgibaga bridge while entering Mashem village is wrongly erected. Similarly, the traffic signal erected just after getting onto the Galgibaga bridge on Galgibaga side is wrongly placed as well. Colaco pointed out that road safety authorities should study such traffic-hazard locations and accordingly install sign boards. Several motorists who use Highway 66 regularly said that some of the signboards are damaged or unreadable, and in some instances are hidden because of protruding tree branches or are covered by bushes. In such circumstances, commuters find it difficult using these roads. Locals also point to a signboard erected at the entry point to Mokhard just 25 metres before the Mokhard primary school on the Bhatpal side. The traffic sign is hidden by a mango tree branch, while another sign board before Aframent-Partagal is in a neglected condition. Motorists say that signboards should be placed in high visibility spots without any obstructions which affect readability. Locals say that speed limit boards are critical, especially on internal village roads where lack of checking and enforcement encourages two-wheelers riders to speed on these roads. Parents who ferry children to schools on two-wheelers said that signages in Canacona should be rectified immediately.
Keri: In Goa’s urban areas, Holi has translated into crowds drenched in colour dancing to Bollywood and techno music. But in the villages, Holi is a ritual. The three temples of Shree Mallikarjun deity in Ave, Shristhal and Gaodongari in Canacona celebrate the Veeramel and Shisharanni during Holi, alternating between the two each year. It is the Shisharanni ritual that attracts a big crowd. The excitement for the devotees lies in watching the ritualistic rice being cooked in an earthen pot that rests on the heads of three devotees. A fire is lit with the heads acting as the chullah as the rice simmers, with the participating men coming out unscathed each time. In Veeramel, the dancing devotees dressed in traditional attire and holding swords go house to house in a procession. Among agriculture dominated tribal regions, Holi is celebrated as Shigmo, whereas among the forest dwelling tribes the same festival is known as Shikmo — both being derived from the Sanskrit word Sugimha, meaning a pleasant summer. In Canacona’s tribal settlements, villagers disappear into the forested hills, deserting their homes at the foothills. Here, in a shelter in the forested hilltops, tribal Velip men perform folk dances and eat frugal vegetarian meals in a retracing of practices observed by their ancestors. The forest dwelling Velips communities see the ‘Mand’ — a common area reserved for performing religious traditions — come alive with menfolk dancing to folk music and folk songs reflecting the socio-ecological knowledge of the area. In the village of Nunde, situated inside the Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary of Sanguem, five days before Holi, a ritualistic dance is performed that largely involves wielding an age-old sword in the right hand. To the beats of percussion instruments and cymbals, five devotees dance the night away as villagers throng to watch the annual ritual. “Nunde is the only village in Goa, where the Hanpet dance is performed. In the past, folk dancers inflicted injuries on themselves with the sword to symbolically offer blood to Mother Earth. This dance is performed by the devotees under a trance. After the Hanpet dance, tribals irrespective of their age, perform the folk dances of Tonyamel and Taalgadi jubilantly,” said a local, Arjun Gaonkar, 80. In the Taalgadi, male folk dancers perform to the beats of drums and folk songs. However, nowadays, harmonium, tabla and cymbals are also used. Tonyamel sees the men dance with a pair of colourful wooden sticks, akin to the dandiya. “Holi provides a forum to these villagers to showcase their folk dances, songs and music performed spontaneously. Amidst the fun and frolic, is the performance of rituals and traditions cherished since the hoary past by the communities,” said Shubhada Chari, a folk researcher from Sal, Bicholim. Throughout Goa, in designated community areas, usually in front of the temple of the village deity, a trunk extracted from the nearby forest is erected and dressed meticulously with mango leaves. The trunk itself is known as ‘Holi’ and rituals are usually performed around this, mostly in the dead of the night. It is also seen as evoking or thanking the holy spirit. “Among the Goan Hindus, the ritualistic traditions observed during the Holi express the utmost gratitude to Mother Earth for providing food and many unseen holy spirits for blessings of prosperity,” said Chari. In villages of Sattari, Bicholim, Pernem and Dharbandora, Ghodemodni is performed by artists which recalls the warfare of the Marathas who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the honour and dignity of the land. The passion of the Goan communities for Holi festivities was so deep that even after religious conversion the local Catholics and Muslims have kept their association with the folk traditions alive through their participation in Holi related processions like the Intruz and the Tabut.
