Goa Candolim News

Goa: Missing Telangana girl located at Candolim
Times of India | 1 week ago | |
Times of India
1 week ago | |

CALANGUTE: A minor girl from Hyderabad who had gone missing and was suspected to have been kidnapped was located by Calangute police at Candolim on Sunday. According to Calangute police, they were informed by a team from Jagatheririgutta police station, Hyderabad, that they had come to Calangute in search of a missing minor college girl who had allegedly been kidnapped from Telangana. The minor girl had been traced to Candolim after she along with her acquaintance, a minor boy, purchased grocery items from a supermarket here using a bank card. Based on the information, Calangute PI Dattaguru Sawant along with PSI Kiran Naik initiated an inquiry in the Candolim area and with the help of CCTV footage captured in the supermarket, traced the girl to a guesthouse at Candolim. Both the minors were reunited with their respective families.

Goa: Missing Telangana girl located at Candolim
  • Missing Telangana girl located at Candolim
  • Times of India

    Calangute: A minor girl from Hyderabad who had gone missing and was suspected to have been kidnapped was located by Calangute police at Candolim on Sunday.According to Calangute police, they were informed by a team from Jagatheririgutta police station, Hyderabad, that they had come to Calangute in search of a missing minor college girl who had allegedly been kidnapped from Telangana.The minor girl had been traced to Candolim after she along with her acquaintance, a minor boy, purchased grocery items from a supermarket here using a bank card.Based on the information, Calangute PI Dattaguru Sawant along with PSI Kiran Naik initiated an inquiry in the Candolim area and with the help of CCTV footage captured in the supermarket, traced the girl to a guesthouse at Candolim. Both the minors were reunited with their respective families.

With Kala Academy shut, tiatrs find new stage at Candolim
Times of India | 2 weeks ago | |
Times of India
2 weeks ago | |

Calangute: The ‘A-Sala-de-Nossa-Senhora-de-Piedade’ community hall at Dando, Candolim is fast becoming a popular hub for tiatr performances in north Goa with some of the top names heading there to stage shows after the shutdown of Kala Academy.The hall, popularly known as Dando hall or Saibinn hall because of the ‘Piedade Saibinn’ chapel next to it is on the way to Fort Aguada and had been inaugurated by archbishop Felipe Neri Ferrao on October 16, 2019. “There is no other hall open in north Goa after Kala Academy was closed for repairs. Mapusa is there but people are not going there. Margao is the centre of tiatrs in Goa but it is far away, so in the north tiatrists have started coming here,” said Candolim sarpanch Fermino Fernandes who is also a performing artist and had overseen the construction of the hall. Rosefern’s ‘Amche Modem Jiyeta’, comedian Sevy’s ‘8 Dis’ are some of the shows hosted at the hall this month with Sammy Tavares’ tiatr ‘Ghor ek Ghorabo’ drawing a full house recently. The hall, the only one of its kind in the Bardez coastal belt is managed by the Confraria de Nossa Senhora de Piedade, the chapel committee. After being opened in 2019 it was used for private functions and for conferences . “The Taj Fort Aguada have their conferences in this hall because they don’t have a big hall,” Fermino said. Bookings have picked up once again after the Covid pandemic, he said. With Candolim being a central location, many tiatrists are now having their shows there, he said.

With Kala Academy shut, tiatrs find new stage at Candolim
‘At least 100 illegal wine shops in Calangute-Candolim belt’
Times of India | 3 weeks ago | |
Times of India
3 weeks ago | |

Panaji: Since a non-resident Goan can't obtain a liquor licence as a 25-year residence certificate being mandatory, in the last decade the trend of leasing liquor licences has set-in, leading to illegal operations, especially in the tourism hotspots such as Calangute-Candolim. One of the conditions for obtaining licence is that it can’t be sub-let or leased but it is being circumvented by some locals to earn easy money. All Goa Liquor Traders Association president Dattaprasad Naik alleged the excise department has closed its eyes to the malady in the trade but if it has the will to act, he can show at least 100 wine stores operating in the Calangute -Candolim belt illegally.“Such wine stores are in operations in Calangute, Candolim, Colva and up North in Arambol. They are mostly by fly-by-night operators who operate in a place for two to three years and disappear. Since they do not pay any tax to the government, their profit margins are higher than us,” Naik said.The sub-letting is rampant in the coastal belt with a licensee can command a premium rate for his licence depending on the location.“Suppose a local having no interest to operate the licence, he will give it to a person from another state for rent. Charges will be calculated depending on the business in the area. It can be Rs 2 lakh a month or even more,” said Manoj Joshi, a prominent wine store operator from Panaji.Naik said the alcohol trade is one domain where locals still call the shots but if the government keeps its eyes close to the alleged illegalities, it is a matter of time before they lose control.An excise official, speaking on condition of anonymity, accepted that sub-letting of licences do happen but it is difficult to prove.Even if they go about checking such stores, he said, a lessee operating the store will be ready with an excuse that he is the store manager.“There is no law in place to stop a licensee from hiring a manager. Proving a charge is not easy in such cases. All documents are in the name of the licensee,” he said.The official however, said they haven’t received any such complaint of late, and if there are any, they will act upon.A member of the trade who did not want to be named said, the locals who lease their licences are at fault but the government must not take this issue lightly. It should find better ways to deal with it.“Cancel licences of people who lease. There must be ways to detect illegal operators. Or else, change the law, at least, so that the revenue leakages will be plugged,” he said.Joshi said with legal loopholes it is not easy to prove when a local lets his licence to be operated by a party from Delhi or any other state. There ought to be some solution to the problem.

