Margao: Protesting the proposed monetisation of Konkan railway’s assets, employees of Konkan Railway Corporation on Thursday wore black bands on their sleeves.The Rail Kamgar Sena that participated in the protest said that the gesture was intended to condemn the assets monetisation plan of the central government.With the 741-km Konkan railway route identified for monetisation, the Railway trade union bodies have said that leasing out of ssets along its route “will spell doom” for the employees as well as users.They had recently launched a mission to convince the state governments of Goa, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala, which are the stakeholders in the Konkan railway project, to oppose the proposed privatisation move. The trade union bodies have questioned proposed asset monetization of Konkan Railway as they said that KRC was formed with equity from the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala and was not a full-funded project of the central or state.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the new Naval Ensign (flag) at Kochi on Friday (September 2), which bears the seal of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, who laid the foundations of a modern navy.Shivaji’s navy gave his enemies sleepless nights, the Prime Minister said, and this was the reason that the British colonialists decided to break the back of the Indian naval enterprise.इसलिए उन्होंने भारत के समुद्री सामर्थ्य की कमर तोड़ने का फैसला लिया।इतिहास गवाह है कि कैसे उस समय ब्रिटिश संसद में कानून बनाकर भारतीय जहाजों और व्यापारियों पर कड़े प्रतिबंध लगा दिए गए: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) September 2, 2022But now, the Indian Navy’s new flag, inspired by Shivaji, will fly proudly in the sky and on the seas, the Prime Minister said.अब तक भारतीय नौसेना के ध्वज पर गुलामी की पहचान बनी हुई थी।लेकिन अब आज से छत्रपति शिवाजी से प्रेरित, नौसेना का नया ध्वज समंदर और आसमान में लहराएगा: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) September 2, 2022How does the Indian Navy identify with Shivaji (reign 1674-80) and the great Maratha admiral Kanhoji Angre (1669-1729), and how did they ensure Maratha supremacy of the seas?Shivaji and the seasChhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj put great emphasis on sea-faring prowess, and laid the foundations of a modern naval force in the 17th century. The Indian Navy has always acknowledged this fact, and has named a training establishment in Lonavla as INS Shivaji and a shore based logistics and administrative hub of Western Naval Command, Mumbai, as INS Angre after Kanhoji Angre, the acclaimed Maratha naval commander.The use of the octagonal design of the seal of Shivaji on the new Naval Ensign is a formal stamp on the umbilical ties of the Indian Navy with the navy of the Maratha empire.The new Naval Ensign unveiled by @PMOIndia Shri @narendramodi on #02Sep 22, during the glorious occasion of commissioning of #INSVikrant, first indigenously built Indian Aircraft Carrier & thus, an apt day for heralding the change of ensign.Know all about the new Ensign ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/ZBEOj2B8sF— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) September 2, 2022Extent of naval prowessShivaji’s strategic thought ensured that a strong naval presence was established along the Konkan coast to protect the sea trade of the Maratha empire. As per an Indian Navy document, “The navy under Shivaji was so strong that the Marathas could hold their against the British, Portuguese and Dutch. Shivaji realised the importance of having a secure coastline and protecting the western Konkan coastline from the attacks of Siddis’ fleet”.Shivaji built ships in towns such as Kalyan, Bhivandi, and Goa, both for trade and to establish a fighting navy. “He also built a number of sea forts and bases for repair, storage and shelter. Shivaji fought many lengthy battles with Siddis of Janjira on coastline. The fleet grew to reportedly 160 to 700 merchant, support and fighting vessels. He started trading with foreigners on his own after possession of eight or nine ports in the Deccan,” the Navy document states.Kanhoji AngreKanohji Angre was the commander of Maratha navy, and is credited with laying a strong naval foundation which ensured that the Marathas were a sea-faring power to reckon with.Kanhoji is credited with holding his own against the English, Portuguese and Dutch naval forces. He ensured that the merchants plying their trade for the Maratha empire were protected on the seas. He set up a base in Colaba with more bases at Suvarndurg and Vijaydurg near Ratnagiri.In the estimation of many historians, Kanhoji was the greatest naval commander in pre-modern Indian history. Before the Marathas, the Cholas had a formidable sea-faring fleet of ships which, though not being strictly warships, were able to lead expeditions all around the Bay of Bengal.
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde announced on Friday that people travelling to the Konkan belt for Ganesh Festival celebrations will be exempted from paying the toll tax on all routes to the region, including Mumbai-Bengaluru and Mumbai-Goa national highways from August 27 to September 11.Shinde said, “The devotees who will travel for Ganesh Festival celebrations to their native places in Konkan will get a toll waiver for the entire ten-day period.”A statement from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said those wanting to avail the waiver must approach the Regional Transport Authority (RTA).Individuals or groups will have to furnish their details to the department and collect passes and ‘Ganesh Utsav 2022, Konkan darshan’ stickers and display them on their vehicles.Meanwhile, public works department minister Ravindra Chavan started a two-day tour to Mumbai-Goa National Highway on Friday. Chavan has directed the PWD department to undertake road repairs and complete filling of potholes within 48 hours to facilitate hassle-free travel for devotees.
Ahead of the ten-day Ganesh festival starting on August 31, all roads leading to the Konkan region in Maharashtra are being repaired on a war footing with Minister for Public Works Ravindra Chavan directing officials to pay special attention to the region.The minister has urged officials in his department to complete the repair of potholes, cracks and uneven stretches by August 25 on a priority basis. Several lakh people from Mumbai – mainly those who relocated to the city several decades ago in search of livelihood and jobs – travel to coastal Konkan by road every year to celebrate the Ganesh festival.In a meeting on Monday, attended by MLAs across party lines, the government also reviewed the condition of the Mumbai-Goa National Highway which is the main route taken by travellers to the region. Suggestions were given and remedial measures discussed to make travel along the highway hassle-free.“More traffic wardens will be deployed along the route to assist the traffic police,” Chavan said while reassuring that the condition of the roads will be improved immediately. “All road works given to contractors will be closely monitored. To keep vigil, an executive engineer from the PWD will be appointed,” he added.
Heavy rain will likely return to the Konkan region, including Mumbai, on Sunday. Since July 15, the city has recorded very little to no rainfall.According to the India Meteorological Department, a yellow alert has been issued for Mumbai, Thane and Palghar indicating heavy rainfall at isolated places on August 7 and 8. An orange alert indicating heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places over the weekend has been issued for Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg. Rainfall since the last week of July had decreased in many parts of the state.According to the IMD forecast, “Rainfall activity is likely to enhance over Gujarat, East Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Goa, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha from August 6.”Isolated or scattered and very heavy rainfall is also likely over Chhattisgarh on August 5 and 8, over Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha and Gujarat on August 8 and over Madhya Maharashtra, Konkan and Goa from August 5 to 8, the IMD said.According to the 24-hour forecast for Mumbai, a generally cloudy sky with light to moderate rain in the city and suburbs is likely with the possibility of occasional intense spells at isolated places. In the last 24 hours ending at 8.30 am on Thursday, the IMD’s Santacruz observatory recorded 20.3 mm rain while light rainfall of 1.8 mm was recorded by the Colaba observatory.On Thursday, the minimum temperature in the city was 25.6 degrees Celsius and the maximum temperature was 30.3 degrees Celsius. While excess rainfall was recorded in July, in the first four days of August, Mumbai has recorded 55 per cent deficient rainfall.Meanwhile, the water stock in lakes supplying to Mumbai has reached 89.03 per cent. The overall stock is also higher compared to the previous two years — 78.59 per cent in 2021 and 34.95 per cent in 2020. Total stock by the end of September needs to be at 14.47 lakh million litres for the city to go without a water cut till the next monsoon. The current water stock is at 12.88 lakh million litres.