Canacona: The Canacona police on Monday recovered the bodies of two women at Tamnem in Loliem who had gone missing from their residence since Sunday.Police sources informed that Maya Anand Pagi (50) and her married daughter Ankita Prakash Polgi (26) had been reported missing after relatives found the mother-daughter missing from the house.Locals who were on the lookout for the missing duo conducted a search in the pond after a plastic vesseland two pairs of slippers were seen near the pond, around 100 metres away from the house.The villagers found Ankita’s body in the pond on Sunday night, while the body of the mother was found hanging. The suspicious deaths of the duo in Loliem created a stir in Canacona taluka.Local sources informed that the married daughter Ankitawas living in Navelim and had come to her mother’s house to take care of her father who had been recently discharged from hospital after an accident.The sources also informed that Maya Pagi was mentally disturbed after her husband’s accident. People also recalled a suicide attempt earlier by the deceased Maya.Sources informed that the body of Maya Pagi was handed over to the family after conducting an autopsy, while the body of Ankita is preserved at the morgue and will be handed over to her husband who is working abroad.Investigating officer Rifha Barretto said that as per the postmortem report of Maya Anand Pagi, the cause of death is asphyxia due to hanging while the inquest and autopsy will be conducted tomorrow in the presence of the sub divisional magistrate since the death of Ankita has taken place within seven years of her marriage.(Those in distress or in need of help may contact the Distress Helpline Service no. 0832-2252525).
Canacona: After the rescue operations by Canacona police and Canacona fire personnel failed to locate Maya Pagi, 52, the mother of deceased Ankita Polji, 26, on Sunday night, her body was found hanging from a nearby tree, at Tamnem in Poinguinim, behind her house on Monday morning. Police rushed to the site and retrieved her body which was handed over to her family after the inquest and postmortem examination at South Goa district hospital, Margao. However, Ankita’s body has been preserved for autopsy to be conducted in the presence of the sub-divisional magistrate since the death took place within seven years of her marriage. Police said that there was no foul play in the matter as Maya’s autopsy suggests death caused due to asphyxia after hanging. PI Pravin Gawas said Maya had tried to end her life in Goa Medical College and Hospital a fortnight ago while she was attending to her husband, who was hospitalised due to a paralytic stroke. Police said that later they were told that she was going through depression. On Sunday evening, Ankita’s body was found floating in the rivulet in the backyard of her mother’s house. Police registered a case of unnatural death of Maya under provisions of the CrPc.
CANACONA: At Tamnem in Poinguinim, a woman Ankita Pagi drowned in a rivulet on Sunday. The water body flows behind her house. While Ankita’s body has been recovered, her mother, who is missing, is also feared to have drowned and search for her body is on, police sub inspector Rifha Barretto said. However, the PSI said that as nobody saw the mother-daughter duo going to the rivulet together, they cannot confirm if the mother was with her daughter at the time of the incident. The incident occurred around 7.15pm on Sunday when the duo supposedly had gone to the rivulet together. Ankita’s body was fished out of the rivulet by her alert neighbours before the fire service personnel could arrive. Her distress cries were heard by some neighbours who alerted others in the neighbourhood and all rushed to the rivulet. On arriving at the spot, they saw Ankita’s slippers on the banks of the rivulet and promptly commenced a rescue operation. However, they found her body floating among the mangroves. Meanwhile, police, who were alerted by the neighbours about the incident, commenced a search operation for the mother. The search operation was led by police and Canacona fire services personnel together. The operation was led by fire services personnel Tulshidas Desai and assisted by Ashok Gaonkar, Anil Talpankar and Paresh Bhagat. Ankita, who resides in Salcete, had come to her maternal home to take care of her father, Anand, as her bother was also ill and was unable to take care of the father, police sources said. Anand, a retired PWD employee, had met with an accident a fortnight ago and had been recently discharged from hospital. Ankita’s leaves behind a husband who is presently working in the UK. The incident occurred around 7.15pm on Sunday. PSI Rifha Barretto said that as nobody saw the mother and daughter going to the rivulet together, they cannot confirm if the mother was with her daughter at the time of the incident