‘At least 100 illegal wine shops in Calangute-Candolim belt’
Goa: Cannot keep accused in custody till missing couple is traced, says Mapusa court
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

PANAJI: A Mapusa court has granted bail to Vipin Kumar Singh from Bhopal, manager of a nightclub in Baga, in a case involving a couple from Madhya Pradesh and Punjab who went missing in Goa in March. While granting bail, additional sessions judge, North Goa Sharmila A Patil said, "It is rather unfortunate that the victim girl along with Varun Kumar has gone missing and even their bodies have not been found as argued by the public prosecutor for the state, but only to trace the missing couple the applicant cannot be kept in custody and that itself would not be a ground to dis-entitle the accused the right of bail." "Moreover the chargesheet is already filed before the joint magistrate first class. Therefore, I am inclined to accept the case of the applicant and to grant him conditional bail," the court said. Public prosecutor R Barreto told the court that Singh, the bail applicant, is aware of but has not disclosed the missing couple's whereabouts to the investigating officer and his presence is required in custody. The court stated that this cannot be accepted as the law on bail presumes the applicant to be innocent unless proven guilty. An offence was registered at Calangute police station on April 19 on a complaint by the brother of the missing 22-year-old girl that unknown persons wrongfully abducted his sister. Police had received the case papers on March 29 from Panaji police station about the missing girl from the North Goa SP, directing it to trace the missing woman. Calangute police recorded statements of all suspects and witnesses, except Kumar, but no information about the girl could be obtained. An offence was then registered under Section 365 the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against unknown persons. Advocate S Dessai said that Singh got a call at 2am on March 3 this year at his Porvorim residence that the couple had an altercation at a hotel in Candolim and the woman was threatening suicide. Singh visited the hotel and sorted out the fight which was going on in the presence of guests and employees. He said that there was no contact with the couple after the incident. The woman had also contacted police control room (PCR) informing them that she was being confined in room 404 of the hotel. The police checked all rooms of the hotel in Candolim but couldn't locate the caller. Her phone was also unreachable. Barreto stated that most of the witnesses whose statements were recorded are employed by him and that they wereleaving the state when they were called for questioning. This, the prosecutor said, indicates that they have witnessed a serious incident of the missing girl.

Goa: Cannot keep accused in custody till missing couple is traced, says Mapusa court
TCP scraps Greater Panaji PDA, Parra, Nagoa, Arpora denotified
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

Panaji: The town and country planning (TCP) department on Monday decided to disband the Greater Panaji Planning and Development Authority (GPPDA) and denotify Parra, Nagoa, and Arpora as planning areas.TCP minister Vishwajit Rane said that the Kadamba plateau will also be removed as a planning area, but will be developed as a satellite township of the state capital with higher floor area ratio (FAR).“It is decided to amalgamate the Panaji planning area, Taleigao planning area and Bambolim planning area with the North Goa Planning and Development Area,” he said. “It is also decided to withdraw the Kadamba planning area from the Greater Panaji PDA. With this, the Greater Panaji PDA shall stand dissolved.”“Further, it is decided that after the completion of rectification of outline development plans pertaining to the Arpora-Nagao-Parra planning area, these areas shall be withdrawn from the North Goa PDA,” Rane said.Taleigao MLA Jennifer Monserrate is the current North Goa PDA chairman. The GPPDA was formed in 2019 by the Manohar Parrikar-led coalition government and current revenue minister Atanasio ‘Babush’Monserrate was appointed its chairman just before the Panaji bypolls.Rane said that Calangute, Candolim, and Mapusa will remain part of the North Goa PDA. He was speaking to reporters after the TCP board meeting. Congress MLA Rajesh Faldesai was also present.At the press briefing, Rane also said that all provisional approvals granted under Section 16B of the TCP Act will be discarded, except those applications that are sub-judice. Nearly 6,000-odd provisional approvals were given under the Section by the previous TCP minister, which Rane decided to rescind. Apart from these, 1,222 cases that were granted provisional approval have been challenged through writ petitions. The department has also granted final approval to 253 cases, which have not yet been notified.The department also decided to grant additional FAR up to 20% of the permissible FAR for medical institutions such as hospitals and colleges. “This is to further improve medical facilities in rural as well as urban areas. Hospitals having 200-bed facilities shall be eligible to avail of this facility,” Rane said. The TCP board also decided to promote a policy of transit-oriented corridors along national highways in Goa so that construction can be regulated. Rane said that eco-sensitive zones will not be included and that the expertise of consultants and experts is being sought.The 10-member screening committee constituted to review and examine the suspended ODPs for the Calangute-Candolim planning area 2025, Arpora-Nagoa-Parra planning area 2030 and Vasco-da-Gama planning area, has submitted its report to the board.“Any unauthorised sub-division of land and construction of houses undertaken unauthorisedly shall attract action under Section 16A of the TCP Act, as per which a person undertaking such development in contravention of the provisions of Regional Plan is liable for punishment with simple imprisonment which may extend to one year or has to pay a fine of Rs 10 lakh, and such offence is cognisable,” Rane said.

TCP scraps Greater Panaji PDA, Parra, Nagoa, Arpora denotified
Calangute citizens’ group to back fresh faces for August 10 civic polls
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

Calangute: A handful of activists in Calangute-Candolim are hoping to upset the plans of established politicians in the coming village panchayat elections, with some even deciding to contest. “The Calangute Constituency Forum (CCF) is a non-political organisation. We have been fighting for environmental and social issues, so we are not contesting the election, but there are people from CCF who are contesting in their individual capacity. We will support good candidates individually in our wards,” CCF president Premanand Divkar said.AAP Calangute convenor Manuel Cardozo, who is contesting the panchayat election along with some other members in their individual capacity, said keeping Calangute clean will be their priority if they win. “Keeping Calangute clean, getting the people’s work done by going door-to-door to their homes is our plan. They should not have to come to the panchayat,” he said. Candolim-based Roshan Mathias, who was the GSP candidate in the last assembly election and has been holding Panchayat Raj awareness meetings across the state, said though he is not contesting, he has been guiding candidates on what they’re expected to do as panchayat members and how to approach voters. “Some of them dream big and want to change the laws, which panchayat members cannot do,” he said. “I have been an activist for the love of Goa. We have been here for generations and our landscape is gone, taken by the construction lobbies from Delhi and outsiders and we are unable to do anything. We have to save something for our future generations,” Augustine D’Costa, an activist candidate from Calangute said. Calangute social media activist Walter Lobo known for his viral videos expressed surprise at the large number of candidates in the fray. “Looking at the number of candidates, I didn’t know there were so many people who love Goa,” he said.