After being battered by rains for nearly a week, the rainfall intensity in Konkan, Madhya Maharashtra is likely to reduce from Saturday.According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast, an orange alert indicating heavy to very heavy rain at isolated places has been issued for Palghar, Raigad and in ghat areas of Pune, Satara and Kolhapur on Friday.In Mumbai, Thane, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg, moderate to heavy rainfall is likely on Friday.No alert has been issued for the city from Saturday till Monday. Moderate to light rain is likely in the city starting Saturday.“Rainfall intensity is likely to reduce over Konkan and Goa, Gujarat region, Madhya Maharashtra and Telangana from July 15 and over Saurashtra and Kutch from July 17,” stated the forecast.Areas in Palghar, Pune and Satara districts were among the wettest in the country. In the last 24 hours ending 8.30 am on Thursday, Mahabaleshwar recorded 290 mm of rain, Lonavala (230 mm), Talasari in Palghar district recorded 270 mm, Vikramgad (250 mm) Matheran in Raigad district and Wada, Jawhar recorded 240 mm each rainfall.Rainfall above 204.5 mm in 24 hours is categorised as extremely heavy rainfall.In the same period, the IMD’s Santacruz observatory recorded very heavy rainfall at 95.2 mm.As per the 24 hours forecast for Mumbai, moderate rain in the city and suburbs is likely with the possibility of heavy to very heavy rainfall in isolated places. Occasional strong winds with speeds reaching 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph are also very likely.While a warning for heavy rain at isolated places was issued for Mumbai for Thursday, moderate rainfall was recorded throughout the day.In the nine hours ending at 5.30 pm on Thursday, 18.8 mm rain, categorised as moderate, was recorded by the IMD’s Santacruz observatory.Meanwhile, water stock in the seven lakes is at 65.81 per cent of the total capacity of 14.47 lakh million litres due to heavy rainfall in the Thane, Nashik and Mumbai regions in the past week. Last year on the same date, the water stock was at 17.35 per cent.
PANAJI: A well-marked low-pressure area over coastal Odisha has weakened, but with the likely formation of a circulation over Gujarat-Saurashtra area, rainfall activity may slightly increase on Friday. The India meteorological department (IMD) said that heavy rainfall exceeding 64.4mm in 24 hours is likely at a few places over Goa on July 15. Very heavy rainfall exceeding 115.5mm is likely at isolated places on July 15. Heavy rainfall at isolated places is also very likely over Goa on July 16. Short intense spells of rain and winds gusting to around 50kmph are also likely on July 15. Fishermen are advised not to venture into the sea for two days.
At least five persons died and four went missing in rain-related incidents amid heavy rainfall across Maharashtra on Wednesday. As many as 1,828 people were evacuated from 10 rain-hit villages across Gadchiroli, Nagpur and Palghar districts. Since June 1, rain-related incidents have claimed 89 lives across the state.A man was killed and two of his family members were injured on Wednesday in a landslide in Vasai town of Palghar district following heavy rain. Another person is feared trapped in the same area and rescue operation by a team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is currently underway.In Palghar district, which borders Mumbai, 13 labourers were trapped in a boat near an under-construction bridge over Vaitarna river in Badoli near Manor.District Collector Manik Gursal said, “The labourers are in a safe spot but there is water all around. We have sent a team of NDRF and even alerted defence agencies, to fly in and winch them…’’.Buy Now | Our best subscription plan now has a special priceSuperintendent of Police of Palghar district, Balasaheb Patil, said, “I don’t know why the labourers were allowed on the site at a time when there was a ‘red’ alert in place. These workers have life jackets, but we can do something only at the crack of dawn.’’Palghar has been receiving heavy rainfall since Monday night. In the 24 hours ending at 8.30 am on Wednesday, the district recorded 74.6 mm of rain, which falls in the ‘heavy rainfall’ category.Meanwhile, one person died after a structure collapsed in Raigad district, while three died due to flash floods in Nagpur district. State Relief and Rehabilitation Principal Secretary Aseem Gupta said the government has issued a ‘red’ alert for 12 districts in state, but Gadchiroli, especially, was a cause of concern.The downpour is likely to continue in these districts as the India Meteorological Department has issued heavy rainfall warning until Thursday. A ‘red’ alert indicating extremely heavy rain till Thursday has been issued for ghat areas in Nashik, Pune, and Palghar.According to a report by the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), three of its teams and 13 teams of the NDRF have been deployed in vulnerable districts of the state. Incessant rain has affected 10 villages in Gadchiroli, Nandurbar, and Palghar regions. Since June 1, 249 villages across 27 districts in the state have been affected by rain. As many as 89 people and 181 animals have lost their lives in rain-related incidents since June 1. Over 40 houses were fully damaged and 1,368 partially damaged due to heavy rain across 27 districts, mainly in Konkan and ghat areas of Madhya Maharashtra.Traffic on the Mumbai-Goa Highway was also affected after the landslide-prone Parshuram Ghat was shut due to heavy rain on Wednesday.
AT LEAST SIX persons died in rain-related incidents over the past 24 hours and 95 people were evacuated as heavy rain battered Gadchiroli, Nandurbar, Nashik and Palghar districts of Maharashtra. Most of the evacuations were done in Gadchiroli, Nashik, Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri, and Raigad districts.Two persons were killed after a structure collapsed in a Mumbai suburb while one person drowned in the Gadchiroli district in east Maharashtra.In Nagpur, an SUV got washed away in a stream at Pandharkhedi. District Collector Vimla Iyengar said six persons were travelling in the vehicle, of which bodies of only three – two males and a female – have been recovered yet. She said the incident occurred on Nanda Chatrapur road. The search operation, which was called off late in the evening, will resume on Wednesday.In Nashik district, three people were reported missing in the Peth Surgana area. Nashik District Collector D Gangatharan said search was on for them. In Nashik city, Godavari river is flowing close to the danger level.The downpour is likely to continue in these districts as the India Meteorological Department has issued a heavy rainfall warning until Thursday. A red alert indicating extremely heavy rain till Thursday has been issued for Nashik (ghat areas), Pune, Palghar, and Raigad.An SDRF report said that 13 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and three of its own were deployed in vulnerable districts of the state.Incessant showers affected ten villages in Gadchiroli, Nandurbar, and Mumbai suburban regions. Since June 1, 249 villages across 27 districts in the state have been affected by rain. As many as 84 people and 180 animals have lost their lives in rain-related incidents since June 1.Gadchiroli District Collector on Tuesday requested Irrigation department Additional Chief Secretary Bhushan Gagrani to ask Telangana to reduce discharge from SIP barrage which may have led to flooding in the district.Pune Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao said, “The IMD has given a red alert for Wednesday and Thursday. We had 225 mm of rain in Lonavala and 235 mm in Mahabaleshwar. We have issued advisory to tourists and we have regulated their movement. There is no landslide or flooding in the Pune, Satara, Sangli, Solapur, and Kolhapur districts. But we are releasing additional water from Khadakvasla in Pune.”Traffic on the Mumbai-Goa highway is also affected as the landslide-prone Parshuram ghat has been shut. As a precautionary measure, an NDRF team has been stationed in Palghar district. While three rivers are still flowing under the danger mark, the district is likely to continue to receive heavy rainfall. In Ratnagiri district, rainfall has completely damaged six houses and partially damaged 126 others.Following the release of water from the Gangapur dam, there has been a rise in the water level of the Godavari (Nashik district) since Monday which has left temples submerged in the water.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) Wednesday warned of moderate to intense rain spells over Pune city and district. The Nowcast warning lasting till 12 pm was issued on Wednesday morning. For the second consecutive day, rainfall recorded over Pune city was close to 50mm helping wipe off all existing deficits existing since the start of the monsoon season. The 24-hour rainfall recorded over various parts of Pune city on Wednesday was Pashan 50 mm, Shivajinagar 49 mm, and Lohegaon 28.6 mm, data showed. Rains have persisted for a week now, bringing much-needed reservoir recharge leaving many rivers overflowing within the city limits and neighbourhoods. Since June 1, the city has received 260.7 mm of rainfall. The Southwest monsoon continues to be vigorous over Maharashtra, resulting in intense spells, especially over Konkan and ghat areas of the central part of the state.“There are strong westerly winds blowing from the Arabian Sea leading to wind convergence over Konkan-Goa-Madhya Maharashtra,” said Anupam Kashyapi, head of the weather forecasting division at IMD, Pune.In addition, there is a well-marked low pressure located over the south Odisha coast and the monsoon trough continues to run to the south of its normal position leading to moisture incursion towards Maharashtra.“Due to all these weather systems, there would not be much reduction in the rainfall activities over Pune or Maharashtra till the next 48 hours. The rainfall activity is likely to peak on Wednesday, after which there may be a marginal fall in the rainfall intensity,” added Kashyapi. The IMD has maintained its warning of avoiding visiting ghat areas of Pune, Satara, Kolhapur, and Nashik as these remain extremely vulnerable to intense rainfall spells.