Canacona: The onset of summer is a busy time for the tribal farming community of Canacona as it marks the start of the cashew season. This year, however, till date, the cashew yield seems bleak, leaving many cashew growers worried. The prolonged rains and the continued cold climate haven’t been very favourable to the crop, and cashew farmers from Gaondongrim and Cotigao lament that this year’s yield will be considerably less. While many of the trees have not bloomed properly due to a delayed winter, later, incidents of fog resulted in the blooms getting burnt. Anandu Shaba Desai from Dutordem, Gaondongrim, who has over 500 cashew trees said that this year, the weather has been at its worst. “It rained up to even January which affected the cashew season. Then, during the flowering stage, the fog played a deterrent to nut formation,” he said. Another cashew farmer, Ajit Pai, said that by this time, the cashew season should have been in full swing. “The crop has fallen far behind its normal schedule. Some cashew trees can still be seen gradually blooming. Even if the plants flower well and nuts start forming, it may be too late. And in case rain showers start by April-end, the crop will be ruined,” he said. Pai said the unseasonal rain till late last year and rain spells in January too have played spoilsport for cashew flowering and fruiting. “If it rains now again, as per the weather warning issued, the yield will be further adversely affected,” he said. The cashew crop is very important for Canacona’s cashew farmers as the yield helps sustain them for at least three to four months. Farmers say that if their cashew income is low, many of them will be in losses. However, this season, apart from reduced production, the lower wholesale rates have further dampened the spirits of farmers. Some have also complained of havoc caused by monkeys who do not allow the cashew fruit to grow or ripen. Now they hope that the government doesn’t turn a blind eye to their plight and that the agriculture department comes to their rescue by giving them assistance in whatever way possible. Chandrahas Naik Gaonkar (Desai), project director, Agriculture Technology Management Agency (ATMA, South) told TOI that while the constant climatic changes have definitely affected the cashew season in Canacona, if it doesn't rain further now during this flowering period, then to some extent the loss may be made up. “But, it will not be a normal season for the cashew crop,” he said. tnn Canacona zonal agriculture officer Kirtiraj Naik Gaonkar too feels that cashew farmers may suffer considerably as the yield this year will be less. “The hybrid variety bloomed well even in adverse weather, but the continued fog caused harm. Cashews need heat at the time of seed formation and its maturation process. But the cold weather, especially at night, interfered in the normal process,” Gaonkar said.
Canacona: South Goa witnessed four rescues, including two in Canacona, over the weekend. At Palolem, two tourists, both from Bengaluru, were rescued after their kayak overturned. Lifesaver Sarvesh Govekar rushed with his jet ski and brought them to safety. Two more rescues were undertaken by lifeguards in which a 33-year-old female tourist from Delhi was rescued at Agonda, while a male tourist, 27, was rescued at Baina. Besides, a 8-year-old girl was reported missing at Calangute beach, and following an extensive search, she was found and handed over to her relatives in the presence of the police.
Panaji: A nearly 200sqm mangrove and marine interpretation centre will soon be set up at Galgibaga in Canacona by the conservator of forests, wildlife and eco-tourism. The proposal was recently approved by the Goa coastal zone management authority (GCZMA). GCZMA had earlier drawn up a plan for the state’s four Olive Ridley turtle nesting sites in the state based on which ‘no-take zones’ on these beaches were demarcated to help preserve the ecology. Only marine conservation activities are permitted in these zones. Galgibaga and Agonda beaches in Canacona, and Morjim and Mandrem beaches in Pernem are turtle nesting sites for Olive Ridleys. Tourists and visitors are permitted to enter the ‘no-take zones’ but no extraction of natural resources (known as extractive activities) or putting up shacks is allowed. Similarly riding of bikes on the beach, parties, bright lights is also prohibited. The interpretation centre will help visitors understand the ecological importance of mangroves, turtle nesting sites and other marine life. Meanwhile the state forest department continues to maintain and enrich the beach ecology including sand dunes with native beach vegetation species. While conserving the ecology of the turtle nesting sites, the government plans to strike a balance between conservation efforts and livelihood for locals. Hence it was decided to set up marine interpretation centres at Morjim and Galgibaga to attract visitors. The centre will create awareness on turtle nesting among locals and tourists. The area of the nesting sites beyond the ‘no take zones’ are marked as ‘sustainable tourism zones’.