Calangute citizens’ group to back fresh faces for August 10 civic polls
‘These people have destroyed Goa’: Minister tables report about change of land zones in coastal belt
The Indian Express | 2 months ago | |
The Indian Express
2 months ago | |

Goa Town and Country Planning (TCP) Minister Vishwajit Rane on Tuesday tabled a report in the legislative assembly according to which 3.59 lakh sq m of land in five villages in North Goa’s coastal belt were converted from tenanted land, cultivated land, no development slopes or mangroves to settlement land.The 434 properties which had been changed to settlement zones were located in the villages of Calangute, Candolim, Arpora, Nagoa and Parra. According to the report, the change of zone of the land was carried out in the Outline Development Plan (ODP) from the Regional Plan 2021.Rane said that the change of zone of these lands had been reversed and they have been reverted to the earlier land use. He added that the areas that were reverted to their earlier zone will not be put back in the ODPs and if anybody had a grievance, they had 60 days to file an appeal before the TCP Board. Rane also said that the report had been tabled in the assembly after discussing it with the chief minister and central leaders.“People come to Goa because they love Goa. People come to Goa because they feel that there is a lot of greenery and peace of mind…If you destroy Goa and you make Goa a city or a metro, people will not come to Goa. You have to save Goa for posterity. These are the people who have destroyed Goa. And they should be punished by the people. In every election, people know. They will punish people at the appropriate time,” Rane said.The report did not mention any names or name the owner of the properties. Rane told the media, “I have deliberately not mentioned anybody’s name today. You will come to know in a jiffy what has happened…”The report was tabled in the backdrop of Rane’s war of words with Calangute MLA and leader of opposition Michael Lobo. Rane and Lobo, his former colleague in the previous Cabinet led by Pramod Sawant, have been sparring with each other with the TCP minister accusing Lobo of committing illegalities for “personal gains” during his tenure as chairman of North Goa Planning and Development Authority (NGPDA) and Lobo, in turn, saying that he was being “targeted”.Rane later shared information about 10 properties with a total area of 27,647 sq m owned by Lobo and his MLA wife Delilah Lobo in which a ‘change of zone’ was carried out.Responding to Rane’s report, Lobo said that he had no problem if any of the lands were reverted to their earlier zones. “We have changed the zone of only one land and we did that with the permission of the panchayat for a hotel management institution,” he said.The report prepared by a 10-member committee under the TCP does not mention that the changes of zone were carried out by Lobo. However, Rane later made public a letter written by three officials – Planning Assistant Bhalchandra Naik, Assistant Engineer Vikram Tengse and Member Secretary of the NGPDA R K Pandita to the chief town planner on June 13. The letter stated that Lobo was the chairman of the NGPDA from 2012 to 2019 and that he had carried out the ‘change of zone’ in the Calangute-Candolim Planning Area.The letter reads, “The Calangute-Candolim draft and final ODP is prepared under his chairmanship therefore he decided which areas to be changed and which areas to be dropped from the regional plan 2021.” It stated that officials had raised oral objections to the changes being carried out, like reduction in major district road, other roads, tenanted lands, no development slopes, mangrove area with thick habitation. “The answer from Michael Lobo was that I am chairman and local MLA, I know what is required in the said area, I have every right to change the zone of any area which he wants and you (officials) have to sign the plan the way he wants,” the letter says.The committee was appointed to examine three ODPs for Calangute-Candolim Planning Area-2025, Arpora-Nagoa-Parra Planning Area-2030 and Vasco-da-Gama Planning Area. It observed, “Eco-sensitive areas such as paddy field, tenanted lands, no development slopes, etc. have been changed to settlement zone and other developable zones.”Among its findings, the committee noted that “change of zone have been done arbitrarily and without following uniform policy” and “eco-sensitive areas have been changed to developable zones, which may adversely affect the environment”. It also said that “a lot of unauthorised development has come up in the area especially in Calangute-Candolim which has restricted any further widening of the roads, thus leading to chaos in certain areas in terms of vehicular movement etc.”

‘These people have destroyed Goa’: Minister tables report about change of land zones in coastal belt
As Goa Cong leader gets notices over properties, minister says will expose ‘illegalities’
The Indian Express | 3 months ago | |
The Indian Express
3 months ago | |