Owing to heavy rain since the beginning of July, Mumbai has till now witnessed 957.9 mm of total rainfall since June 1. The figure is 43 per cent of the average seasonal rainfall (2,205 mm) the city receives every year.While during last year, the city recorded 70 per cent of the average July rainfall in the first 16 days, this year, Mumbai has already received 70 per cent (634.3 mm) of the July rainfall in the first six days of the month.In 2021, rainfall in Mumbai picked up only in the second week of July. During July 15 and 16, Mumbai had recorded the second highest 24-hour rainfall in July in the last decade. By July 20, the city had recorded total seasonal rainfall (from June 1) of 1,919.8 mm.This time, monsoon remains widespread and vigorous over the coastal belt of Konkan and Goa, with heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and isolated extremely heavy falls over the region. Ghat areas of Madhya Maharashtra also received heavy to very rainfall with extremely heavy falls at isolated places between Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.“Enhanced rainfall activity over Konkan and adjoining ghat areas of Madhya Maharashtra is expected to continue during the next four to five days. Widespread rainfall activity with heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and isolated extremely heavy rainfall is expected over the region in next four to five days,” said the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) forecast. The entire Konkan belt is on red to orange alert till Sunday.According to IMD’s district forecast and warning, extremely heavy rain at isolated places and heavy to very heavy rain in a few places is very likely in Mumbai and Thane in the next two days. Palghar is on red alert for Friday with forecast extremely heavy rain at isolated places. Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg are on red alert till Saturday.Buy Now | Our best subscription plan now has a special priceIn 24 hours ending at 8.30 am on Wednesday, the IMD’s Santacruz observatory recorded 193.6 mm of rain, categorised as very heavy rainfall.Tuesday was the second consecutive day and fourth in the last six days of July, when very heavy rainfall was recorded in Mumbai. In the same period, the Colaba observatory, representative of south Mumbai, recorded 84 mm of rain, categorised as heavy rainfall.On Wednesday, Mumbai and its suburbs recorded a few moderate spells (10-20 mm/hour) of rain. However, the rainfall was not incessant. In nine hours ending at 5.30 pm on Wednesday, the Santacruz observatory recorded 31.8 mm of rain, categorised as moderate.Meanwhile, the Doppler radar – which surveys weather patterns and forecasts – situated at Colaba continued to remain suspended on Wednesday. The radar installed in 2010 at the Regional Meteorological Centre in Colaba has seen frequent breakdowns in the last four years.A day before Cyclone Taukate lashed Mumbai’s coast last May, the radar was down. It was also down a day before Cyclone Nisarga brushed past Mumbai on June 2, 2020. During June and July 2019, when the city witnessed extremely heavy rain, the radar remained dysfunctional on both days due to technical difficulties. It also did not work on December 4, 2017, when Cyclone Ockhi brushed past the Mumbai coast.Doppler radar, which can carry out weather surveillance up to 450-500 km radius from its location, is crucial for gauging the intensity of rainfall and impact area in real-time.
Vigorous Southwest Monsoon conditions are likely to prevail over coastal Maharashtra and overall west coast, which will bring very heavy to extremely heavy rainfall during the next five days, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned.Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh will also experience enhanced rainfall during the next few days.For the first time, Maharashtra rainfall fell under the ‘normal’ category in this season. Since June 1, the state has received 227.9 mm of rain. Statistically, this is 12 per cent short of the state’s seasonal normal till July 5, but the IMD considers this deficit within the normal rainfall category.There is a low-pressure area present over central Madhya Pradesh. An off-shore trough runs between Gujarat and Maharashtra, and the monsoon trough is currently running below its normal position and lastly, there are strong westerly winds blowing from the Arabian Sea over to Maharashtra.As per IMD’s latest weather forecasts, Konkan and Madhya Maharashtra remain on ‘red’ alert (take action) till July 8.The IMD has placed Konkan and Madhya Maharashtra under ‘red’ alert till Friday, whereas an ‘orange’ alert has been issued for Saturday. Goa, coastal Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand are also under ‘orange’ alert on Wednesday.For July 9, a warning has been issued for Rajasthan, Gujarat, Konkan, Madhya Maharashtra, Vidarbha and Odisha.