Canacona: The delimitation exercise for the panchayat election has come under criticism from the grassroots-level leadership in Canacona taluka. While the demand for additional time to submit objections and suggestions is the common refrain, there are others who point to the discrepancies in ward composition. One ward member said that in one panchayat there is a huge difference in the number of voters between two wards. Some said that the number of wards could have been increased as the population has gone up, while others said some remote hamlets could have been joined to a ward close by. Sarpanch of Loliem-Polem, Sachin Naik said that while it is necessary to carry out the delimitation, it cannot be done in a hurried manner. Not only should the electorate get sufficient time to raise objections and make suggestions, the implementation, if any, should also get adequate time, he said. Former sarpanch of Shristhal and present panch of ward number 7, Ganesh Gaonkar said that their wards must be increased from the present 7 to 9. To elucidate his point he cited the example of his Gulem ward which has 675 voters as against that of Chapoli which has 259 voters. Ganesh said that the wards of Bhatpal and Mokhard — wards 1 and 2 — together have 1,200 voters, which, he suggested, could be delimited to form another ward. “When wards increase, we are entitled for more clerical staff, which means people’s work will get done faster and quicker,” he said. Former deputy sarpanch and panch of ward 7, Bipin Prabhu Gaonkar, said that there delimitation should have been carried out for the Marlim-Tirval ward. This ward is geographically more viable to the Amonem ward but areas of Chiplem, Khargal, which are not, are joined to Marlim-Tirval, he said, adding that it doesn’t give the panch to work properly for the villagers. Former deputy sarpanch of Agonda, Feny Miranda, said that Karaxermol (A and B) which has more than 800 voters can be delimited into two, paving way for 8 wards from the present 7 wards. Agreeing that the delimitation process has to be carried out every 5 years, Cotigao sarpanch Umesh Gaonkar said that he is, however, against the system of giving the electorate very little time to file their objections and suggestions. People should get at least one month's time, he said. “After all, the electorate is the stakeholder and is important.”
Panaji: In view of the reaction from several villages, Congress has demanded that the process of delimitation for the panchayat elections be deferred till results of the assembly polls are announced on March 10. Highlighting discrepancies, state Congress president Girish Chodankar has written to the State Election Commission, Goa State Election Commissioner and also to the chief secretary. He alleged that BJP has manipulated the delimitation process to favour the candidates backed by the saffron party. Chodankar said that though the election code of conduct is still in force as the results are yet to be announced, the State Election Commissioner has gone ahead with the delimitation process. “The people of Goa are wondering what is the need to push this process of delimitation at this time, in such a hurried manner,” Chodankar stated in the letter. He said that the State Election Commission has asked the people of Goa to file their objections/suggestions to the delimitation of various wards at a time when people are busy in celebrating various festivals.
Panaji: The Goa Forward Party (GFP) on Thursday wrote to the State Election Commissioner questioning the hastiness over delimitation process for the panchayat polls, while demanding to postpone the process till March 10.“We have seen earlier how manipulations have taken place during municipal polls for which we had to go till Supreme Court and seek justice; the delimitation process should be put on hold till 10th March,” the party said. The GFP further stated that the people of the state are currently waiting for the results of Goa Assembly elections.“The election code of conduct is still in force. Amidst this, the State Election Commission has gone ahead with the process of delimitation for the upcoming panchayat elections to be held in June. We are wondering what is the need to push for it at this time in such a hurried manner,” Durgadas Kamat, general secretary (organisation) of GFP said in a letter.Stating that the State Election Commission expects the voters to visit the mamlatdar’s office to raise any objection pertaining to the delimitation draft, it suggested that the poll body should have made available the facility to check the ward boundaries and raise any objection or suggestion at the panchayat-level itself.“The term of the BJP government has ended; people have already cast their vote and have decided which government to form. Therefore, any crucial decision such as delimitation of panchayat wards must be done only after the assembly results are out,” it added.