At a time showcause notices have been issued to at least three properties in which Congress leader Micheal Lobo is a partner, the state’s Town and Country Planning (TCP) minister Vishwajit Rane Sunday promised to expose “illegalities” of people in high positions.Rane had earlier suspended the outline development plans of Parra-Arpora-Nagoa, Calangute-Candolim (all in Bardez) and Vasco (south Goa), saying they would be reviewed because of “discrepancies”. He had sparred with Lobo over the TCP’s decision and Lobo had also alleged that he was being “targeted”.Rane said in a social media post: “Illegalities of people in high holding positions will be exposed. Investigation in this matter is still in process. I appeal to the people of Goa to see the caliber of people you elect. These people are the ones who at the cost of their power make profit for personal gains.”“I would like to say that we are in the final stages of closing the issues, making necessary corrections and reverting them back to its status in ODPs and Regional Plan 2021 in ODP areas where illegalities have been done and areas have been wrongfully converted for personal gains,” Rane wrote. He also said that some people had been threatened, compelled to sell their land and have had their properties shown as orchards and open spaces.“….it is pretty interesting to note how people are in a hurry to know the outcome. Those making statements should have some patience and wait for the report to be tabled on the floor of the house,” Rane wrote in a tweet. He had earlier said that he would make important revelations in the upcoming monsoon session of the Goa legislative assembly next month.Lobo, the leader of opposition in the Goa legislative assembly was a minister in the previous Pramod Sawant-led government in the state. He joined the Congress ahead of the legislative assembly polls held in February. He won his seat of Calangute for the Congress and his wife Delilah Lobo, brought the Siolim seat to the party that now has 11 members in the 40-member Goa legislative assembly.A day earlier, Lobo had shared a news flash about the deteriorating health of Anganwadi workers who had been protesting against the government. In a veiled reference to Rane, who also holds the health and women and child development portfolios, he wrote, “Instead of targeting opposition MLAs the minister would do well to concentrate for the well-being of people and stop injustice and harassment being done to poor Goans.”The Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has been probing cases of illegal land grab in the state and has so far arrested four persons. The Goa police has also been shuttering illegal massage centres in the state and has conducted several raids.Rane has received a slew of complaints, 61 at last count, after he asked people of the state to report illegal constructions and illegal usurping of land by alleged tampering with land use records on his email address.Lobo is a three-time MLA from Calangute and an influential figure in the Bardez taluka of North Goa where popular beaches such as Baga, Calangute, Candolim and Anjuna are located. This area has been a thriving tourist spot for decades, with several hotels, restaurants and places for tourist activities.

As Goa Cong leader gets notices over properties, minister says will expose ‘illegalities’
Colleagues-turned-rivals, Goa minister & Opposition leader cross swords
The Indian Express | 3 months ago | |
The Indian Express
3 months ago | |

The Goa government’s decision to issue show-cause notices to two hotels in which Leader of the Opposition Michael Lobo has a stake has turned into a political hot potato. The state administration has alleged that the two premises violated permissions granted by the North Goa Planning and Development Authority (NGPDA) and the Congress leader claiming that he was being targeted. Leading the charge against Lobo is his former ministerial colleague and Town and Country Planning (TCP) minister Vishwajit Rane.Lobo was earlier with the BJP and was a member of the Pramod Sawant Cabinet. He was the only Cabinet minister to join the Congress ahead of the Assembly elections earlier this year. The Opposition leader, whose wife Delilah is now the Congress MLA from Siolim, is considered to be a political heavyweight from north Goa’s Bardez taluka. He is a three-time MLA from Calangute and an influential figure in the taluka where popular beaches such as Baga, Calangute, Candolim and Anjuna are located. This area has been a thriving tourist spot for decades, with several hotels, restaurants and places for tourist activities.But Rane dismissed his former Cabinet colleague’s claim. “This is not a witch hunt,” he said on Friday. “Anyone, however big they are, whether it is Mika Singh or anyone else, action will be taken against violators.”Singh who is a singer also received a show-cause notice on Thursday for a property being constructed. The Anjuna village panchayat’s notice to him alleged violations of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms. A complaint against the construction was also made to the TCP department.Rane, who also holds the health, forests, and women and child development portfolios, is perceived to be the second-most powerful person in the government after Sawant. Rane was in the running for the top post before BJP’s central leadership decided to give Sawant another term at the helm of the state. Though the minister has so far refrained from naming Lobo, he mentioned hotels Baga Deck and Nazri Resort — in which the Opposition leader is a partner — during an interaction with the media on Thursday. He told reporters, “We have issued a show-cause notice for demolition. It is a fit case for demolition … These are the people who give gyaan (preach to) the people of Goa. It will be my endeavour to ensure the demolition takes place in my tenure. People who have been in power have misused power for personal gains.”Continuing the attack on Lobo on Friday, Rane said, “You need to go into history from 15 years ago. Such wealth is not amassed overnight.”Earlier, Rane and Lobo sparred over the TCP department’s decision to suspend the outline development plans. Rane had said that the plans of Parra-Arpora-Nagoa, Calangute-Candolim (all in Bardez) and Vasco (south Goa) would be reviewed because of “discrepancies”.Lobo initially said the department’s decision to review the plans was not necessary and added that the plans cannot be undone each time a new minister takes over. He said that three ministers had presided over the department in the last five years and they were all either BJP MLAs or those supporting the government.Newsletter | Click to get the day’s best explainers in your inbox“What sort of example are you trying to set?” Lobo asked, refuting allegations that he had changed land use in the area while he was a minister. “People have built homes, hotels and now one minister comes and says, ‘This is wrong, I will revoke it’. What is the meaning of this? We will write to the CM that investors who have come to Goa are very scared. They don’t know what to do. Nobody wants to come to Goa and have a fight with the government. The same BJP government has done the plan and this minister wants to undo it and do it himself.”Rane responded by saying that “anything can be opened at any time if it is wrong and illegal”. He added, “We want the business sentiment. We want people to invest in Goa. Anyone who has got their rightful things will continue to do business in Goa. But if anyone has taken tenanted land, converted a non-development slope, or converted Khazan lands … these should not happen. Who has partnered with people coming from north India and Delhi? Who are these 30-40 per cent partners? All this will come out in the report I will table in the Assembly.”On Thursday, asked by reporters about the action taken against Lobo, Rane replied, “Who is he? I can’t remember.” Lobo responded by saying, “That is his style of speaking … I cannot speak in that language.”On Friday, Lobo said he had not yet received the show-cause notices and would reply to them when he did. He claimed that his party colleagues were behind him, and added that the properties facing scrutiny had been built in 2007. “In a healthy democracy, the Opposition should not be targeted like this. That is why the CM needs to step in,” the Opposition leader said.Sawant has said he will go through what has transpired between Rane and Lobo, and intervene.