The IMD on Tuesday issued a heavy rainfall alert for Maharashtra for the next four days, following which Chief Minister Eknath Shinde directed the state administration officials to take precautions and ensure there is no loss of life or property.Mumbai and some of its neighbouring districts witnessed heavy rainfall and flooding on Tuesday morning. The IMD also issued an ‘orange alert’ for south Konkan region and Goa and a ‘yellow alert’ for north Konkan, north central and south central Maharashtra and Marathwada regions.The Marathwada region is likely to witness thunderstorms accompanied with lightning, heavy rain and gusty winds at a speed of 40-50 kmph, the IMD said.The Chief Minister’s Office in a statement said CM Shinde is in touch with collectors of Thane, Raigad, Palghar, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has also been asked to remain alert. “The situation in Mumbai is also being closely monitored,” it said.The statement also noted that Kundalika river in Raigad has crossed the danger mark. The water level of the Amba, Savitri, Patalganga, Ulhas and Gadhi rivers was a little less than the danger mark, it said.In view of the increasing rains and flood-like situation, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has held discussions with chief secretary Manu Kumar Srivastava. Guardian secretaries have been asked to reach their districts and monitor the situation,” the statement said.Officials from the water resource department have been asked to remain alert and take necessary precautions in view of the heavy rains, it said. People, especially in Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri and Kolhapur, where the rainfall intensity is more, should be alerted about floods in advance, the statement said.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued an orange alert for coastal Karnataka till Wednesday and said that Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, and Uttara Kannada will receive moderate to heavy rainfall (15.6mm-115.5mm) on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Monday, 19 stations of IMD recorded heavy rain in the coastal Karnataka region. For Wednesday and Thursday, the IMD has issued a yellow alert for coastal Karnataka and an orange alert for Friday. The IMD’s weather forecast for Tuesday reads, “Heavy to very heavy rain is likely to occur at isolated places over all the districts of Coastal Karnataka and Chikkamagaluru, Kodagu districts of South Interior Karnataka. Heavy rain is also likely to occur at isolated places over Bidar, Kalburgi, Vijayapura, Yadgiri and Belgaum districts of North Interior Karnataka and Hassan and Shivamogga districts of South Interior Karnataka. Thunderstorms with lightning are likely to occur at isolated places over Coastal Karnataka and North Interior Karnataka.” “Southwest monsoon was active over Coastal Karnataka and South Interior Karnataka (July 04). Rainfall occurred at most places over Coastal Karnataka; at many places over South Interior Karnataka and at a few places over North Interior Karnataka,” added the IMD. The Bengaluru-Mysuru, Bengaluru-Manguluru, Bengaluru-Belagavi, and Bengaluru-Kalaburgi highways will receive heavy rainfall on Tuesday, it also said.The district administration in Dakshina Kannada declared holidays for schools in the Belthangady taluk after the region received 71.6 mm of rainfall on Monday. Holidays have also been declared for Anganwadis, schools, and colleges in the Hebri taluk of the Udupi district.Landslides were reported at Anmod Ghat, which lies on the route from Goa to Belgavi and Mangaluru-Madikeri NH 275, due to heavy rainfall. Many parts of Shivamogga, Hassan, and Chikkamagaluru districts were also affected due to heavy rain on Monday. Travelling was impeded between Kalasa and Horanadu in Chikkamagaluru after the Hebbale bridge submerged amid heavy showers.
Panaji: After a five-day delay, the southwest monsoon arrived in Goa on Friday, ushering in the onset of the season this year. It also advanced to more parts of the central Arabian sea, the Konkan belt and parts of Karnataka. The normal date for the onset of the monsoon over Goa is June 5. “The northern limit of the monsoon has now covered the entire state of Goa and southern parts of the Konkan," said M R Ramesh Kumar, meteorologist and former chief scientist, National Institute of Oceanography (NIO). He further said that the monsoon has been weak over the regions which it has already covered. “It has been a 61% deficit over Kerala. The rainfall may slightly be on the lower side in June over most of the Indian subcontinent, which can be seen from the present rainfall distribution over Kerala,” he said. Kerala witnessed monsoon onset on May 30, as against its normal date on June 1. The IMD, Panaji, has forecast very heavy rainfall exceeding 115.5mm in 24 hours at isolated places on Saturday and Sunday, followed by heavy rainfall exceeding 64.4mm in 24 hours at isolated places on Monday and Tuesday. Short intense spells and winds gusting to around 40kmph are likely. Fishermen are advised not to venture out into the sea along and off the south Maharashtra-Goa-Karnataka coasts till Tuesday. The IMD has also issued an impact-based forecast for farmers warning them that kharif sown paddy seeds may get washed out. “Due to the forecast of heavy to very heavy rain from June 10 to 13, farmers are advised to postpone sowing of nursery and provide drainage to drain out excess water in the fields,” the warning reads. Owners of livestock and poultry have been advised to keep animals indoors and at elevated places. They have also been advised to provide sufficient feed and water to the animals.
Margao: With Konkan Railway having completed the planned safety works on its 740km route, it has now put in place all pre-monsoon measures. “No major disruption to train services have occurred on account of boulder fall during monsoons in the last nine years,” a spokesperson of Konkan Railway said, adding that special attention has been given to catch water, drain cleaning and inspection of cuttings. Konkan Railway will conduct monsoon patrolling as per the prescribed guidelines to ensure safe running of trains. About 950 personnel will patrol the Konkan Railway route during the monsoon. Identified vulnerable locations will be patrolled round the clock, stationary watchmen will be deployed for 24 hours and speed restrictions will be imposed at these locations. BRN-mounted excavators have been kept ready at nominated points for quick movement in case of any emergency, Konkan Railway said in a press note. Stating that instructions have been issued to loco drivers to run the trains at a reduced speed of 40 kmph in case of heavy rainfall when visibility is limited, Konkan Railway said that self-propelled ARMVs (Accident Relief Medical Van), with provision of operation theatre and emergency medical aid are kept ready all the time at Ratnagiri and Verna (Goa) along with ART (Accident Relief Train). While mobile phones have been provided to all safety category staff to contact the control office/ station in an emergency, both loco pilots and guards of trains have been provided with walkie-talkie sets as well as every station on Konkan Railway is equipped with a 25 Watt VHF base station. Self-recording rain gauges have been installed at nine stations - Mangaon, Chiplun, Ratnagiri, Vilwade, Kanakavali, Madgaon, Karwar, Bhatkal and Udupi which will record the rainfall in the region and alert officials in case of increased rainfall.
Miguel Braganza‘Ambeamchem Fest’ was hosted at Corlim and Panaji on two consecutive weekends, along with the three-day long Konkan Fruit Fest from May 13 to 15 in Panaji. The GenNext has been leading these events in the Botanical Society of Goa (BSG), associated with the ‘Festakar’ Marius Fernandes, the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP), and the Directorate of Agriculture for over two decades now. The student volunteers Ashish Prabhugaonkar, Priyanka Naik, Liza Pinheiro, Akshatra Fernandes, Puja Phadte, Riya Metri, Preety Velip, and Gayatri Gawas, are now leaders of the event. Alston Dias and Estella Pires give the event computer and social media support. Together all of them work as one TEAM – Together Everyone Achieves More.The days of youth are not the days to rest on the laurels. It is time to say: ‘Yeh Dil Maange More.’ And, so it is.Plans are now being made for the Plant Utsav 2022 on a bigger scale than the pre-pandemic version in November 2019. Growing fruit plants in pots is possible with guavas, chickoos, hog plums, jagomas, mattoma or mbola plum, star fruit, star apple, many kinds of cherries, mulberries, jaboticaba, West Indian figs and all kinds of citrus fruits like limes, lemons and pomelo. We will know about the possibilities of growing other fruits in November 2022.The Konkan Fruit Fest has already highlighted fruit plants and bonsai. Many garden enthusiasts have bought fruit plants from the nursery owners at the event. The plants grow in pots as ideas keep growing in these young minds. There are other fruits that can be gown in pots like strawberry and pineapple.The ’Plant Utsav’ will also showcase vegetable plants in pots from chilies, capsicum, tomatoes, to cherry tomatoes and eggplant or brinjal, in both, seedling and grafted forms. Also, there is the bush pepper in rooted cutting and grafted forms.The winter vegetables like radish, carrot, beetroot, knol-kohl, palak, fenugreek, mustard greens, and tropical lettuce are options.Government agencies like IIHR of ICAR are selling seeds delivered through courier service and with many nurseries selling online the dependence on local dealers has been reduced.In addition, Goa Directorate of Agriculture has become proactive in the era of Nevil Alphonso and seeds are available at Zonal Agriculture Offices, whose network will soon include Vasco.A majority of alumni of Don Bosco College of Agriculture, Sulcorna, have proved their mettle. If Vandit Naik has picked up the Goa State Award of ‘Krishi Ratna 2021’ with the able support fellow alumna, Priyanka; Liza Pinheiro has been chosen as the ‘StartUp of the year 2022’ by GCCI-FIIRE.Three alumni of the first batch completed post graduate studies outside Goa and a dozen of the second batch secured admission to post graduate studies in SHUATS-Allahabad, Prayagraj, accredited to ICAR. There has been nothing lacking in the teaching-learning process at the DBCA-Sulcorna. Its students have proved their capacity in both academics and in organisational ability. They now have the self-confidence needed to achieve more.