Panaji: Ahead of the panchayat election that will be held mid-2022, returning officers will submit ward delimitation details for the 186 village panchayats to the Goa State Election Commission (SEC) on Tuesday. “The SEC will hold a meeting to discuss and finalise the delimitation of wards on Wednesday,” a senior officer said. The SEC, which is finalising the delimitation of wards for the panchayat election for the first time, had initiated the process in December 2021. Earlier, the process was carried out by the state government. However, as per the recent amendment to Section 7 of the Goa Panchayat Raj Act, 1994, the task of dividing the panchayat area into wards and reservation of seats has been assigned to the commission in consultation with the government. This has been done to avoid allegations of political interference in the process and to ensure that the election is held in a free and fair manner. To carry out the task, the commission has trained electoral registration officers (EROs) and assistant electoral registration officers (AEROs). EROs are mamlatdars and joint mamlatdars, and AEROs are awal karkuns and head clerks. EROs will submit the initial delimitation proposal to the collector or election officer of the district in which the panchayat lies on Tuesday and later the collectors will submit the proposals to the commission for further action. To prepare the proposal, EROs and AEROs have utilised the draft electoral roll of the Goa legislative assembly published on November 1, 2021. Thereafter, using the final published assembly electoral roll with qualifying date as January 1 voters will be assigned to wards, and wards, if required, will be reformed. State election commissioner, retired IAS officer, W V Ramanamurthy reviewed the work completed by the EROs so far and guided them on the delimitation process. Last year, the high court had rapped the state government over the reservation of wards for the municipal elections.
Margao: Students from Shri Nirakar Education Society’s S.S. Angle Higher Secondary School at Dapot, Loliem received two newly constructed washroom blocks on Monday. The blocks will benefit over 400 students at the school with one for boys and the other for girls.The two blocks which were sponsored by the Nave Marg Foundation and the Lions Club of Canacona is part of an initiative across the state to ensure good and clean toilet facilities for students. The blocks were inaugurated by Dr. Celso Fernandes, managing director of Nave Marg Foundation in the presence of Patricia Torres, president of Lions Club Canacona and Prashant Naik, chairman of the school. This will be the eight such toilet block to be constructed, with others being built at schools in Carmona, Benaulim, Cuncolim and Navelim.Speaking at the inaugural function, Fernandes complimented the school authorities for its excellent performance in the field of education, sports and culture and promised to help provide solar energy to the higher secondary school for its entire requirements.“My foundation will spend the entire money for the solar energy project initially and you will then refund the money by way of monthly installments equivalent to your present electricity bill,” he said.Torres meanwhile thanked the Nirakar Education Society for making it a part of this project. Naik also thanked both organisations for constructing the spacious and modern toilet blocks.
Canacona: A total of 100 Olive Ridley turtle eggs laid on the Patnem beach in Canacona were shifted to the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, Galgibaga, on Monday, Canacona wildlife range forest officer (RFO) Anant Velip said. Velip said the forest staff were informed about the turtle eggs laid at Patem early Monday morning, after which they took the possession of the eggs. With this nest, Galgibaga forest staff has preserved nine Olive Ridley nests, one of which already hatched on Sunday. A total of 80 hatchlings from this nest were released into the sea on Sunday. These were from this season’s first nest of 117 eggs laid on January 3. Last week, one more turtle nest was preserved at Galgibaga when turtle eggs laid at the Fatrade beach were transferred by RFO Margao. Galgibaga beach still has another seven pits under incubation.