Colleagues-turned-rivals, Goa minister & Opposition leader cross swords
Massage parlours & spas inspected in Candolim, 3 found without permission
Times of India | 3 months ago | |
Times of India
3 months ago | |

PANAJI: Three massage parlours in Candolim operating without valid permissions were identified by Calangute police on Friday. Continuing the drive against illegal massage parlours in the Calangute-Candolim tourism hub, Calangute police on Friday conducted inspection of 19 massage parlours and spas, out of which three were found to be operating without valid permissions, PI Laxi Amonkar said. A report will be submitted to the magistrate for initiating legal action against them, he said. DySP Vishwesh Karpe and officials from the Candolim primary health center and Candolim panchayat were also present during the inspection.

Massage parlours & spas inspected in Candolim, 3 found without permission
  • Cops inspect massage parlours in Calangute
  • Times of India

    Calangute: Calangute police on Thursday evening conducted an inspection of massage parlours and spas in the tourism hub following allegations that these were being used for illegal activities, including prostitution, while tourists were being looted after being lured with false promises. Porvorim SDPO Sudesh Naik, Calangute PI Laxi Amonkar along with a team of Calangute police and panchayat members were present during the inspection. Amonkar said receiving a list of parlours in Calangute, they checked a total of 25 such establishments. Out of this, 20 were found closed, while two were found to be violating conditions laid down by the competent authority. A closure report against the two is being forwarded for further necessary action, he said.

  • ‘Tough to stop illegal massage parlours in Calangute’
  • Times of India

    Calangute: Eradicating illegal massage parlours in Calangute has become difficult because even after they are closed down, some reopen in a few weeks, said Calangute sarpanch Shawn Martins. Talking to TOI, Martins said that around four months ago, the panchayat had undertaken a drive to identify massage parlours operating without valid permissions from the health department During the drive it was found that there are around 30 massage parlours operating in Calangute, out of which only 17 had valid permissions. “We had closed down the places operating without licenses, but some of them reopened after some time. We have given the list of illegal massage parlours to the police and asked them to seal those without a license. Some have been shut and the process to close the remaining is on,” he said. According to the panchayat members, with Calangute being a tourist hotspot, unscrupulous elements keep on opening illegal massage parlours, and it takes time to detect them. Calangute police had also launched a drive against illegal touts and fined 128 persons over the last three months, PI Laxi Amonkar said. Locals have alleged that there are around hundreds of touts operating in Calangute who lure tourists to illegal massage parlours and dance bars where they are then cheated and looted of their valuables. Four months ago, the Calangute panchayat had found that out of the 30 massage parlours operating there, only 17 had valid permission from the health department

  • Will crack down on drunk driving, illegal massage parlours in state: Goa CM
  • The Indian Express

    Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Sunday said that his government will crack down on drunk driving in the state and soon there will be checks in the state after 10 pm. The announcement comes days after three men from Belagavi died in a road accident in Mapusa.“Eight days back three youths from Belagavi died on the spot in an accident that took place early in the morning at 4 am. To stop drunk driving, there will be strict alcohol meter checking after 10 pm. We are thinking of bringing about reforms in our Police Act to crack down completely on drunk driving. Nobody will be able to drink and drive, which will be a safety measure for themselves.”He said that his government will also crack down on illegal massage parlours. “We will take action against illegal massage parlours. I have already instructed the police department that all illegal massage parlours will be shut down from tomorrow. Only those who have a spa license and beauty parlour license, those who are registered with the health, police and tourism department, will be allowed to run. In Ayurvedic panchakarma centres, massage parlours, there should be Ayurvedic practitioners.”Sawant visited the Calangute beach, a popular tourist draw on Sunday, took stock of security concerns in the area, and interacted with lifeguards and traffic police. He said, “I have given additional instructions for the safety of tourists coming into the state. We will be continuously monitoring and there will be additional coastal and traffic police force. Whether it is cases of prostitution, touts, hawkers, there will be strict action against such activities and they will not be allowed here. Those who promote such activities will be arrested. We are bringing about reforms and amendments in the Tourism Act also and the home department’s Policing Act also. We are coming up with an App where tourists can register their complaints and the police can take action.”He said that on World Environment Day, he wanted to assure tourists from all over the world that Goa was a safe tourist destination. Sawant visited the coastal belt of North Goa on Sunday with Shobhit Saksena, Superintendent of Police, North Goa, after media reports of rising crimes in the state.

  • Goa CM Sawant Directs Police to Take Action Against Illegal Massage Parlours
  • News18

  • Goa police told to crackdown on illegal massage parlours
  • Times of India

    Panaji: Goa Police have been directed to immediately start cracking down on illegal massage parlours across the state, chief minister Pramod Sawant said on Sunday, after a visit to the Calangute coastal belt. “Henceforth, the police inspector concerned will be held responsible for any such illegal parlours operating in his jurisdiction. Action will be taken against officers who fail to comply and shut down such illegal establishments. Police will start patrolling in civil dress in the coastal area,” he said. TNN

TCP moves to revoke sanads, NOCs based on suspended ODPs
Times of India | 3 months ago | |
Times of India
3 months ago | |