Garima A Roy is calling a time-out on plastic toys. Through her brand, Other-Wise, the designer offers playthings handcrafted using natural materials for childrenANNA FERNANDES | NT KURIOCITYWith parenthood, comes great responsibility. For Garima A Roy, this meant making environmentally conscious choices as a family and about their consumption.When her son was six months old, she began toying with the idea of making sustainable playthings. Her background in design came in handy here. Add to it, she had in the past, designed pre-school furniture and thus had the experience of working with a young user group.She built her son a swing – and he loved it.And that’s where it all began. “My education in design and a belief in parenting that made me feel responsible towards the environment led to the genesis of Other-Wise,” she says.As a brand, Other-Wise aims to create products with natural materials that last so that they become a part of one’s heirloom or make them so temporary that they become one with soil. “When people spend money, they probably want things to last. So, the former has a tangible form and the latter still a dream,” says Roy, adding that in creating her brand, she realised that alternative materials are hard to come by, and that parents struggle to find such brands. “I still find it hard to get myself to sell because I am drawn to the idea of hand-me-downs, circular economy, but if you must buy, then it’s good to know about the few brands that are trying to keep things simple and honest,” she says.Currently, Other-Wise offers different kinds of swings for different age groups. These are made in materials ranging from bamboo and wood to cloth. They are all handmade and most production is carried out within the Konkan belt. “I don’t wish to make tall claims about USP, but one quality that is hard to find when looking for children’s products is to be able to find things that are gender neutral, and without gimmicky graphics. I assure you that we steer clear of these stereotypes. Also, our packing is 100 per cent plastic free,” she says.When it comes to her products, Roy believes that the creative process can have many and different starting points. “The first product was born from the need for entertainment for my child, movement, and breeze on hot summer days. The range that followed in the initial years was informed by material and human resources. This included my network of carpenters, tailors and a source for rope.”Recently, she launched a product in bamboo. This is a material that, she says, has been extremely close to her heart since her college days, and the abundance of it around the Konkan region was the starting point. Similarly, the next range of products that she is working on is informed by a child’s physical development. “I am working on a product that helps with balance,” she says.And the response has been great. In fact, Roy admits that it’s the feedback that keeps her going. “I see children sometimes fighting, sometimes negotiating for their turn on the swings. My house has many! I don’t bother asking them how they feel: it’s evident.” She adds that it’s equally heart-warming to hear back from parents. “They share pictures and videos of their children loving the swing. Once a parent called me in panic because after two years of using the swing every day she needed new rope as soon as possible because she feared that the child won’t sleep, if not for the swing!”And even through the pandemic, there were so many old clients writing in to tell her that the swing was a life saver: the only physical activity within access for their children. “That meant a lot to me,” she says.Being a parent indeed influenced her approach as a designer. Her first prototypes were always designed for her son and his friend circle offered great insight into user interaction. “A designer need not be a parent, but being a parent gives me easy access to this extremely crucial ingredient that informs my design. Thankfully, we are surrounded by people who believe in preserving childhood, for the child to stay wild and free,” she says.Roy swears by the mantra ‘less is more’. “My child may not agree with me at this age, but I believe he will one day,” she says and adds that there are different reasons for which people choose to go for sustainable alternatives, whether it is food, clothes or toys. “The two reasons that stand out for me are, to reduce the interaction with harmful chemicals that affect our health, and for children to internalise that small acts can have a big impact.”She adds that when one is in the throes of parenthood it’s easy to turn a blind eye to climate change in the name of children’s amusement. “But we will be held responsible for our actions by these very children. One thing that works is to acknowledge that while sustainable sounds fashionable, it doesn’t have to be a competition. If it becomes a way of living then it seeps into everything you do, and has better chances of acceptance when it comes to toys,” she says.And like all things, with Other-Wise as well, Roy believes that taking baby steps is the way towards betterment. “It took time to make our packaging plastic free. Recently I transitioned from wood to bamboo for one product, and for another it meant moving from teak to Jackfruit wood. I would like to move from factory made fabrics to hand-woven fabrics sometime in the near future.” While these are not big steps towards sustainability, they are sincere for sure, she says.
Margao: Movement of certain trains on the Konkan Railway route has been affected on account of infrastructure upgradation work that is under way between Majorda and Margao section. The work entails launching of Restricted Head-girder (RH girder) for construction of Road under bridge (RUB) to replace the level crossing along the section. Konkan Railway had earlier suspended traffic movement in this section between April 18 and May 3. The current work is a part of the earlier exercise, it is learnt. The work entails inserting the RH girders and precast RCC box by cut-and-cover method. Consequently, Train no. 10112 Madgaon Jn. - Mumbai CSMT Konkankanya Express was rescheduled to leave Madgaon Jn. at 6.25 pm, 25 minutes late. Also, train no. 16338 Ernakulam Jn. - Okha Express of Wednesday will be regulated at enroute stations for 85 minutes, a press note by Konkan Railway said.
Miguel BraganzaThe ‘Ambeamchem Fest’ held at Corlim- Ilhas on Sunday seems to have been well-timed: the prices of mangoes dropped to half the rate of the previous week. There were luscious mangoes, locally grown and naturally ripened in paddy straw, on sale. And it was a pleasure to eat them. It gives the organisers hope for a successful Konkan Fruit Fest from May 13 to 15 to be held in Panaji.The Botanical Society of Goa (BSG) and the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) have brought back the event this year with the support of the Directorate of Agriculture, University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad, nursery owners, fruit processors and fruit enthusiasts. On-the-spot fruit eating competition (banana and watermelon) is popular among the young and old.A large section of the residents in Goa now live in apartments with little or no access to grow plants. Over the years, especially during the recent pandemic, many home-makers have grown vegetables, chillies, tomatoes and coriander in pots and trays. Some young adults recalled the collection of ‘fruit plants in bonsai pots’ created by Dona Almira Rodrigues that were exhibited at the ‘Festival of Plants & Flowers’ at SFX School, Siolim, in the 1990s when they were students and even the BSG was young. Others have literally taken the art to a higher level; on the terrace.Yogita Mehra has made potted fruit plants available to persons who want home-grown fruits in their apartments but thought that it was impossible, and Daniel D’Souza has even created fruiting bonsai. The competition this year includes potted plants with fruit. Entries will be accepted on Saturday, 14 May at 10 a.m. and can be taken back the same evening or by Sunday 5 p.m.The range of fruit plants grown in Goa is expanding. Whether it is a red-skinned ladyfinger, or banana that catches one’s attention or the purple passion fruit or the ‘Grape Tree’ Jaboticaba or the Kilo Guava in the ground or on the terrace, it is all available in Goa. Oscar Silveira in Borda de Margao and Laban D’Souza in Kirbhatt, Nuvem have large collections of them and Nestor Rangel is marketing the plants as Anup Poinguinkar and Meghnath Kerekar who will be in attendance at the Konkan Fruit Fest 2022 to help you join their ranks as a fruit grower.The BSG’s all Goa Home Garden competition has revealed how the enthusiasm of Jai Naik has enabled him to grow a veritable ‘food forest’ on the sloping RCC roof of his apartment in Margao. He even has a jackfruit bearing tree and an apple tree in blossom!The Konkan Fruit Fest has competitions in fresh fruits and fruit products like jams, pickles, candies, preserves, juices, squashes, syrups, wines, vinegar and other products. It has been the launchpad for many a product as well as a source for germplasm for selections of superior types. Rambutan, mulberry, velvet apple, star apple, and others have become popular through this festival while kokum and jackfruit has added value to the festival. It is the informal and festive atmosphere that promotes learning and exchange of ideas. Come to Panaji and be a part of it this weekend.