Canacona: A total of 80 Olive Ridley turtle hatchlings were released into the sea at the Galgibaga beach in Canacona, on Sunday. These were from the first nest of 117 eggs laid on January 3, this season. Canacona range forest officer Anant Velip said the first turtle nest at the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, Galgibaga, produced 80 turtle babies. “Yesterday (Saturday), only 54 eggs from the 117 eggs hatched, while 26 hatched today (Sunday), Velip said, adding that some may hatch on Monday. Galgibaga beach still has another seven pits under incubation. Agonda, another turtle nesting beach in Canacona, has 20 more pits to hatch after the hatchlings from the first nest emerged last week. Eighty-eight hatchlings from the first nest were released into the sea. “Currently, there are 2,049 eggs under incubation at Agonda,” the range forest officer said.
Canacona: In an achievement that has been hailed by agricultural authorities, farmers in Canacona taluka are reaping rich dividends of innovative black pepper farming. Officials said that on an annual average 200 tonne of black pepper is being produced by farmers. Among these farmers is Ajit Pai from Khawat, Poinguinim who practices the unique ‘vertical column’ technique in a polyhouse for pepper cultivation that yields produce thrice a year. Using this method, Pai said that he has cultivated around 12,000 plants at an ultra high density area of one foot by one foot. Pai said that last year, the yield of green berries was around two tonne, of which after drying he managed to obtain around 70% net produce for an average rate of Rs 450 per kg. He also that the bush pepper variety fetches up to Rs 12 lakh annually. The advantage of using polyhouses for cultivation is that one can control the climatic conditions, irrigation and fertigation factors, while harvesting requires less labour, Pai told TOI. Many agriculturists have visited Pai’s farm, which inspired him to commence a farmers training centre ‘Krishi Suvidha’ where he imparts training on advanced technology and precision farming with an aim of attracting the younger generation to agriculture. After being informed by zonal agricultural officer (ZAO) Canacona Nirti Raj Naik Gaonkar, agriculture director Nevil Alfonso visited Pai’s farm last year and was satisfied with the way he has taken up sustainable farming. Officials said that Pai’s efforts have set an example to the youth of Canacona as well as the state. Naik Gaonkar said farmers receive government subsidy for the crop from National Horticulture Mission (NHM) and State Sector Subsidy (SSS). The subsidy for the first year is Rs 36,000 from NHM and SSS per hectare cultivation, while for the second year it is Rs 24,000. Agriculture is viable and sustainable only if there are multiple crops and integration of farms, Pai said. Apart from pepper, Pai has integrated farming activities that includes goushalas for 250 stray cattles, backyard poultry, rearing of goats of different breeds, fisheries, rabbitary, beekeeping, duck farms, etc. Pai has now taken up plantation of about 750 kgs of selam variety of turmeric.
Panaji/Ponda: The legal metrology department conducted raids at several places across Goa in the last two days and seized weighing and measuring instruments as well as commodities, including mobile accessory packages, for not bearing the mandatory declarations as required under the provisions of the Legal Metrology Act, 2009. The raids were conducted in Margao, Zuarinagar, Mapusa, Bicholim, Canacona, Sanguem and Ponda. On Friday, five shops were inspected at Verna and two cases were booked. An unverified weighing instrument and 43 packages of mobile accessories were seized. Weighing and measuring instruments at 15 shops were seized at Zuarinagar and two cases were booked. In addition to unverified weighing instruments, 53 door accessory packages were seized. It was found that the MRPs on the packages were smudged. In Mapusa and Bicholim, cases of violations were booked against managers/owners of a milk society, bar and restaurant, vegetable and general store and a tile shop. In Siolim, a bar and restaurant, general stores, a supermarket, chicken shop, vegetable shop, courier firm and hardware shop were inspected and unverified weighing instruments were seized. Besides unverified weighing scales, 1,430 packages of tiles were seized in Canacona, with packets not having mandatory declarations. In Ponda, 70 traders were inspected and 13 cases were booked with regards to unverified weighing instruments. The surprise checks by the department will continue for the next few days, a legal metrology inspector said.