Panaji: Even as the town and country planning (TCP) department has suspended the draft and final outline development plans (ODPs) in force in Goa, it has now moved to revoke all approvals granted based on the ODPs that were notified, department sources said. The department has written to district collectors and planning and development authorities informing them that any no-objection certificates for construction, sanad approvals or recommendations given based on the suspended ODPs should be treated as withdrawn, sources said. TCP minister Vishwajit Rane confirmed the development and said that steps were being taken to correct the flaws in the ODPs. “The collectors cannot issue sanads based on draft ODPs, but the places where the ODPs have been finalised, we have told the collectors to stop issuing sanads. It also applies for projects where work hasn’t started,” said Rane. On April 27, the department suspended all notified ODPs, citing grave emergency. These are the ODPs for Parra-Arpora-Nagoa, Calangute-Candolim and Vasco. A 10-member scrutiny committee has been tasked with identifying irregularities in the ODPs and a preliminary report is expected to be put in the public domain by June 15, said Rane. The scrutiny committee is headed by chief town planner Rajesh Naik, and the committee found “shocking irregularities” in the way eco-sensitive zones were converted. Rane said that most of the irregularities are with the Parra-Arpora-Nagoa ODP and Calangute-Candolim ODP. Speaking to TOI, Rane also said that he will investigate all instances where large tracts of land were allotted for industrial purposes but have now been diverted to a third party for commercial purposes. A day earlier, Fatorda MLA and former TCP minister Vijai Sardesai wrote to Rane alleging that 1.28 lakh sq m of land that was acquired and earmarked for industrial purposes was subsequently converted to settlement and commercial zone by the MormugaoPlanning and Development Authority, increasing the built-up area to 2 lakh sq m. While Sardesai clearly referred to Zuari Agro Chemicals Ltd, Rane chose not to mention the name of the entity.

TCP moves to revoke sanads, NOCs based on suspended ODPs
Missing children, rescue ops keep lifeguards on toes
Times of India | 3 months ago | |
Times of India
3 months ago | |

Calangute: One tourist died due to internal bleeding, while lifeguards reunited a number of missing children with their families as a huge crowd of tourists thronged the Calangute-Candolim beach belt over the weekend. Livesavers also made rescues at Baga and Candolim. A Maharashtrian family was reunited with their four-year-old son at Baga beach after the distressed father reported his four-year-old missing at the lifeguards tower. The missing boy was soon found after lifesavers made an announcement from their jeep. A five-year-old child from Belgavi was handed over to his parents at Calangute after he was found wandering alone at the main entrance. Similarly, a four-year-old missing girl from Belagavi was found by lifeguards, while a three-year-old girl was reunited with her family at Baga. At Baga, a 26-year-old male from Hyderabad was rescued by lifesavers using a rescue tube. At Calangute, another single rescue of a 20-year-old male from Karnataka was carried out. Also, two Maharashtrian males and two persons from Karnataka were rescued at Baga. A watersports boat carrying eight girls and one boy overturned in the waters at Candolim. While eight of them were rescued immediately, a 23-year-old girl from Kerala was found a while later under the boat with no breath or pulse. Immediate CPR was administered to the girl, after which she was revived and admitted to Candolim primary health centre (PHC). Due to excess fluid in her lungs, she was subsequently shifted to Goa Medical College and Hospital at Bambolim. At Calangute, a medical emergency surfaced wherein a beach shack waiter reported an injured visitor. Lifesavers found no pulse or breath in the victim. He was declared brought dead at Candolim PHC due to a significant amount of internal bleeding in the ear.

Missing children, rescue ops keep lifeguards on toes
2.2 lakh sqm agri land in North Goa made settlement
Times of India | 3 months ago | |
Times of India
3 months ago | |

Panaji: The Town and Country Planning (TCP) department has identified 2.2 lakh sqm of tenanted agricultural land in the villages of Parra, Nagoa, Arpora, Candolim and Calangute, which have been converted into settlement and commercial zones. Pointing fingers at Congress, TCP minister Vishwajit Rane said that the land will be reverted to its original state and action will be taken against those guilty of violating the Land Revenue Code. “It has come to my notice that 2,20,000sqm of tenanted land is being converted in Parra, Nagoa, Arpora, Candolim and Calangute areas in violation of the land revenue code. It will be returned to its original status. A probe will be initiated on such savages violating the code,” said Rane. Rane said that the TCP’s 10-member scrutiny committee is going through all violations and zone conversion and all violations will be investigated and taken to their logical end. “The culprits will be exposed. It is our responsibility, as well as the responsibility of the BJP government,” Rane said. Though Rane has dropped enough hints holding former North Goa Planning and Development Authority chairman and Calangute MLA Michael Lobo accountable for the alleged illegalities, this time around, Rane has blamed Congress. “It seems like Congress has become a 30% ownership party. These are the same people who have destroyed Goa and claim to care about its people. Finally, they are filling their own pockets at the expense of destroying Goa for the sole purpose of increasing their wealth,” the TCP minister said. The TCP department has already launched a probe into all the outline development plans (ODPs) in the state, which have now been suspended. The department has also cracked down on unauthorised hill cutting, land filling and construction in eco-sensitive zones.