Panaji: Pride of the Konkan belt, the kokum, a popular refreshing drink as well as a post-meal digestive has so far been extracted and and marketed in packaged bottles. While the juice is extracted from the pulp of the fruit, the rind often goes unused and is thrown away. This rind is now being dried, powdered and packaged into dip bags, similar to tea bags and can be used to prepare the kokum juice, a popular beverage. Dr Balasaheb Sawant Konkan Krishi Vidhyapeeth, has developed the kokum powder dip bag and has been awarded a patent which is soon going to be available in the market, the institute’s vice chancellor, Dr Sanjay Sawant said while speaking at the national conference on agricultural economics at Old Goa on Thursday. “We received the patent last week and are now entitled to launch it as the institute’s product,” Sawant told TOI. “The rind is usually discarded but it contains antioxidants and hydroxycitric acid. To exploit it we have powdered it and are selling them in dip bags. This is water soluble and can be mixed with either hot or cold water and sugar to make a soft drink,” he said. With the summer season at its peak, the season of harvesting kokum fruits is underway and the institute will collect a sizeable amount of the fruits to start preparing the kokum powder dip bags. The institute is also in the process of marketing rice gruel or ‘pez’ just like soup, as well as different variants of processed cashew nuts and raagi biscuits. “The idea is to introduce these products to the elite market chain, packaged with requisite food safety standards. We are yet to file a patent for these products,” he said.
Margao: Days after the prehistoric petroglyphs at Pansaimol at Rivona, South Goa, made it to the tentative Unesco world heritage sites list, heritage lovers feel that the development has brought to the fore the need for the state government to shed its apathy towards preservation, conservation and promotion of the pre-historic sites. Over two decades after the petroglyphs were first reported, the state government has done precious little towards preservation, conservation and promotion of the pre-historic sites. While the rock engravings at Ponsaimol, near Colomb, Rivona, figure prominently in the list of most famous petroglyphs of the world, what have remained relatively lesser known are similar sites not too far from Ponsaimol. The petroglyphs at Pirla and Kajur, both in Quepem taluka, also date back to the prehistoric period, and have been declared as “protected sites” by the state department of archeology and archives of the state department. While Ponsaimol, located amidst serene and scenic environs, is home to some 200 petroglyphs, only a few are visible at Pirla and fewer still at Kajur. At Kajur, figures of humans and animals are seen engraved on hard lateritic rocks in an area called as Bavleamoll, while in Kajur, geometric figures adorn a single rock, which locals call as ‘Dudafator’, though nobody knows for certain how the rock came to acquire the name. The etymology of the term could perhaps hold the key to the mystery of the civilisation that thrived in pre-historic Goa, heritage conservationists feel. History scholar and researcher Rohit Phalgaonkar said that while it is imperative that petroglyphs found on the banks of the Kushavati are conserved, steps should be taken to establish any connection of these rock carvings with those found in Mauxi in Sattari and the recent discoveries of such pre-historic sites in Ratnagiri and Rajapur along Maharashtra’s Konkan coast. “So far there is very little material evidence to establish that a living civilisation once thrived in the Kushavati valley. There’s also a need to look at the entire pan-Konkan region to explore and establish links to the existence of a much bigger prehistoric culture and civilization. Establishment of these links may well hold an answer to who were the earliest settlers of the Konkan coast, particularly with special reference to today's Goa,” Phalgaonkar said. Withstanding the vagaries of time and nature for hundreds of centuries, the petroglyphs have been mute witnesses to the settlement of various civilisations through the ages on the banks of the river Kushawati. Eons of human neglect have, obviously, taken a toll on the open rock art gallery — weathering of the rocks have even led to the disappearance of some parts of the engravings. Researchers, however, believe that scientific excavation, if carried out along the belt, could lead to the discovery of more such sites. What’s surprising, however, is that apart from displaying a sign proclaiming that the sites are ‘protected’, the state authorities seem to have done precious little in preserving the sites at Kajur and Pirla, leave alone attracting tourists to the places of heritage interest. While a lone guide employed by the state government serves as a sole source of information about the historical significance of the site at Ponsaimol, no such facility, however, is available at Kajur or Pirla, leaving a visitor to scout for the treasure couched in vast lateritic plateau amid wild bushes. And considering one has to trek a few kilometers from the main road to get to these rock art sites located in isolated areas, the services of a guide are an imperative. Symbols of religious cosmology, figures of wild animals and birds, human beings in various postures, fishing and hunting implements, besides numerous geometric forms can be spotted on the hard laterite rock. Heritage conservationists have underscored the need for further exploration of these pre-historic sites to unravel mysteries of the ancient civilisation.
Panaji: Goa might soon see the establishment of an agriculture and horticulture university. Efforts are on to start an agriculture college by June this year and the state will sign an MoU with Dr Balasaheb Sawant Konkan Krishi Vidhyapeeth, Dapoli, for it, chief minister Pramod Sawant said on Thursday. “Many students from Goa are pursuing education in agriculture, horticulture, forestry and other agriculture-related subjects in different universities all over the country. Taking this into account, we are planning to start an agriculture college in Goa under the Goa University,” Sawant said. “We can also think of an agriculture university in Goa,” the chief minister said while responding to a proposal for setting up an agricultural institution in Goa during the 24th national conference on agricultural economics at Old Goa. It was organised by the Maharashtra Society for Agricultural Economics and the Dr Balasaheb Sawant Konkan Krishi Vidhyapeeth, Dapoli. The organisers also called for a central agricultural university in Goa to facilitate Goan, national and international students. Sawant held a meeting with the representatives of Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth, Dapoli, along with the heads of ICAR-CCARI, directorate of agriculture, Goa, to discuss the plan of action for the new institute. “The chief minister has assured us that government land (either Ponda or Old Goa) will be utilised to establish the institute and we have agreed to provide the technical support. Nodal persons for the same are going to be appointed in the coming days to take this plan forward,” vice chancellor of the Dapoli-based university Sanjay Sawant said. Union tourism minister Shripad Naik said that agriculture is the backbone of our country. “Almost 65% of the people are dependent on agriculture. Development of the agriculture sector is very important,” he said. The chief minister said that agro-tourism has been started in Goa on the PPP model on a small scale and is working successfully. He said that the state needs to become atmanirbhar (self-reliant). “Goa is still dependent on other states for 80% of its agriculture, horticulture, dairy and fisheries products. To make Goa self-reliant, agriculture officers need to impart training to farmers in the rural areas of Goa once a week to boost the agriculture and dairy activities in the state,” Sawant said. He spoke of spiritual leader Sadhguru's Save Soil movement to address land degradation and advocate for healthy soil. Sawant also spoke of the various initiatives taken by the central government for the welfare of farmers.