2.2 lakh sqm agri land in North Goa made settlement
Shacks at Goa beaches wind up week earlier due to rain
Times of India | 4 months ago | |
Times of India
4 months ago | |

Panaji/Calangute: While some beach shack operators had already wound up operations due to low footfall, the unscheduled rain has compelled most other operators to also shutdown a week prior to the May 31 deadline. In South Goa, over the last two days, almost all shack structures have been removed. In North Goa, stakeholders said that due to the influx of domestic tourists on summer holidays, just a handful of shacks are still operating at Calangute and Candolim beach entrance and at Baga. And though they are doing roaring business, they will be gone by this weekend. The beach shack policy states that structures must be removed by May 31 to facilitate beach stretches to recuperate during the four months of monsoon. This is the second season in a row when the state has seen only domestic tourists, shack owners said. “In a way it is good because they tend to spend more,” a Candolim shack owner Seby D’Souza said. Shack Owners Welfare Society (SOWS) president Cruz Cardozo said that a few shacks at Colva beach and three at Cavelossim are on, while the rest have shut and their workers have returned to their respective states. “The season was OK, but for some it was really bad as their stretches saw a mixed crowd who did not loosen their purse strings,” he said. Earlier, foreign charter tourists would be the main customers at beach shacks, lounging on beach beds during the day for a suntan. They would hardly visit shacks in the evenings. But with domestic tourists, the scenario has undergone a change. “It is too hot during the day and so domestic tourists don't come to the beach. But we do good business at night because they like to sit close to the sea," one shack owner said. Also, with only domestic tourists around, there are fewer takers for continental food, which was earlier a big draw at shacks. Now, it's mostly Indian or Chinese cuisine that is in demand. “It’s only seafood that they go for — golden fried prawns, butter-garlic prawns, crispy prawns, etc,” another owner said. With the dip in foreign tourists, shacks have been compelled to make changes to the type of food served and the music played.

Shacks at Goa beaches wind up week earlier due to rain
Goa: Land will be reverted to original status, says town and country planning minister Vishwajit Rane
Times of India | 4 months ago | |
Times of India
4 months ago | |

Panaji: Taking serious cognisance of the myriad complaints about irregularities in the Parra-Arpora-Nagoa ODP, town and country planning minister Vishwajit Rane on Saturday said that all tenanted agricultural lands that have been illegally converted into settlement or commercial zones will be restored to their original status. Indicating the seriousness of the irregularities, Rane said that a report on all the illegal land conversions will be tabled in the Goa Legislative assembly. Going a step further, Rane also said he intends to remove the villages of Parra, Nagoa, Candolim and Calangute from the jurisdiction of the North Goa Planning and Development Authority (NGPDA). “Nobody was taking cognisance of these complaints earlier. Now, people are coming forward and sharing those complaints with me, so what I was saying has been proved,” said Rane. “This is just the tip of the iceberg. More details will be highlighted in public domain.” The minister told TOI that once the 10-member scrutiny committee finishes its probe into the preparation of the now-suspended outline development plans (ODP), a comprehensive report will be prepared and tabled in the state assembly. “The report and the findings will also be shared with all the investigative agencies,” he said. Rane divulged these details after taking note of a complaint filed in 2021 by Goa Foundation. On Saturday, the minister took to Twitter to share the complaint, which stated that tenanted agricultural lands were marked as settlement or commercial zones in the Arpora ODP. “Such orders of the PDA amount to diversion of the areas from agriculture to non-agriculture and are of a criminal nature. The department of town and country planning will initiate strict action. Rest assured, all will be reverted. Natural cover has been changed to settlement and orchard zones,” he said. While Rane did not name any individual, he left enough hints to link the violations to opposition leader and former NGPDA chairman, Michael Lobo. “We will lead the way with strict action, lodge FIRs wherever necessary, officials will be placed under suspension and terminated if found guilty. I reiterate, using public office for personal gain will not be tolerated and will be treated as a violation under the Prevention of Corruption Act. It is my view that once this is done, the villages of Parra, Nagoa, Candolim and Calangute should be removed from the jurisdiction of the PDA,” said Rane. The minister said that conversion of tenanted agricultural land is not permissible and is a violation of the Goa Land Revenue Code, and that TCP officials should not have allowed it.

Goa: Land will be reverted to original status, says town and country planning minister Vishwajit Rane
Goa: FIRs lodged in hill-cutting cases at Arpora and Candolim says Forest, Town and Country Planning minister Vishwajit Rane.
Times of India | 4 months ago | |
Times of India
4 months ago | |

Panaji: A police complaint has been filed for hill-cutting and unauthorised construction activity at Arpora and Candolim, which is in violation of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1974, said TCP minister Vishwajit Rane. Rane said that a complaint had been filed with the forest department and the TCP department regarding illegal hill-cutting at survey 51/8, which falls in the jurisdiction of Candolim village. A similar complaint was filed regarding unauthorised development activity in survey 94/1 Arpora in Calangute constituency. Rane claimed that an FIR has been registered in both the cases after a detailed investigation was conducted. “With reference to a complaint received against illegal hill-cutting and construction activity in survey no 51/8 in Calangute falling within the jurisdiction of Candolim village, the team conducted a detailed investigation at the site,” said Rane. Rane said that illegalities will not be tolerated and strict action will be taken against violators who harm the environment. On May 1, the North Goa planning and development authority (NGPDA) had filed a complaint against leader of opposition Michael Lobo and his wife and Siolim MLA Delilah at Mapusa police station in connection with land-filling at Parra. The next day, an FIR was registered against the duo. Recently Rane took to Twitter to announce that the scrutiny committee has identified irregularities in the ODPs of Parra-Arpora-Nagoa and Candolim-Calangute. Rane also said that a former NGPDA chairman violated norms by getting their own land converted. Lobo refuted Rane’s allegations and said that Rane is engaging in “vindictive politics” by suspending the ODPs and by pointing fingers at Lobo. In response, Rane had told the Calangute MLA to stop playing the victim card over the probe.

Goa: FIRs lodged in hill-cutting cases at Arpora and Candolim says Forest, Town and Country Planning minister Vishwajit Rane.
As red flags go up, lifeguards jump into action
Times of India | 4 months ago | |
Times of India
4 months ago | |

Panaji: Nine persons, most of them tourists, were rescued from Goa’s beaches and Dudhsagar waterfall over the weekend by Drishti lifeguards. A 24-year-old man from Nagpur was rescued by lifeguard Narayan Govekar using a jet ski and another 27-year-old Mumbai resident was rescued by lifeguard Naresh Govekar at Baga beach. At Dudhsagar waterfall, a 33-year-old man from Hyderabad who was drowning when his life jacket got loose was saved by Drishti lifesaver Shahnawaj Nadaf and a 37-year-old man from Gujarat suffering from breathing difficulty while swimming was also rescued by lifesaver Hanuman Bhajrantri who rushed into the water with a surfboard. A 55-year-old local from Pernem was found in distress at Morjim river and was saved by lifesavers Suvesh Nagvekar, Jhilu Parab and Aman Salgaonkar who immediately jumped in and secured the victim with the help of rescue tube, a rescue board and a jet ski. In another incident at Vagator a 50-year-old man from Bardez was rescued by lifesaver Suhas Gawas and a 15-year-old girl from Ponda was rescued by lifesaver Ketan Nagvekar at Ozran beach. There was a double rescue at Calangute where two males from Calangute aged 18 and 19 years were rescued by lifesaver Ajay Gaonkar with the help of a rescue board. All the rescued persons are in a stable condition. Drishti lifesavers after making announcements also reunited missing children aged 4, 5 and 14 years with their families at Calangute and Baga. At Candolim a 14-year-old child was reported missing by his brother and was found a few minutes after making announcements by the lifesaver. The child was handed over to his brother after informing the police. Drishti lifesaver Sangharsh Asolkar found two children at Calangute who were reported missing by their families. One was aged four, from Belgaum and the second was from Kolhapur. In another incident, a 5-year-old boy from Karnataka who was reported missing at Baga was handed over to his family in the presence of police officials. Lifeguards also attended to a medical emergency at Baga when a 38-year-old female from Kolkata got knocked into the sea while searching for her glasses. She managed to get out but was short of breath and oxygen had to be administered. She was later shifted to Candolim primary health center. Her condition is reported to be stable. Last week Drishti issued an advisory against swimming in the sea as conditions were expected to be rough with fast currents and high waves due to fierce winds, thunderstorms and rain likely to hit the state. Red flags have been erected across all beaches that are under Drishti’s surveillance indicating that these are strictly no-swin zones.

As red flags go up, lifeguards jump into action
Two parks in Calangute remain locked over management issues
Times of India | 4 months ago | |
Times of India
4 months ago | |

CALANGUTE: Two children’s parks in Candolim, inaugurated a few years ago, are lying locked and unused, reportedly because of management issues. One of the two parks, at the Sinquerim plateau, opposite the St Lawrence church, had been inaugurated a few years ago. Built through ZP funds by Calangute ZP member Dattaprasad Dabholkar, the park also has a jogging track. Dabholkar said the park, built on land belonging to the St Lawrence church, is lying locked because of differences between the church committee and the Candolim panchayat. “The committee was supposed to hand over the park to the panchayat for operations and maintenance, but it has not been done,” Dabholkar told TOI. Another children’s park at the Candolim beach promenade is also not being used although a large number of tourists along with children visit the area. The park, inaugurated by former chief minister Manohar Parrikar four years ago and built by the Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) through central government’s ‘Swadesh Darshan’ scheme, was also supposed to be handed over to the panchayat, but that too has still not been done. There is a concrete stage inside the park which was supposed to host music shows and other performances. Tourism stakeholders said the parks should be kept open so that visiting tourist children can play there. “What is the use of building them and keeping them locked?” they said. Another park with a jogging track at Khobrawaddo, Calangute, the foundation stone for which was laid just before the last assembly elections, has now hit a roadblock with the Calangute MLA now in the opposition, panchayat members said.

Two parks in Calangute remain locked over management issues
DGP Singh expresses concern over incidents of assault on tourists
Navhind Times | 4 months ago | |
Navhind Times
4 months ago | |

Staff ReporterCalanguteTaking cognisance of complaints of tourists being beaten up, harassed and cheated in the beach belt of Calangute, DGP Jaspal Singh held a meeting and interacted with the tourism stakeholders.Speaking at the meeting, the DGP said that it has been brought to our notice that tourists are being beaten up by bouncers and some were even seriously injured, adding that there are two such cases that have come to light.“Tourists are our guests and one should not take law into their own hands; the law agencies are there to take care of any untoward incident or if a tourist creates problem after being drunk,” the DGP said.He said that the tourism stakeholders have the right to employ bouncers to protect their properties but one should restrain from taking law into their own hands.“There were incidents that have pained me wherein tourists were assaulted and they even had their bones fractured; complaints have been received by my office,” he noted.He said that “Goa is known to be safe for women; this certificate has been given by a professional agency employed by the Government of India. Tourists come to the state to enjoy and unwind themselves. They need to be treated well so that they come back to the state.”“If one has any issue dial 112; within 10 to 15 minutes a PCR will be at the site as this number is connected to the headquarters. 1000 cases have been solved following complaints on this number,” he said. Other top police officials were also present for the meeting.Some locals pointed out that the police were not acting on complaints given by the residents regarding dance bars, touts.“Tourists drink and roam with liquor bottles on the roads, touts are tarnishing the image of the beach belt, prostitutes are roaming freely, there are dance bars that are operating illegally and so also massage parlours but the police have turned a Nelson’s eye to these illegalities,” they alleged.Calangute sarpanch Shawn Martins said that “dance bars are being operated by outsiders who are well connected and as such police are under pressure not to stop such illegal businesses,” he alleged.Sarpanch of Candolim Blaize Fernandes said that “beggars in the beach belt have an organised network; this needs to be stopped as they are harassing the tourists. More traffic police personnel are needed during the weekends as there are traffic jams in Candolim.”

DGP Singh expresses concern over incidents of assault on tourists