Special CorrespondentPanajiThe Chief Minister, Pramod Sawant said that the government is considering setting up an agricultural college in Goa.“Many students from Goa are pursuing education in agricultural field besides horticulture, forestry and other agriculture-related subjects, in different universities all over the country,” he added, pointing out, “taking into account this scenario, the government is planning to start an agricultural college under theGoa University.”Sawant was speaking at an agricultural eventon Thursday.The Chief Minister also said that the government will soon sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Dapoli-based Konkan KrishiVidyapeeth so as to allow Goan students to study agriculture, inthe same.He further said that help would be sought from the Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth and Maharashtra Society of Agriculture Economics to set up the agricultural college in Goa.
Staff ReporterSankhaliGoddess Lairai, the most popular among the Goan deities, unites communities from Goa and Konkan region. Come May 5, devotees will flock to the Shirgao village of Bicholim taluka for the annual celebration of Dhondachi jatra.Rajendra Kerkar, a folk researcher and historian told, “Goa has a rich and varied tradition of folk deities worshipped from parts of Pernem to Canacona. However, the worship of Goddess Lairai unites different communities who take part in the annual Dhondachi jatra. In Goa, since the pre-Portuguese period, there existed a tradition of the anthill worship among the people toiling hard in the soil. In Shirgao too, the anthill is worshipped as Santer as well as Lairai in two different temples.”Today, though the temple situated at Deulwada is the main centre of attraction for the devotees, the original temple of this folk deity is at Mudder immediately to the left side after crossing the Par river from Assonora. In the past, Mudder at the foothill of the lush green mountain too was covered with trees, creepers of the forestry nature. Before the onset of iron ore mining, this predominantly agriculture village was home to innumerable perennial streams and springs. During the Portuguese era, Shirgao was known for one of the largest iron ore mines in Asia. After Goa’s Liberation, haphazard mining activities resulted in destroying most of the water bodies of Shirgao and thereby causing irreparable harm to agriculture and horticulture.During the Dhondachi jatra, the devotees from various corners of Goa and Konkan in traditional attire holding entwined and decorated cane stick walk through the pyre in large strides, one followed by another.The devotees locally known as Dhond has strong belief that walking through the pyre would not be possible without divine help and protection.“In Goa and Konkan region, this is only annual fair in which devotees forgetting their differences based on caste, tribe, sex and economic status take part with utmost devotion,” says Vishnu Kerkar from Nanoda village who participates as Dhond since the last two decades.Though, the devotees participating as Dhond eat vegetarian diet for almost one month, five days before the fair they leave their houses, go into the areas mostly situated near the spring or river that are forested, and eat food cooked by them collectively.Various religious and cultural activities are organised through the contribution collected by devotees. Though, each village in Goa and Konkan has its presiding deity, Lairai as the folk deity has been venerated by most of all.In the temple of Lairai at Deulwada, the sanctum sanctuary contains a marble pedestal over which is erected a silver canopy containing a dazzling Kalash (pitcher) filled with the sacred water, dedicated to goddess Lairai. A considerable congregation of lakhs of people assembles for the jatra on Vaishakha shudhda Panchami to express their gratitude to the revered deity by offering a garland of jasmine buds.
Miguel BraganzaSummer is here in Goa and it seems like a prelude to the experience in hell: high temperatures, tempests, and very expensive Mankurad mangoes!The high-velocity winds have knocked out the mature mangoes before they could be plucked from the trees, ripened, and relished. Fortunately for us, the jackfruit tree can survive drought and high temperatures and still bear fruit. Vegan chicken is what jackfruit is known as in many parts of the world including its native land, India. One can also make caffeine-free ‘jaffee’ from the seeds. There are plenty of other fruits that will come into focus at the Konkan Fruit Fest from May 13 to 15 in Panaji simply because of the overpowering presence of the mangoes that will be missing this year.What began as an idea of an annual ‘Goa Mango Show’ with the Botanical Society of Goa (BSG) in 2002 to give continuity to the sporadic mango exhibitions organised by the Directorate of Agriculture or the Agriculture Officers’ Association and Lion’s Club of Avedem-Paroda in 1982, 1987, 1992, and 1994, grew into the Konkan Fruit Fest with the then newly created Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) as the festival partner in May 2003. We are back at it again this year with the CCP as the festival partner and the support of the Directorate of Agriculture. A mango festival is just not possible when exhibition quality mangoes sell at `2400 a dozen. We will have available varieties on display for the love of mangoes.The ICAR – Central Coastal Agriculture Research Institute, Old Goa; DBSKKV’s Regional Fruit Research Station (RFRS), Vengurla-Maharashtra; the Western Ghats Kokum Foundation (WGKF), the Goa Forest Department, and other institutions and non-government organisations have participated in the event and are expected to do so this year also. Plant nurseries from Goa and beyond have confirmed their participation and so have individuals and self-help groups. The competition in fruits has been expanded this year to include potted plants with fruit in both bonsai and large-sized pots. The Botanical Society of Goa (BSG) committee members will be exhibiting potted fruit plants fromtheir collectionThe students of Horticulture at the YCMOU – Nashik extension centre at Mapusa were the backbone of the event in the initial two years. It provided the necessary hands-on experience in event management, coding of entries and judging of fruit quality to the students, two of whom have thereafter completed their PhD in Botany.The pandemic has changed the way we live our lives. BSG along with the Agricos Alumni Association has promoted the value addition in tender, mature and ripe fruits through its fifty Sunday webinars. Making of jacada of jackfruit, perada or guava cheese and jam-like mangada of ripe mangoes are being revived, along with a range of candies, juices, wines, pickles, cakes, souffle etc. Plenty of products to make, compete, win prizes, and enjoy.
Panaji: After a hiatus of three years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the highly popular Konkan Fruit Festival is all set to enthrall fruit lovers from May 12 to 15. The festival will also feature its annual mango competition. Started in 2003, the festival was initially held in the heritage precinct of Campal, around the Dr FL Gomes municipal garden. Later, the venue was shifted to the Mandovi riverside promenade, near the Children’s Park in Panaji. This year, the exhibition is likely to be open for public viewing from 10am to 8pm. In view of this, the Botanical Society of Goa has sought permission from the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) to erect an exhibition pandal and stalls on the promenade from May 9 onwards. “We wish to restart the festival in the post pandemic period in collaboration with CCP,” said festival organiser and member of the Botanical Society of Goa, Miguel Braganca. The organising committee of the Konkan Fruit Festival 2022 will be chaired by Raj Pai Panandiker with Liza Pinheiro as the organising secretary and will have members from other agencies in addition to the Botanical Society of Goa. The directorate of agriculture and the state government will be the main associates along with ICAR-CCARI, Old Goa, the forest department, the WRD and other agencies participating as in the past, Braganca said.
Miguel BraganzaThe effect of unseasonal rain on cashew production in Goa this summer is the current topic of discussion, especially because of the reduced supply ofurracand consequently the higher price to be coughed up for the traditional summer cheer. Cashewfeniwas the first product in Goa to get a GI (Geographical Indication), even before the Khola chilli. That should give one the idea of its importance in the culture and economy of Goa. Cashew nut kernels are a storehouse of nutrients. They contain 21 per cent vegetable proteins, 47 per cent fat, 22 per cent carbohydrates, and 5 per cent iron and other minerals in smaller quantities. The most prominent vitamins in cashew are Vitamin A, D, and E. Nutritionally they stand at par with milk, eggs, and meat. Cashew nuts are cholesterol-free. They are nature’s finest snack.The cashew tree was introduced into the Konkan from Brazil during the Portuguese colonial rule, somewhere in the 18th century. Yesterday, Portugal celebrated the 48th anniversary of the Carnation Revolution that threw out the dictatorship there that had become synonymous with Salazar even after he was dead. We now have a person of Goan origin (or POGO) as the Prime Minister of Portugal. No one in Goa will complain if history is re-written and cashew is reclassified asAnacardium indicainstead ofA. occidentale.We produce the best cashew nuts in the world or so we are told. Those nuts are sold in Europe and America. With few exceptions, we are fed nuts from Africa, imported and processed in Goa.Grandmothers used feni to control all kinds of germs and worms, from roundworms in the stomach to leeches that attach to one’s legs in the fields and hillsides during monsoons. A swab of surgical cotton dabbed with feni was placed near a hurting tooth at night. Even if it did not kill the germs, it got them too groggy to disturb your sleep!The increasing economic importance of cashew nuts and cashew feni led to the search for high yielding cashew varieties. These are not hybrids, rather, grafts of high yielding elite trees found in nature. These are known as ‘selections’. The high yielding, elite cashew tree identified in the village of Bali in Quepem, adjoining Cuncolim of Salcete, was found superior in yield and kernel characteristics. It has now been named as Goa-1. We also have Goa-2, Goa-3, and Goa-4 selections from Ganjem-Usgao and TiswadiThe Dr Balasaheb Sawant Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth’s regional fruit research station at Vengurla in the Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra developed the Vengurla series of grafted cashew plants and the Vengurla-4 variety is by far the most popular variety in India. Its red skin apple is juicy and its nuts are bold with a count of about 120 nuts per kilogram. To cap it all, its fruits ripen early in the season and urrac from Vengurla-4 cashew apples is available well before carnival, holi, and shigmo festivals. The cashew feni keeps us warm and our discussions fiery during the wet and gloomy monsoon season. The original feni, distilled from coconut toddy, is almost forgotten. We hope to revive it. The cashew tree may be Brazilian in origin but spiritually it is a Goan.
Vasco: Traffic movement on Konkan Railway will be suspended between Majorda and Margao section to facilitate launching of Restricted Head-girder (RH girder) for construction of Road under bridge (RUB) to replace the level crossing along the section on certain days between April 18 and May 3. A press note by Konkan Railway states that the infrastructure upgradation work will be taken up on April 18, 19, 25, 26, May 2 and 3. The work entails inserting the RH girders and precast RCC box by cut-and-cover method, it was informed. Consequently, several trains along the Konkan Railway will be regulated at various stations on these days. The timings for train No. 07379/07380 Kulem-Vasco-Kulem Special, train no. 12051 Mumbai CSMT – Madgaon Jn. Janshatabdi Express, and train no. 12052 Madgaon Jn. - Mumbai CSMT Janshatabdi Express (from Madgaon Jn) will be regulated accordingly on these days.
Special CorrespondentPanajiThe petroglyph gallery located in the tiny settlement of Usgalimol – also referred to as Pansaimol – near the Rivona village in Sanguem taluka in South Goa has finally made it to the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.Petroglyphs are rock carvings – just as the rock paintings are called pictographs – and made by pecking directly on the rock surface using a stone chisel and a hammer stone. When the desert varnish or patina on the surface of the rock is chipped off, the lighter rock underneath gets exposed, thus creating the petroglyph.Coming out with this information, noted Goan historian Prajal Sakhardande said the efforts of the Goa Chapter of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have succeeded in the inclusion of the petroglyph gallery in South Goa in the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.“In 2010, the Goa Heritage Action Group (GHAG) sat with the then ASI officer Abhijit Ambekar and prepared a related report to be presented to the ASI, New Delhi and the UNESCO,” he recalled, adding that the GHAG also made a presentation to the UNESCO committee in Mumbai in April 2012.The engravings in the petroglyph gallery situated on the banks of river Kushavati, exhibit earliest traces of human settlement in Goa. These petroglyphs are 4,000 to 6,000 years old and belong to theNeolithic Period.More than 100 distinct figures, spread an area of 500 sq. mt., including images of bulls, labyrinths and human figures are carved on laterite stones.The site was discovered in 1993 when local villagers took archaeologists to the bend in west-flowing river Kushavati outside the village, with mysterious engravings on the laterite shelf. The layer of mud covering up the engravings had been washed away by monsoon floods facilitating their discovery. Subsequently, when the soil was cleared more engravings were found.In the coming years, the ASI put up signage and started promoting the site as a tourist destination, while the department of forest declared it a protected area.Maintaining that it is a great moment for Goa, which has now got a second UNESCO World Heritage site, after churches and convents of Old Goa, Sakhardande, who is an active GHAG member said that it would now be the duty of the government to maintain and preserve the petroglyph gallery.“Although the government was responsible for looking after this gallery soon after its discovery, it was not done so in the past and one could see garbage being thrown in the area,” he lamented, mentioning that the people also carelessly walked over the petroglyphs.It was further informed that if the particular petroglyph gallery is not properly maintained, then the UNESCO has the right to de-notify the site from its list of World Heritage Sites.Recently the geoglyphs of the coastal Konkan region of Maharashtra had made it to the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The geoglyphs/ petroglyphs of the Konkan, Goa, and southern Karnataka region are unique and form the most remarkable open-air ensemble of prehistoric human expression of rock art.
Keri: In heartening news for heritage conservationists, the prehistoric petroglyphs at Pansaimol in Rivona in South Goa have made it to the tentative Unesco World Heritage Sites list. The Unesco world heritage centre has written to the permanent delegate of India informing the official about the inclusion. The petroglyphs came to be included in the list after the directorate of archaeology and museum of Maharashtra sent a combined proposal for the inclusion of the petroglyphs of the coastal Konkan region of Maharashtra and Goa, director of the Maharashtra department, Tejas Garge, said. The proposal was submitted to the central government last year listing the petroglyphs of Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg districts and Goa’s Pansimol. Petroglyphs are varied in shape and size and include human figures, birds, animals, geometrical forms and composite creatures. More than 600 figures have been found in clusters in Kasheli, Rundhye Tali, Devache Gothane, Barsu, Devi Hosol, Jambharun and Ukshi in Ratnagiri and Kudopi in Sindhudurg in Maharashtra, and in Pansaimol in Goa. “It is a moment of pride that one of the protected archaeological sites of Goa has been included in the tentative list. We had given our inputs for the proposal of Pansaimol petroglyphs,” assistant superintending archaeologist, directorate of archives and archaeology, Goa, Varad Sabnis, said. A horticulturist, Vithal Khandeparkar, who resides very close to the protected site in Goa, said that villagers knew the petroglyphs as ‘rakhanyachi chitra’. “I brought the petroglyphs to the notice of former director of archaeology, Prakashchadra Shirodkar, and researcher Nandkumar Kamat in 1993. They highlighted the archaeological and prehistoric heritage associated with it,” Khandeparkar said. Retired officer of the government of Maharashtra, Satish Lalit, who was instrumental in discovering the petroglyphs of Hevale near Malvan in Maharashtra in May 2001, said, “The news about to the inclusion of the petroglyphs of Goa and Konkan region of Maharashtra in the tentative list of Unesco World Heritage Sites will certainly give new dimension to the rich history of the region and draw more researchers.”